Yates v. United States

As I’ve written about before, way back in April of last year (wow!) a Romanian soldier mistook me for a native Romanian, which was quite a revelation to me (since then it’s happened several more times, including Wednesday night at the English speakers meeting).

That event sparked me to start writing this blog and then from there it led into me quitting my job and writing The Complete Insider’s Guide to Romania. And once that was published, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many people who were excited about it because it spoke about this country in such an affectionate and clear-eyed way.

Yesterday everything came around full circle as I had the privilege of meeting two Americans who 1) had never been to Romania before and 2) had read my book (and blog) before coming here.

Mind you, they had planned this trip long before they had ever heard of me. They had met a Romanian guy (whom I also got to meet – awesome guy) years ago and were primarily coming to see him. That story unto itself is quite amazing but I’ll leave it for them to tell in their own time and way.

What excited me so much is that yesterday was a manifestation of exactly what I’m always talking about here – going beyond “mere belief” and talk to actually doing something. As Romanians say, numai fapte conteaza.

Here were actual visitors, real flesh and blood people of ordinary means (they aren’t rich) who spent their own hard-earned money and got on a real plane and flew all the way over here to see this country.

And they had a positive, wonderful impression of Romania. And when they go back home they’re going to tell all their friends and family that yes, they “survived” Romania and yes, it’s a wonderful, beautiful country.

That’s what I live for – real, concrete actions. Imagine dozens of people coming here and having the same experience. Imagine hundreds, thousands, even millions. And then you will have a revolution – not one of blood and guns and presidents but a revolution of mentality, perspective and attitude.

To say I’m excited is an understatement – I am positively thrilled. From sitting all alone in my apartment hacking away at a book without having any idea if anyone would even read it to actually meeting people who came all the way over here and thanked me for my writing – wow. Just wow.

Even if I never sell another book, all my efforts have been worthwhile just for this. In the larger scheme of things it’s a relatively small difference but that’s my point – it is a difference. Something tangible actually happened as a result of my efforts. And that is how things get done – one step at a time.

They took some lovely photographs – including of us together – and I’ll post those when I get them.


4 thoughts on “Yates v. United States

  1. It takes people to build anything. You start with nothing and a determined man and things happen! Excellent work, I am very happy that you got to see your efforts can make a difference.


  2. Keep on writing Sam, you are one of us now.

    P.S. I much prefer your “Vai ce bine!” to your “And now you know” at the end of your posts. :P


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