You Know You’re Romanian When…


wheeler-cupped-hands…you never have to say you’re sorry because it’s always some unchangeable defect in society that is truly at fault, not something you personally did wrong.

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6 Responses »

  1. Sam’s upset ’cause we didn’t like his “You Know You’re Romanian When…” posts and now he’s taking revenge on us in his own self-righteous, preachy way. :))

  2. I don’t know. It strikes me that there is a bit of self-righteousness within Romanian society. I can’t quite put my finger on what that might be, but it manifest it’s self as, “I’m right your wrong, no discussion.” Quite frankly this kind of attitude is self-defeating as it does not allow for the possibility that there might be two views or ways equally valid. If you’re a foreigner, such as myself, you are often locked out without really understanding why. The attitude is at the very least petulant.

    However, one is not left with any options if they wish to integrate and otherwise participate in Romanian society. What I find interesting is that Romanians often wonder why they are “left out.” The best way I can describe this is a conversation between my wife and a Romanian intern we entertained for a year:

    Intern: “We are so much better educated than Americans. I don’t understand why America
    does so much better.”

    Wife: “Education is important but it’s not the only ingredient to success.”

    Intern: “What do you mean?”

    Wife: “American business is successful because we focus on the bottom line. If what we are
    doing does not produce a profit, then we change. Making money is the object.”

    Intern: “Romanians want to make money; we even leave the country to do such things.”

    Wife: “I think the difference is flexibility. Businesses in the USA have to be flexible and
    change with the market or they go out of business. We look at the processes within a
    business and if they aren’t making money we change the processes. The only wrong
    to run a business is not making money.”

    I think in the end it’s the flexibility and ease of change that makes business in most western nations sucessful. Though certain aspects of our society have certain traditions and ways we interact with others, we make sure that they are condusive to a good business environment too. Does this make us perfect? No. It just makes us sucessful at business. Is what is good for business always good for society? No. Business can do bad things. However, as long as business isn’t dong harmful things to the environment or society, then business if free to pursue profits.

    I don’t always agree with Sam’s approach to his writing, but at the very least he has held up a mirror which in my limited experience seems to “hit the nail on the head.”

    Over the past two years I’ve come to love Romania. I can’t figure out why, but I do. I love the people I’ve met, I wish I could move to Romania to spend the rest of my days there. With only one exception everyone I’ve met and have spent time with have become good friends. Look at me, I’ve already said too much. So, I hope I use this phrase correctly…Sa ai o zi frumoasa!.

  3. making money is not the object and it should never be because of uncontrolled greed and stupidity.thankyou for the ending paragraph.

  4. There is a strain of childishness that is, at the same time, both charming and annoying.

    When bribing or cheating, there is a default assertion that to not do so is naive.

    There is either a surrender to total trust (like an infant) or a general distrust of everyone and everything.

    black or white, hot or cold…extremes

    And as has been said, it is all 100% another’s fault, never mutual responsiblity.

    Adult endevors, with adult responsiblity, are rare. It’s either the world is too big too alter, or one breaks all civilized rules to get theirs.

    An honest foreigner is tempted to think he could suceed there by using honest behavior, but is warned by friends that that is impossible given the RO culture.

  5. Mentality is the problem everywhere in the world, not only in Romania…if people were to think a bit logically and try to improve themselves…many people like to say “lumea e rea” (like in : people are bad) but they motice to observe that they also belong to that category, they just play the victim and dont take responsability…Many people say “strazile sunt murdare” (the streets are dirty) but they are the ones that trow stuff on the streets (mostly chewing gums and sun flower seeds )…so the most annoying stuff is everyone complains about something, but they dont do anything to stop that and on many ocasions they are the ones that cause that!

    @Macfarlane : America is a powerfull country and thats why it has many advantages…is a country that has a lot of debts but still prospere…The thing that i admire about America is that they manage to welcome in any nation and in time they call themselfes “americans”…So often when you see a really talented american that does wonderfull things in different domains like economy, IT, medicine etc, if you look close you will see he is japanesse, indian, chinese, afro-american etc….So i dare to say, pure americans are not so tallented… Things are different when it comes to private business. Here in Romania people look to con the state, they use different methodes to declare that they earn less while they actually make a ton of money.

    @John Z : Ofcourse romanian friends will advise you to take care around other people, especially strangers. That is a good thing and i advise you to do it everywhere not just in Romania…You may never know when you enconter someone who has only bad intentions, so its better to observe them a little more and even test them before placeing complete trust in them. Thats the corect way to do things from a non-naive perspective, being nice is good but at least make sure the person deserve it.

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