What You Can Do When You’ve Overstayed Your Visa in Romania

As you know, I’ve been answering a lot of general interest questions on Quora lately, but I also get some questions that simply can’t be answered in that forum. If you’ve come to Romania and overstayed your visa, I’m going to tell you everything I know, but you must understand two very important things. One,…

Incompetence on Every Level

A few weeks ago I read a piece called The Illusion of Corruption on the blog of a Romanian who grew up in Canada but has now returned to his homeland (and as a side note, the author is a personal friend) and the more I thought about it, the more I realized what he…

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!

After a ludicrously long day of work, I passed through Piata Unirii here in downtown Unicorn City tonight and chanced upon an anti-Basescu march of about 50 middle aged men. I had to stop as they passed by me and a young woman standing next to me (wearing some kind of comical rabbit hat) whipped…

Pe Aici Nu Se Trece

Well since not much was going on in the news besides “Hey golly new cabinet coming up” and “holy mackerel it sucks to be in Buzau right about now” and because there’s not much to say about the latest Economist article about Romania except that it sucks, it’s almost entirely factually wrong and written from…

20 Million Snowdrops

I can’t say that I’m much of a botanist or all that familiar with plants, but there is one that I know quite well in Romanian – ghiocel (ghee-oh-chell). Its Latin name is Galanthus but it is more commonly known in English as a “snowdrop”. If you ever see a picture of this flower you’ll…

Proof of Civilization

I’m going to file this post under Poza Zilei (Picture of the day) because I’m going to write a much longer post in the near future on the subject but today’s photo was taken inside an intercity bus. This sign encapsulates the kind of hectoring attitude that is pretty prevalent in Romania, about which I’ve…

Acum Vorbim Frumos In Tara Asta

I had to bust out the first Scolding of Righteousness of the year yesterday. If you’ve never been to Romania before, I have to explain a certain concept that drives the mentality concerning consumer goods. Whenever you buy anything electronic here, expensive or not, Romanians universally insist on: Having the ability to plug in the…