The 7 Types of Romanians

Your biggest gripe is about the condition of the roads in Romania which are never fast enough or good enough. In your mind, development is identical to building roads. And the ultimate goal for the country is to “increase prosperity.” To that end, foreign investment, the IMF, World Bank, EU, and America are all “agents of good.”

Dispatches From the Circumlocution Office

In the past two weeks, the government of Romania has threatened genocide against its own people, left the leader of Japan cooling his heels at a museum like an ordinary tourist, legalized corruption (once again), and seen the downfall of a second prime minister in less than a year. We’ll have to wait another week…

Traditional Romanian Dishes Bucket List

Romanian cuisine is hearty, flavorful, and heavily influenced by the peoples that the area has come into contact with. Major influences have come by way of the Ottoman Empire as well as the Greeks. For example, the Turks brought meatballs and meat filled cabbage rolls (“sarmale”) with them; whereas the Greeks came with the moussaka (“musaca”)….

The King Is Dead! Long Live the King!

Well, after owning a website named kingofromania dot com for seven long years, I couldn’t exactly ignore the passing of Romania’s fourth and final king, Mihai/Michael earlier this month. You can read a comprehensive obituary in English here and 96 facts about his life in Romanian aici, but I’ve been really hesitant to say anything…

A Romanian Christmas Carol

Well, folks, I’m still busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad, but I’ve always got time to share my favorite Romanian Christmas carol. Sung by Ștefan Hrușcă, Romania’s most famous singer of Christmas music, the song is titled Afară ninge liniştit or “Outside, the snow is quietly falling.” Simply beautiful! Words: Afară ninge liniştit, Şi-n…

The President of all Moldovans

For more than seven years, I’ve been proudly telling the world that I’m the king of all Romanians. Today, I had to laugh at the press statement released by Vadim Krasnoselsky, the president of the Nistrian Republic. My translation: In an interview given to the Russian news publication Izvestia, Krasnoselski declared that, ‘If it wasn’t…

Fear and Loathing

After my wife and I enjoyed a lovely day in Transnistria last month, I told the Unsleeping Eye to increase its attention on this country that “doesn’t exist.” So, you can imagine my horror when I saw this story being reported by Agerpress, the official state media of Romania. My translation: The Use of the…

Transnistria FAQ

After my interesting adventure in Transnistria, I realized that basically, no one knows anything about this country. Excuse me, no one outside the Russian-speaking world. Therefore, I present to you the world’s very first FAQ page for Transnistria, the country that doesn’t exist, except, of course, that it does. Isn’t Transnistria a breakaway republic? Kinda…

High Cotton

To begin with, let me thank all the people who sent me such warm well wishes on the occasion of my second wedding anniversary. Back in 2015, I know a lot of people were wondering exactly what kind of woman I would marry. Certainly, my in-laws were asking the same question, but for far different…

Race Baiting for Fun and Profit

Over the weekend, I had the misfortune of watching the (Romanian) internet blow up over a video posted on YouTube. Ostensibly, it shows a faceless Romanian man filming with a hidden camera as he tries to order some food at a Kaufland in the town of Odorheiu Secuiesc but get refused service because he didn’t…

Brânză vs. Cașcaval

One of the great difficulties in learning any foreign language is when there are two words in the new language for something, but you only have one word in your own. Nearly 20 years ago now (my goodness, how the time has flown!), I remember asking the woman who taught me so much about Romanian…