Well well well..... Monday 10th of January at 3 a.m. I found myself in a different world. I landed in the capital of Romania, Bucharest J Honestly I did not know what to expect from this country. I heart negative stereotypes and people warned me a lot, but I wanted to built up my own picture after I will trully experience the country. I did not have the chance to see much during the first night I came, but since the day started I had an opportunity to start exploring the charm of Romania.
It is not so different culture from that of Slovakia I would say. There are of course some differences, but I do not feel that much away here. The architecture is pretty similar, the way of living and thinking as well.
However, there are things that I was surprised by at the beginning. The buses and trams have no time schedule. You come to the bus stop (that is sometimes marked only by a very small sign) and you wait for a bus to come. Why not? J Do you want to know where is the bus actually going? Then just get in, test it and you ll find out J The public transportation is functioning until 11:30 p.m. and starts at 5:00 a.m., so basically during the night there is only one option how to travel - by taxi. Luckily the taxis are pretty cheap here, so people commonly use them as a means of transportation. Another thing are the street dogs. There are a lot of dogs running around. They won t do anything to you, they are just there. And there are many people selling stuff on the streets, does not matter whether they are gypsies or not. And they have a lot of flower shops opened almost non-stop (I am still wondering why). The drivers here are very crazy, they will cross the tram lines, they will turn in the middle of the street, however, when talking about respecting the traffic lights and pedestrians, they are very respectful and careful. Sometimes you can meet gypsies here and have some unpleasant experience with them, but it s not happening very often. You just have to be careful. And because of that in Romania, they have security guys EVERYWHERE - in the shopping centres, at schools, in the dormitories, in some restaurants, clubs, simply everywhere possible.
The religion in Romania is mostly orthodox. But what I found pretty strange is the fact that when people see the church they cross themselves. I was surprised when I was sitting in the bus and half of the people in the bus crossed themselves everytime we passed a church.
Many young, but also older people here speak English very well and they are very helpful. When I landed to Otopeni airport and I did not know what is international code of Romania, there was a taxi driver who offered me his phone to call for free - I was positively surprised. And it works like that everywhere, if you re asking for help or direction or anything, people are very kind.
Their cuisine is different from ours. So far I did not try a lot from traditional food, but very often they serve „mamaliga" instead of potatoes or rice and their chicken soup is sauer.
Bucharest as a city has combination of everything, history and modern architecture, rich parts and very poor ones. I have been to several places already, for example the People s House, it s the second biggest building in the world. When we were walking around the building from one side to the other it took us approximately 30 minutes.
What I liked at the beginning was when we asked how far do we live from the city center and they told us that we live „close" - this „close" means half an hour by bus J Well yeah, Bucharest is a big city, so people percieve the distance in a different way.
Generally speaking I already adjusted to the environment and to the city and I m really happy and proud, because I know how to function here. Romania is a country where you have to be careful and from a small part the stereotypes are correct, but it is not as dangerous and ugly as many people think. It has it s charm and people have their own way of living and thinking. I am respecting the country and I hope I will still have chance to explore more parts of it, not only Bucharest.