Romania is not as bad as Romanians think it is

This is a commentary I wrote on Vice to a guy who complained about how bad life was for him, being gay and living in the suburbs of Bucuresti:

I'm Norwegian and lived in Bucharest for three years between 2006 and 2009.

It's true that it's tougher now than before, because of the reduced wages, the increased VAT, the inflating prices and the raw and naked capitalism that is allowed to rule, especially due to the continuing corruption.

BUT – I live in Bali now, and man, Romanians are lucky, compared to the average Indonesian. The salaries are very low in Southeast Asia, there are almost no rights for workers (and certainly few labour laws), and the lack of opportunities seems to make most people powerless and take away their ambitions.

Remember that Romania is in the EU, and you can get an education that will give you a decent salary and opportunities, even if those are not in Romania. Bucharest is a pretty cultural city, with tons of festivals (many of them free), enough nice clubs to give variety, and generally enough happening most of the time.

Also, your English is so good that you can read literature and Internet articles written about developing yourself and your skills, which will in turn give you ideas and strategies on how to improve your quality of life.

If you are Romanian and are not satisfied with the development in your country (and I can completely understand that), at least make a decision to either become a positive and proactive person (and thus do something about that development), or decide to move to another country. And then make actual steps toward that goal.

I would actually say that one of Romania's main problems is the inherent negative attitude of its inhabitants – so many Romanians I know always talk about how other Romanians can't be trusted, how they are stupid etc. And by doing so they actually get what they expect.

In other words – they expect other Romanians to be bad people, so their behaviour towards other people reflects this. Then the people they meet feel this attitude, they behave coldly back, and not much warmth and positivity is exchanged. And people will always maintain the same belief that "Romanians are bad", because their own attitude and behaviour is actually creating this situation. And when you have a whole country of people doing it...

If you want to do something about all of this, I can recommend reading most of the articles on Steve Pavlina's site, and by Brian Tracy I would recommend especially the ebook "Eat That Frog" and his audio book "The New Psychology of Achievement". Also read this summary of Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". These are all very good starting points.

Good luck!


You know you're Romanian when...

I found these in this Facebook group and thought it was funny. I'm sure a lot of Romanians will recognize a lot of this stuff!

And please add more in the comments if you have some...

You know you're Romanian when:

You grew up on liver sandwiches.... and thought that was normal.

You are standing next to the two largest suitcases at the airport.

It's "normal" if your wedding has 600 people.

You don't know half the people at your wedding because your parents invited them.

You make your own noodles.

Everything you eat is savored in garlic and onions.

You try and reuse gift wrappers, gift boxes, and of course aluminum foil.

You arrive one or two hours late to a party - and think its normal.

All your children have nick names, which sound nowhere close to their real names.

You talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone's house.

You can fit 10 people into a Dacia.

Your parents never throw anything away and if you by some chance manage to get something to make it to the garbage can... it mysteriously appears back where it was again.

You have lace curtains.

You have lace tablecloths.

You have rugs covering every inch of your house.

You have or had rugs on your walls.

Your mom tells you you're too skinny even though your 30 pounds overweight.

You ever heard of ciorba de burta'.

You have curtains hanging across every doorway.

You know someone that married his girlfriend of 2 months.

Your mom is a doctor and force feeds you medicine for anything ranging from a headache, stomach ache to a stubbed toe.

Your house is full of Romanian medicine that is probably illegal here.

You and your friends have ever been kicked out of a restaurant or recreational park for being too loud or rowdy.

Your mom recycles plastic cups and paper plates, and sandwich bags by washing them.

You don't know how to use a dishwasher.

You have a vinyl tablecloth on your kitchen table.

Your dad ever butchered a pig or lamb.

You keep leftover food in your fridge in as many numbers of bowls as possible.

Your kitchen shelf is full of jam jars, varieties of bowls and plastic utensils (Got free with some household items).

Your mom ever chased you with a rolling pin or a broom telling you to stop so that she could hit you.

Your dad ever told you to smack yourself over the mouth for being disrespectful.

Your mom washes your clothing at 40.

Asking if you can get a discount at a discount store on clearance items is normal and not embarrassing for your parents.

You don't use measuring cups when cooking.

You feel like you've gotten a good deal if you didn't pay tax.

You can only travel if there are 5 persons at least to see you off or receive you whether you are traveling by bus, train or plane.

You only make long distance calls after 11 p.m.

If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you've eaten, even if it's midnight.

When your parents meet strangers and talk for a few minutes, you discover you're talking to a distant cousin.

Your parents don't realize phone connections to foreign countries have improved in the last two decades, and still scream at the top of their lungs when making foreign calls.

You have mastered the art of bargaining in grocery shopping.

You walk out of the grocery store with no less then two packed shopping carts weekly.

Your parents brew their own wine and ţuică.

Despite being in Canada, your parents answer the phone saying "allo?"

Your parents love to shop at "Weinners".

You say "La Mulţi Ani" for every holiday.

You sat down to watch Borat and realized it was actually filmed in a ghetto Romanian village and were too embarrassed to tell your friends it wasn't really Kazakhstan.

Your parents return 98% of their purchases (and most of the time the stuff is definitely used).

You get in a fight with your parents and they threaten to kick you out numerous times but they never really do.

You wear Puma clothing every other day.