Gandul Article

Last night while I was hanging out with my rowdies, I got a call with the good news – my Gandul article is finally published. Yeehaw! It’s in Romanian but here is the awful Google translated version. Perhaps soon I’ll translate it “for reals” but for now you have to get by with Senor Google.

You can tell it’s been a while by the fact that I’m dressed in a white T-shirt in those pictures because it was quite hot that day. Note to self: if you stand in front of a 10 meter high statue, it makes you look short :P

It was especially super cool of Adrian Popescu (the journalist) to include a couple of the episodes of Romania! The Documentary in at the end of the article. Always glad to get a boost! At the time he and I met, the documentary was just a future project I was working on so that was really amazing that he went to the trouble of finding them online and adding them to the article.

I haven’t had time to respond to all the comments and messages but I particularly like the one (on the Gandul site) where someone asks “Hey is this a Ministry of Tourism project or what?” Uh, no. No, no, no and no. I have met and worked with a lot of wonderful Romanians here from a variety of organizations but the national Ministry of Tourism? Heck no.

I’ve sent them free copies of my book, I’ve emailed them a billion times, I’ve contacted all their satellite offices (UK and Canada/USA) and nothing substantive has ever come of it. Oh well, what can you do? Just so it’s official, I have never received one dime (or 1 ban) from the Romanian government to do anything I’ve ever done, whether the documentary, the book or even this blog. Both I and my helpers in the documentary are volunteers, giving our time simply because we feel it’s something worth doing.

Trust me, it’s a little weird (sometimes!) to be the self-appointed goodwill ambassador to Romania. It’s certainly not something I would’ve ever guessed I’d ever be doing for any country, much less Romania. And it’s most definitely not something I would’ve guessed I’d be doing when I moved here all those years ago and couldn’t speak the language and didn’t know anybody. I’m always talking about how unpredictable the future is and my life is an excellent example of that – from clueless foreigner to Romanian-speaking ambassador – so who knows what will happen next? :)

Oh yeah, if you don’t speak Romanian the following will make no sense. Still it cracks me up to hear how I sound.

Well folks, there you go. If you like the article (in Gandul) share it with your friends and “pass it around” so to speak. Hopefully it at least brought a smile to your face :)