Genuine Romania

check 600px-Red_x_svg

  • Do start with the left cheek if you’re kissing someone! Otherwise, you won’t get a second one
  • Do leave your shoes outside when you enter the house if everyone else does that, otherwise you won’t get any drinks
  • Do get used to the idea of walking more and driving less when in countryside, roads are deadly! Plus, this way you won’t miss a lot.
  • Do wear something conservative when you’re going to church unless you want your dress to be on everybody’s lips.
  • Don’t choose an even number when you bring flowers, unless you’re going to a funeral!
  • Don’t get shy with soaking up the bread in sauces! Everybody does it here. Do say “pofta buna” first (that is good appetite)
  • Do continue the list if you have something to say on this topic!

Bad news for ghosts, spirits and vampires hunters. No Dracula here.
But good news for bloodthirsty rulers’ fans. We have Vlad Tepes. He was a Romanian ruler in the 1400 whose main prerogative was honesty. Any theft or any other kind of infringement had the same capital punishment: impaling. The blood thirst, the original name, Drăculea, and the legends that described him as a cruel, heartless ruler who had a thing for drinking blood easily inspired Bram Stoker to come up with the modern mythical character, Dracula. You may also be familiarized to the Bran Castle or “Count Dracula Castle”. Funny thing is Vlad Tepes never lived there, but that wouldn’t make it less scary if you visit it at night. Below, a funny sample of “before and after”.

The flawless gymnast and the footballer whose name is easy to remember if you’re laughing and you’re surprised at the same time HA! GEEE!. Only with an I. Nadia Comaneci and Gica Hagi gave a plus of notoriety to Romania, they’re worthy of being remembered so we don’t mind at all if you choose to start your small talk with that! This time, here’s a sample of “I bet you can’t do that!”

The misfortune of not having the greatest informal ambassadors, and that is certainly no way of absolving the Romanians from any flaws but definitely a way of trying to get to people who already have a misconception about how we really are. A drive with your car in the central or northern part of the country, a few days spent with the locals will surely make you understand where I’m coming from when I’m saying that Romanians are gentle and honest people, devoting heart and soul to welcoming their guests. Here’s a sample of genuine Romanians you will encounter in your journey!

You can’t argue that one of the Romanian stereotypes evolves around the communist regime. Ceausesu and Casa Poporului are one of the first things that pops in the mind of a foreign fellow when visiting our country. Not to mention the dozen of tourists flashing their cameras in Piata Constitutiei with no intention of catching a glimpse of our funny looking lad, Traian Basescu, but with great hope of catching the start of the Great House’s Endless Marathon. Communism, at its time, wasn’t exactly milk and honey for Romania, (and when I say that, Romanians know best I’m speaking literally and not in idioms). Here are some “leftovers” of those: the big, solid, cold concrete buildings that seem to give a kind of “ quelque chose” to our country when mixed with the old dim buildings and the new-age ones, forming a really interesting architectural pot-pourri, the funny assertive songs and anthems or the colourful uniforms of the young pioneers of those times that seem to come in handy for the Romanian modern art. If not convinced, wait for the Romanian Peasant Museum exposition, “Cantarea Romaniei” (or Praising Songs for Romania in a faulty translation), that’s going to take place somewhere in March, meanwhile here’s a sample of reminiscences.