Exactly 1 month ago I was arriving in Brazil. So here it goes: 60 things I learned by living in Romania!
PS: Pay attention to what down here is a joke and what is not.
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1 – Dracula is a vampire outside Romania.
2 – The same dude, Vlad Tepes, is a national hero.
3 – While vampires drink blood, the real red thing I loved to drink was Visinata.
4 – Another devilish drink is Tuica, Hungarians call it palinka, but it is the same thing.
5 – Most moldavians, muntenians and others have no idea what happens with Hungarians in Ardeal
6 – Romanians smoke an absurd amount of cigarettes. They smoke inside their houses, restaurants, and even shopping malls.
7 – Romanians always take of their shoes when entering home.
8 – I believe Romanians prefer to keep their floor clean rather than their lungs.
9 – Traveling in Romania is one of the best memories I have. Rivers, canyons, hills, mountains… They have it all
10 – While traveling in Romania you will go through Romanian roads. They are in good condition, but they have an absurd amount of curves.
11 – Also when traveling in Romania, you might want to pee. But worry not; there are so many houses by the side of the roads that it’s easier to end up in a bathroom than behind some bushes.
12 – Maramures is a happy place. Happy people, happy costumes, happy collors, even happy cemetery
13 – The only thing that isn’t happy in Maramures are shepherd dogs. They are not happy. They don’t like you. Run.
14 – In fact, unless you are inside a city, whenever you see a dog in Romania, run.
15 – Another tactic is to always carry mici with you. As I’m vegetarian, I wouldn’t mind giving mici to dogs.
16 – As a matter of fact, as a vegetarian in Romanian I can definitely say: Romanians love meat
17 – Sarmale, tocanita, slanina, carnati… you have it all, meat eaters.
18 – Romanians have soup every single day of their lives.
19 – Taxis in Romania are ridiculously cheap. In Bucharest they can cost as low as 1,29 per km.
20 – Another extremely easy way to go around is Hitchhiking. Romanians do it, and give it in return.
21 – Romanians also expect you to pay for giving you a ride. You can, of course say “nu am bani” before hopping in, but you can get a frustrated driver to shout “INCHIDE USA” at your sorry moneyless face. (true story)
22 – My favorite mean of transportation though was by inter-regio train. They are cheap, confortable, on time and often not crowded.
23 – However, you can end up inside a 12 hours train trip from suceava to Mures back from New Year’s holiday. Then you will know what “crowded” really means. (true story)
24 – Romanians love skiing.
25 – Skiing in Romania is absurdly cheap.
26 – It took me 3 full days to be taught how to ski. Skiing is not for Brazilians or tropical countries inhabitants.
27 – Once you learn, though, you will love it and open another door to my favorite part of Romania: Mountains.
28 – Romania has the most beautiful scenarios I’ve seen so far in my life. All of them from mountain tops.
29 – Romanian mountains have incredibly well signed paths for hikers, cabanas for travelers to stay overnight and places for the more audacious to camp.
30 – By now you should have guessed that doing such a trip will be absurdly cheap.
31 – Interesting though is that many Romanians have never been to such mountains.
32 – Even more interesting is that Romanians will often overestimate some rather average places (e.g. Mamaia or Bucovina Monasteries) and underestimate awesome places (e.g. Bucharest).
33 – Bucharest is a great city. Sure it has no such architecture as Budapest, Krakow or other eastern European cities, but it has the museums, parks and nightlife that few others have.
34 – People say there are many stray dogs in Bucharest.
35 – I had more dogs chasing me in any given day by bike that I had during a week in Bucharest.
36 – Truly, I didn’t see stray dogs in Bucharest.
37 – Romanian language is beautiful. It sounds beautiful and is achievable for Brazilians to learn.
38 – “Cu carne de vaca nu se moare de foame”…. And my Google chrome translator thought I was writing in Portuguese.
39 – However, the most obscure part or Romanian language is Dativ.
40 – AHHHHHH DAAAATIIIIV!!!!
41 – You can say “mi-e foame” “mi-e sete” “mi-e somn”….. but you can’t say “mi-e oboseala”.
42 – AAAAHHH DATIIIIIV!!!!
43 – Romanians talk with their shoulders. Observe it! When someone says “pai, nu stiu…”.
44 – Follow the same exercise mentioned above and observe their mouths and the chin.
45 – Hungarians won’t admit, but they have THE Romanian accent. The way of saying “nu stiu” is the same of saying “nem tudom”
46 – My preferred way of practicing Romanian is with drivers that have me a ride by the road.
47 – They would often say what the hell am I doing in such a country if am Brazlian.
48 – These drivers didn’t know that Romanian healthcare system is great, it has a lower murder rate than Norway and is the fastest growing economy from eastern European countries.
49 – Generally Romanians complain about Romania. They will find a way to complain about it. Politics, economy, society…
50 – They are wrong.
51 – I learned what 4 seasons mean: Hot summers, cool autumns, cold winters and fresh springs.
52 – Romania has all the 4 seasons with two huge advantages from northern countries: In winters they have sun. In summer it’s not cloudy.
53 – Romania has a nice wildlife: Dears can be seen frequently, black goats can be seen on occasion (been there done that), bears and wolves are invisible.
54 – The closest we’ve been to a bear was its footprints
55 – Romanians are latin in language, but not as latin in blood.
56 – When you enter an office, you have to shake hands with the men but you just wave to the women.
57 – Romanians expected that me as a Brazilian would play football really well… Terrible mistake
58 – For months after the world cup I would hear “so, do you like Germany” from people. Go to hell…
59 – Most Rromanians at their 18’s have two dreams in mind: 1 – Moving to the UK. 2- Moving to any other country that isn’t Romania.
60 – While Romanians dream to leave, I dream once I will come back.