Things I don’t miss about Romania

It’s been a year and a half since we left Brasov. I find myself missing it so much and I am so glad we’ve made plans to visit in December. I check the webcams to “visit” my favorite places and also to creep on the weather. This past summer in Georgia was one of the hottest and most miserable that I can remember, so I was longing for the temperate summers I experienced in Transylvania. It was a great summer to be on maternity leave because we had the most amazing air conditioning.

I wrote most of this post before we actually left Romania. I was very homesick for America and there were some things in Romania that I was really “over”. Of course, now that I am back in the States, it’s ironic that I am homesick for the reverse. Here is my list of things that I was totally sick of right before we left Brasov.

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Vecinul tau = your neighbors; gauri cu bormasina = holes with drill

My neighbors hammering things. There’s always someone hammering in the bloc. Or using a drill. But mostly hammering. What are they hammering? And why are they doing it so early on a Saturday? In retrospect, maybe they are just really big fans of snitel.

The (rural) American version of this is burning leaves. You can guarantee that the first nice weather day your neighbor will have a giant leaf pile they are just itching to burn so all you can smell is smoke outside.

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Parking. Did you know that you can make a parking space anywhere in Romania? It’s easy, just put on your hazards and leave your car wherever you want. Even in the middle of the road or busy intersection. Of course, it’s more polite to just park on the sidewalk.

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You’re not home at 11? I’ll return tomorrow. At 11.

The mail delivery system. Whether by Poşta or by courier, you’re sure to have an adventure getting your mail and packages. The mailman will leave you a notice to come pick up your package. You go to the closest post office and wait in line to find out that nope, the package isn’t at this post office! It’s at another one (with an even longer line!). Mailing things from the States isn’t guaranteed either. We’ve sent cards for Easter and Mother’s Day to different people in Romania and they never arrived.

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Bureaucracy. For the government to work in this country (from the medical system, to immigration, or really anything), you must have eighty papers obtained from at least four offices with ten different signatures and stamps. Otherwise, it’s NOT POSSIBLE (said with a disapproving stare from lady behind counter). And don’t you dare be late filing any papers (it’s okay if they’re late, but not you). However, if you go back on a different day and talk to a different person, of course it’s not a problem!

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Corruption. For obvious reasons. People think of Romania as “Dracula Land” but the real vampires are in the government. Time to shed some light on those Strigoi. [Note – I wrote this before Dragnea went to prison and the PSD party was ousted. I am so happy for Romania!).

Okay, so what do I miss about Romania?

The people. I absolutely loved every person I met in Romania. Even the grouchy ones.

Family. I can’t wait for Claudiu’s mom to give me a big hug and and a big bowl of ciorba.  Not to mention, I am so excited to introduce our son to his Romanian grandparents (and great-grandparents!)

The land and culture. Right now, we live in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The glorious beauty of the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului have ruined me for life. Nothing here in North Georgia can compare to Romania’s gorgeous mountains and forests.

Seasons. Georgia has two seasons: hot and not as hot. I can’t believe I miss the crazy cold temperatures and having to wear long underwear under my jeans! We are really hoping it snows a lot so our son gets to experience a real winter.

Food. Nothing in America compares to Romanian food. Obviously, my first two stops when we go back to visit will be 1) kurtos 2) papanasi. I’ve tried making sarmale here in my Instant Pot, but alas, it is a grim shadow of what it could be if I had the right ingredients.

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Plaiul Foii, I’m coming for you!

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