Fernando: 60 things I learned by living in Romania

Fernando (Brazilian) arrived in Romania by bike from Lithuania, on 1st of September 2013.

I met Fernando shortly in a BoA meeting of AIESEC Tg. Mures. His eyes were shimmering gates to his shining-colorful soul, even if he covers that with some fancy-trendy-fashionable-professional-like eye-glasses.

Below is his today post on Facebook – what I was noticing  in his words was that he got most of Romania and Romanian in a relative short period.

To cut it short, here below is his perception. (I have his “yes” for re-posting it here, thank you Fernando!)

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.

Check it out! 🙂

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 (east part of Romania), muntenians (na. south part of Romania) and others have no idea what happens with Hungarians in Ardeal (na. Transylvania region)

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 colors, 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, comfortable, 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 Brazilian.

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 Romanians 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.

Thank you, Fernando!

5 Responses to “Fernando: 60 things I learned by living in Romania

  • Thank youuuu 🙂 This is great 🙂 Really.

  • gghhfdg
    4 years ago

    Hi there! Pretty nice observations! All what you wrote is true, but when you grow up in it it’s not so bright and sunny. I was born and raised in Romania…now living in The Netherlands. Much more happier because i don’t need to save money for months to buy a pair of shoes….

  • In calitate de ‘ Roman ‘ si ca am schimbat vre-o’ doua vorbe , mai ca am facut si un ‘troc’ , iti multumesc . Mi-as fi dorit sa iti cunosc Patria si sa scriu cel puti 30 de lucruri frumoase despre ea , ea tara ta. Te salut si pe aceasta cale , si numai bine ! Florin, Caransebes.

  • omg. Don.t know why but this kinda made me re think my thoughts and cry a little due to my perspective on life. Well written article.!

    • I am glad Fernando’s words touched you, Zoe, keep in touch with that perspective! <3

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