Bits and Bobs


Well I had a long piece that I wanted to write today but frankly it isn’t going to happen, partly because I’ve got some things I need to handle today and partly because my mind isn’t clear. So below are a few odds and ends that don’t really have anything to do with one another.

I’ve realized that 99.9% of my friends and colleagues, the ones I see often in my “real life” have absolutely no interest in anything I write. I would say all of them but occasionally I will meet someone face-to-face who is mostly a reader and occasionally someone I see often will read something I write. It’s not like what I do is some kind of secret or anything, it’s just that nobody in my life gives a shit LOL.

In fact, it’s so rarely that someone I know offline (in “real life”) will say something about what I wrote that at first I’m quite confused, wondering what they’re even talking about. It’s like I have two separate identities that act like they’re hidden from one another as if I’m Sybil or something except for the fact that it’s not a secret at all. I guess the only logical explanation is that the kind of people who like me in “real life” and the kind of people who like what I write are two totally different kinds of people.

After getting spammed all over the place in the past week, I finally realized exactly what kind of “blogger” that I’m quote unquote supposed to be, which is 200 word posts (or less) and do a shitload of paid endorsements for products. Step one is you write about products that are expensive or cool. Step two (apparently) is people can’t stop loving you. Step three is companies pay you to write up positive things to say about their shit, which leads right back to step one. Rinse, lather and repeat.

My segment with Kanal D was either never broadcast or no one I know saw it, and there’s no copy online so it’s essentially disappeared into the luminiferous fucking aether, along with several socks, my favorite green long-sleeved shirt and a few other things I’ve done. Always frustrating when that happens.

I got a private letter from someone which I’m not supposed to talk about, so I won’t, but I want to so I’m going to have to figure out how to do that without violating my own ethical standards.

The other day I was walking down the street and a guy came up to me, I mean really made an effort to swerve over and flag me down (I was on foot, but you know what I mean) and was saying, “Sam! Sam!” so clearly he was doing all of this on purpose. Turned out he was the long-lost alcoholic publisher who lied to my face and whom I last saw on the week before Easter 2011. Christ! And just out of nowhere he hails me and tells me he wants to publish my book (Balada Supravietuitorului) this winter. Okay! Do I believe him? Hell no :))

Romanians like to lie. I get it. I’m used to it. Doesn’t even faze me, doesn’t upset me, doesn’t even enter my consciousness anymore whatsoever. If they want to lie non-stop from dawn to dusk, hey go for it. The only thing that gets me torqued these days is when Romanians ask me to believe them. Because I don’t.

You know, in America there’s this odd dichotomy that when you’re at home or shopping in your free time you expect excellent customer service from anyone you do business with. But during the hours when you work, you’re expected to slavishly devote yourself to serving others. Here in Romania though it’s only the first half of the equation. Everyone’s the pampered customer here. At least that’s how they act.

The other day I walked into a secondhand mobile telephone shop and I was eating the last few slices of an orange (the fruit). I asked to look at a phone and they guy told me not until I had washed my hands, all said in a nasty tone of voice. I just laughed. Sorry, I forgot you were my customer, sir, not the other way around!

Speaking of telling the truth, partly because it’s who I am and partly just to fuck with people, I almost always tell the truth. And you know what? Everyone here thinks I’m a sneaky, devious person with an agenda. That’s not even a comic exaggeration. See what I mean?

If you’re nice to people in Romania, they might be nice to you in return. But if you’re really mean with them and kind of a jerk, they’ll really like you and think you’re a good and trustworthy person.

I’ve never been to Turkey and I can’t say I’ve me thousands of Turks in my life, so it’s unfair to criticize an entire population based on a few experiences. But the Turkish guys I’ve met in Romania over the years, all of them, and I do mean all of them, were creepy sexual predator types.

Likewise every Arab person I’ve ever met in Romania sure likes to do a hell of a lot of shouting and loud talking, particularly on the phone. I don’t know if their hearing is bad or what.

I’m used to people having uninformed opinions about politics or religion or other topics which require some education and time investment to truly understand. But to this day I still am continually amazed when I hear people offer up uniformed opinions about what it is they want from life. If you don’t know what you want from other people or from your own life, why do you talk as though you do know?

If you had a million dollars, what would you do besides travel? Everyone always say that. Let’s say you win the lottery but there’s a stipulation that you have to spend it in the city where you’re living right now. Then what do you do? The answers to that question will tell you a lot more about what your dreams are, I think.

There are a lot of smart, beautiful and engaging people who are extremely lonely. In fact, I’d say there is far too much loneliness, even in a world with smart phones and the internet.

If you want to eat meat, that’s your business. But I fail to see why eating some animals is “wrong” and others are okay. Also, I can’t really find any logical reason why cannibalism (eating people) is wrong if you’re eating meat from other animals. I don’t mean murdering people so you can eat them, I just mean eating people who died from other causes (car accidents, etc). Really, why not? It’s protein. It’s just as nutritious as pork is. If it came wrapped in plastic at the grocery store or slathered in mayonnaise on a bun you’d eat it.

Some people know how to have fun. Other people know how to get shit done. It seems rare that a person can be good at both of those things.

I’m going to assume that these crews that dig up the streets have a good reason for doing so. But honestly it looks like we’re rebuilding after a war.

Oh yeah last thing – it looks like Emil Boc, the mayor of Unicorn City, has a Twitter account, which I think is the first one for a local politician in Romania. Welcome to 2009, sir!

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8 Responses »

  1. Welcome back Sam!

    Enjoyed this post, “Bits and Bobs” I don’t know if you ever watched Andy Rooney on CBS 60 Minutes but I think he was reincarnated in this post! A lot of people thought Andy was a “Grumpy Old Man” but I personally liked him and found him to usually to be spot on, in his observations. The truth sometimes hurts but lies hurt a whole lot more when they are found out.

    Keep up the good work Sam, the world needs you and your perspectives!

  2. This is one of my favourite posts! You should have a regular Bits and Bobs section. Did I ever mention how much I admire your strength and determination to make it in that country?

  3. ” I almost always tell the truth…” You are indecisive. “Almost”? So when are those little moments you don’t tell the truth? The American writer Emily Dickinson wrote in one of her poems:
    “…tell the truth but tell it slant…” Was she subtly encouraging Americans to lie?

    • I like one of Sam’s post when he mentioned “Flexible Truths” . Ha ha
      All human beings lie at one time or another to one degree or another!
      E.g. Wife to husband “do these pants make my butt look too big?” How the heck do you answer that?

  4. Had a lot of fun reading your post and, please, as Alien said : give us “Bits and Bobs” on a regular basis, PLEASE ! “Pe cuvantul meu….zau ?” lol

  5. Hi! Just came across this post..and I would like to say I’m very pleased with what I’m reading! You have some great points and info! I will check up here more often..as you hopefully, will continue to keep it updated;-) lol Keep it up Sam! :D

  6. Lol monika…2 sec difference from our posts.. And yes I agree as well…posts of this sort are extremely enjoyable…there’s no particular subject…so it doesn’t get boring, thats why it could continue forever lol XD

  7. Although we live outside of Romania or inside Romania, we give a “shit” about what you write. I am living in Bucharest and I am Romanian (not more than you, of course ;) ) and I enjoy a lot everything you write… except your political opinions about Rou(which are horrors ;) ), but, please, keep up the good work. Your blog gives us power, inside or outside the country, to change something or anything, even if it may be just as a comment or whatever. We rally around you, ’cause, and you know better than us, although it may be a lost cause, we will strive… So, LET US ALL BE MARTYRS !!!

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