The Many Faces of ING

I keep being surprised (and slightly puzzled) that certain foreigners genuinely want to learn Romanian. Obviously it’s good to know how to ask for directions or count numbers but some people I meet want to take it to the next level and actually have a conversation. In my unofficial role as “Dat Engrish Speaker Who…

Book Sale!

In case you’re wondering, that’s not my beautiful hand in the picture. A reader and a fan sent that in after buying and enjoying my book. If you live in Romania I’ve got some very good news. Someone put in a large order of books and then changed their mind so now I’ve got a…

Why We Come to Romania

Yesterday I was interviewed by a local TV station (NCN in Cluj – I’ll post the video when I have it) about me, my book and my life here. And they asked me the same question I always get asked, which is why choose Romania? I certainly understand that question. Romanians have been raised from…

Christian Missionary Edition

I am very happy to announce the American release of my guidebook, The Complete Insider’s Guide to Romania: Christian Missionary Edition. Please be aware that the material in the Christian Missionary Edition is virtually identical to the standard version of my book, The Complete Insider’s Guide to Romania. What sets the Christian Missionary Edition apart…

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…

Bucharest Visit

Ok it’s official. I’ll be flying into Bucharest for one day and one day only – December 15, next Wednesday. If you’d like to talk with me, sell my book, interview me, buy me a beer or anything else (in Bucharest) this is the time to do it. My contact details can always be found…

Book News

Ok folks, more good news on the book front. The “regular” Amazon page for the paperback version is working now. It is here. PLEASE, please, if you have an account on Amazon, please log in there and write a review, even if you haven’t read the book. Just a few words mentioning that you like…

Crappy Travel Guides: Leif Pettersen of Lonely Planet

Oh mercy, now time to address the heavyweight Romanian travel writer of them all, Leif Pettersen. My first travel guide I ever used in Romania was from the Lonely Planet and it is the one I still see most often clutched in tourists’ hands.  And it is this same Leif Pettersen who has done a…

Crappy Guides to Romania: Lea Lane

From here, which is mostly a review of a Romanian movie, comes this anecdote from Lea Lane, an American who brags about being a travel writer for over 30 years. This is yet another example of the kind of thing I’m talking about when it comes to the quality of written travel guides to this…

Crappy Guides to Romania – Tim Dowling of The Guardian

Many moons ago when I landed in Romania, knowing but a single word of the local language, I carried under my arm a well-thumbed guidebook written in English to help me and yes, even to guide me. Unfortunately, it was full of errors and misinformation and even caused a slightly hairy scene with one of…

My Guide to Otopeni Airport

Well I’ve flown out of there twice now this year so time for a current (for now) guide to Romania’s busiest and biggest airport, officially called Henri Coanda Airport. Despite serving Bucharest, it is actually located near a tiny village named Otopeni in the next judet (“state”). For years and years and years the airport…