Woah nelly! What’s going on here? What’s this all about?
Well… let’s start at the beginning.
Way back at the end of 1989 I was living in the Middle East. Although I am about as Christian as Santa Claus (is), I was feeling sorry for myself because I was surrounded by a whole bunch of people who don’t celebrate Christmas AT ALL and I thought that was a filthy and shameless disgrace….
So I was moping around feeling sorry for myself, getting drunk on the world’s crappiest whiskey. And my friend came running up to me and said:
Hey man, didja HEAR? Romanians just shot Ceausescu live on TV!
Note: Middle Eastern TV doesn’t censor REAL violence so they showed the whole thing.
My friend was talking about the Romanian Revolution.
I’ll never forget my response:
Me: Chow who? NEVER HEARD OF HIM!
I then went back to swilling my cheap whiskey and feeling sorry for myself, etc., just generally being a clueless idiot (as I am wont to do).
Fast forward 10 years or so and then I first stepped foot in Romania. I’ll leave that adventure to another blog post but I’ve more or less been here ever since.
Now it’s time for the FAQ portion of this post!
FAQ – FAQ – FAQ – KWAQ – GOT YOUR BAQ IN IRAQ – FAQ
Why in the world do you live in Romania?
Good question! Well, a few years ago I was reading about a great opportunity to travel and WORK in Romania and make lots of money! The guy promised me that I’d be a hostess or a waitress or something. So I scraped up all the money I had and borrowed from everyone I know….
But when I got here it was all a trick! The evil men stole my passports and now I’m forced to dance *sob* and sometimes *sob* do even worse things with the horrible, fat, smelly customers.
Hey you can’t joke about that, that’s human trafficking you’re talking about!
True, very true. But I will say this:
You watch waaaaay too many movies. That’s more like Republica Moldova and Ukraine and those kinds of places. Romania? Not so much.
But – but – but *sputterANGRYspittle* it’s still not funny!
True but what is also equally true is that without fat, smelly, lecherous customers “availing” themselves of these services, human trafficking wouldn’t exist.
Ok fine. I’m still angry. But really now, WHY are you in Romania?
To save souls for my own particular special brand of Christianity, which although features the same guy (Jesus) and most of the same symbols (cross, etc) is TOTALLY different than the standard Christianity 98% of Romanians adhere to. TOTALLY different! Like we’ve got better comic strips and everything!
Fine! Don’t tell me. You’re a CIA spy!
Yep, you got me. Damn! Now I have to kill you.
Ok, be that way. So who the hell are you?
Well have you ever heard of an Anglophile? Well I am the world’s only “Romanophile”. Or maybe it’s Romanianphile. I don’t know. There’s no agreed-upon spelling for it for a good reason: nobody in their right mind loves Romania as much as I do. Yep. I mean that literally.
Oh so you’re getting in touch with your “roots” then, eh?
Haha! I wish. Nope. It’s true my skin is “white” and a bunch of my ancestors came from various places in Europe, I’m completely unaware of any connection to Romania whatsoever. I sure as heck don’t look “Romanian” whatever that means.
Now you’re confusing me, help!
Relax. Breathe deep. You’re confused because simply put there is no good explanation for it. I have no Romanian ancestry, I didn’t come here for marriage, I am not here to “save souls” and I’m damn sure not here to dig wells or help the poor orphans or teach illiterate villagers to read. Those are all fine and noble causes but have nothing to do with why I’m here.
Ok you’re obviously an idiot. I get it. But what’s the deal with this blog?
Well… all true ;)
A long time ago I really struggled to get the hang of the Romanian language and understand all the very odd (to me) complexities and nuances of the culture. I’m sure at some point I’ll write lengthy blog posts explaining how I finally got to where I could make it here but it was a looooong journey indeed.
And just as I was able to order my own coffee and navigate the city bus lines and argue with the old lady at the market over the price of onions… Romania went and turned ultra-modern on me.
For example, the “cool kids” now go to the Starbucks which is just outside the mall and they wear their Nikes and talk on their Nokia phones and drive their Volkswagens around and eat KFC chicken tenders, etc, etc. And I thought what the hell, man! I sweat blood and tears to learn the 812 different dialects and now you’re going to abandon it all by turning quasi-American on me?
I then decided there was only one thing left to do…
I, an American, must become the DEFENDER OF ALL THINGS ROMANIAN! Yes! I realized the old king wasn’t going to storm the beaches and whip this nation into shape. He’s an old geezer and spends most of his time watching Wheel of Fortune and gumming porridge for breakfast.
Nay! I say nay! It shall be I, who was born absolutely zero percent Romanian and never even heard of the place who will preserve and promote the great and once-awesome Romanian culture!
Well… or something like that ;)