10 Misconceptions about Romania

10 Misconceptions about Romania

We all have some common misconceptions about other countries or cultures. Inevitably, in this day and age, all it takes is a newspaper article or a viral video to spread around all over social media to create a false image about something. This post wants to show you the 10 most common misconceptions about Romania.

There seems to be a bit of a feeling in Western Europe that people are ahead of the times compared to Eastern Europe. Especially, when it comes to Romania. A reason for them to think that is an assumption. It is based on all the misconceptions people are fed with and knowing nothing about the country in that sense before visiting the country.

10.  Horse Carts and haystacks

Let’s start with the first reason, that visiting Romania would be like being thrown back in time. Thus, you could expect to see plenty of isolated hamlets. To see haystacks sprinkled everywhere and horses pulling carts along dirt roads.

In many cities worldwide, horse carriages are used as a tourist attraction. It is because they evoke nostalgic images of days gone by. 

In rural Romania,  horse carriages are a mode of transport still common. They are not allowed on public roads. Yet, because manual labor is the Romanian peasants’ mainly work, horse carriages are very useful. For centuries, agriculture was part of the Romanian’s main occupation. So, horse carts have been used for carrying hay, vegetables, wood, materials. Especially, on the dirt roads between parcels of land. 

However, in isolated hamlets or self-sufficient villages, with medieval fortifications or wooden churches, villages encapsulate the romance of rural Romania. Horse carriages and haystacks have their contribution to the primitive nature of rural life. They are making those villages seem to be stepped out of the Middle Ages.

9. Romania is a dangerous country

It is another misconception that puts a lot of visitors off. Many people believe that traveling to Romania is not safe. Probably, because of the hectic period that follows the fall of communism, people think that pocket thieves are one of the main elements of daily life and you risk being robbed on Romania’s streets. 

It might have been the case some decades ago, but nowadays, Romania isn’t more dangerous than any other European country. 

As reported by NationMaster, Romania is far behind Canada, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, and France when it comes to assaults, robberies, and kidnappings. Moreover, violent crime in Bucharest is among the lowest of any capital city in Europe, according to figures compiled by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Like in many other countries, if you take the minimum required precautions, you should not be afraid to travel to this country. So, it is better to keep your wallet, phone or credit cards in places that are hard to reach. Especially, when going to crowded places or using public transportation services. It is safer not to venture alone on empty streets during nighttime. Usually, wouldn’t you do the same things in cities like New York, Paris or Rome?

Therefore, the question if Romania is safe has a yes as the answer. It is safe to travel to Romania!

8. Romania is poor

It is an image people have it when comes to Romania. It might be true if you compare to Western European countries but it is not true if you look at it on a global scale.

The currency in Romania is “Leu”/ lion and the average monthly wage is between 250 – 400 euros and it is lower than throughout the rest of Europe. Well, you have to see it in the context of the cost of living in Romania. That is less than in Western Europe.

You can visit Bucharest for the equivalent of 100 euros a day. Living somewhere in Bucharest you will have good Wi-Fi, and for a few euros a month you will benefit from minutes and network signal at 3G/4G speeds even up in the mountains on the Transfăgărășan Highway. According to OpenSignal, Romania is one of the best places in the world for 4G speed occupying the fourth place out of 78 nations.

Let’s look at the economy! It has been increasing a lot in the last years. In fact, in 2017, it experienced the fastest growth in the EU, with a growth rate of 6.9%.

Romania is a small rich country and its image needs to be changed.

7. The capital is Budapest

Most Romanians know a story about someone mistaking Bucharest for Budapest. To name a few: Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica…

Romania took action to end the confusion between its capital city and Budapest, the capital of Hungary. How? A Romanian chocolate manufacturer “Rom Authentic” launched the campaign “Bucharest not Budapest” in 2013, with online banners, a dynamic website, billboards and outdoor. Hungary has also joined in the campaign and placed billboards near Ferenc Liszt International Airport from its capital city.  

Bucharest is the capital city of Romania since 1862 AD. It was used to be called “the little Paris” due to its elegant architecture built in the period between the two World Wars. According to a top published by an online magazine “slate.fr“, Bucharest is rated the 2nd “coolest” city in Europe.

6. Bucharest is pretty grey

Another misconception describes Bucharest as a city full of high buildings and being pretty grey. 

Well, expecting to find a communist-style architecture you will be disappointed.

Bucharest was known as ‘Little Paris’ from as early as 1900, but wartime bombings and communism destroyed much of that image. Though, looking for those Parisian vibes, you find them out in the Old Town among architectural jewels of the buildings that imitate that grand style. 

Pleasing your eye with its architecture, beautiful white columns and spiral staircases, and 1,000 square m “Cărturești Carusel” a bookstore in the Old Town is the biggest bookstore from Romania. In 2018 it was nominated for the Bookstore of The Year Award. You can pass by for a quick tour and a cup of coffee or choosing among 10,000 books, handmade arts, and crafts.

Together with thousands of people, you can watch the fountains dance to a concert of popular music at Union Square.

Also, in Bucharest is the largest civil administration building in the world, Parliament House and its excessive proportions make Guinness World Records recognize it “as the heaviest building on the planet”.  

However, according to Lonely Planet, “Bucharest is all energy”.  

5. Language is Russian

Romania’s geographical position in Eastern Europe, surrounded by Slavic speaking countries, makes people think to show off their Slavic Vocabulary. Unfortunately, ordering “voda” or “pivo” instead of “apă”/ water and “bere”/ beer, you will be disappointed again and learn that in Romania it is spoken a completely different language. 

Romanians were learning Russian during communism, but this has not been the case since the early 1990s. Traveling through Romania you will hear people speaking German, Hungarian and of course, Romanian, It is a similar language to Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, and considered a Latin language.

As Miceal Ledwith, a confidant of Pope John Paul II and the man who had access to all secret documents from the Vatican Library, stated, “Romanian is not a Latin language, rather Latin is the Romanian Language.“ 

So, Romanian is just Romanian, a unique and beautiful language. 

4. Romanian are Gypsies 

It is believed that Gypsies have arrived in Europe from northern India in the 1400s. This ethnic minority is constituted of distinct groups called “tribes” or “nations”.

Unfortunately, one of the misconceptions about Romania is that Romanians are Gypsies, and they go to Western European countries to beg and steal. It is because there is a strong stigma against Gypsies, that characterizes them as thieves and delinquents.

Inevitably, Romanian people become often irritated when foreign governments or media portray them through Gypsy images. Partly, because “Romanians” is the word for people living in Romania, as “Americans” is for America or “French people” is for France. Partly, because Gypsies are minorities living worldwide.

According to The Romanian 2011 census this minority represents only 3 % of the entire population.

Do you portray other nations through Gypsies’ image? No, you don’t. Why should you do with Romanians?

3. Roads are awful

This is not a complete misconception, for there is some truth to this. The roads in Romania can be awful. They are generally looked after and are way better than they used to be. Unfortunately, potholes are a big problem. So, potholes in Romania’s roads are real holes that can cause serious damage to your car.

So, should you not drive? You should! While sections of the roads might be bad or a little slower, at least they are kept well and you may enjoy a pleasant drive. Roads out of Bucharest or other cities, to the other popular tourist destinations are quite good. The road out to the beach is a perfect motorway and very easy to drive. The mountain road that connects the south of Romania with Transilvania (90 km), crossing the Făgăraș Mountains is Transfăgărășan Highway. According to Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, it is “the best driving road in the world”.

Let’s just say, if you’re not brave enough to try driving on the roads of Romania, you won’t know how good or bad the roads are.

2. Dracula

Hahaha! This name is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Romania.

In one form or another, vampires have always been part of human culture and folklore. Researching European folklore and stories of vampires for seven years, inspired by the history of Transylvania and influenced by Emily Gerard’s 1885 essay, “Transilvania Superstitions”, the Irish author Bram Stoker wrote Dracula novel in 1897. Its fictional character became extremely famous especially because of the movies adapted from that novel. However, there is more to Romania than legends of blood-sucking creatures.

The name “Dracula” comes from the Order both Vlad Țepeș (Vlad the Impaler) and his father had been associated with, the Crusader Order of the Dragon. 

Besides, the image of the ruler Vlad Țepeș as a vampire, is a fictional one, for he is an important part of Romanian history and a national hero.  

Because of Dracula legend, many people believe there must be some truth, right? Well, suspecting people of vampirism was quite common during the Middle Ages not only in Romania but all over Europe. Therefore, you can visit Transylvania without being afraid and carrying a wooden cross, salt or garlic with you.

1. Transylvania

Unfortunately, Transylvania has become known as a fictional region where the vampires and Dracula used to live, as a result of the “Dracula” novel.

This land of mystique and legend, known as “Dracula Country”, Transylvania, is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is located inside the Carpathian arch with a total area of over 100,000 square km.

Would it be that a fictional place when the properties Prince Charles has bought are located here?

Visiting beautiful cities like Sibiu, Brasov, and Sighișoara, stunning castles like Hunyady, Bran, and Peleș, or “the Poienari Fortress”, the castle where Vlad the Impaler lived, you visit Transylvania. 

Is Transylvania a fictional place? No, it is real and according to Lonely Planet, Transylvania is the best-known and most beautiful region of Romania.

Any misconceptions you have about Romania, that Romanians are Gypsies, speak Russian and the capital city of the country is Budapest, they will be swept away visiting the country, for Romania is amazing.

“Maybe people cannot see this now, but Romania is a wonderful country” – Prince Charles în Wild Carpathia 3 Documentary.

Photo by me (Bucegi Mountains)

With Love,

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Copyright © 2019 manuela@inalove.world

What is your GPS map?

What is your GPS map?

I remember a girl I was mentoring. She was very upset about the educational system that does not teach children important things about life. Among other discussions, she told me once that if she wants to go somewhere, she uses a GPS map.

What is our GPS map?

Is the map given by fear controlling you or it is dictated by your soul?

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.

― Mahatma Gandhi

We live in a broken system including the lawyers and police. Actually, our GPS is

  • G guilt
  • P punishment
  • S sin

and is based on ego. It speaks about the fear of punishment.

 Guilt

Being guilty means doing things differently than the crowd does. As a result of that, you must be punished.

If you do not learn how your parents want, you are guilty and punished. You are also guilty if you do not have a certain education or social and financial situation. If you are single, divorced, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, you are guilty. You are guilty even if you do not have the religion of those around you. All guilt comes from fear and must be punished.

When hatred judges, the verdict is just guilty.

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Do you live with the guilt? “The feeling of guilt – hardens the heart, slows down the bloodstream and prevents normal blood supply to the whole body. … the feelings of guilt attack the heart and it becomes weak … ” (Luule Vilma). In addition, it is the guilt and the fear that contract your DNA and make you live in anxiety and depression, and become ill.

Sin

The idea of sin comes from fear. Being a sinner means you do what you feel, and what you like. Thus, you become a sinner and you must be punished. If no one on earth can punish you, you will be after death, right? In life or afterlife, you are going to be punished anyway. It’s like you don’t have any escape from being free and living as you want. 🙂

You don’t do what you like because of fear of punishment and that fear underlies ego. Hate, wickedness, revenge are its relatives. When following your dreams, you do not care about the punishment. Others will see and consider you a sinner because you do have the courage of following your soul’s desires.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray 

Punishment

Though, if you are seen as guilty or sinner, the world is ready to punish you. It is the easiest thing people do to find you guilty and let you go with that. It is what makes the ego to enjoy living.

You are punished even if there are fake proof or witnesses.

Moreover, with or without evidence, we always punish each other. When we talk badly when we argue or envy each other. We punish ourselves when we use the law to punish others especially innocent children or people of color. We punish because we are not the same and because we feel we have power.

However, every form of punishment destroys a child, a man, and his dreams. Besides them, it destroys entire families and their dreams.

Another GPS map

It is based on love and it speaks about actions because

You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. We were created to be victorious.

― Joel Osteen

This GPS map is

  • G guiltless
  • P power
  • S sinless

Guiltless

You cannot be guilty of making mistakes, because you learn from them. Eventually, you are guilty that you do not want to learn.

The child does not like what he does but you force him doing so because this is the model of the society. You do not get along with your spouse but you two stay together for the sake of social convention. You don’t like the job you do, but you keep it because you feel comfortable. So,

To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.

― Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma

Sinless

In my opinion, you are not guilty of following your soul. Eventually, you are guilty of lying to yourself and others, and not trying to overcome your fear. When you understand this, your power belongs to you. However, you must make it clear to yourself that people do not shut you out of their hearts because you are guilty of sins. It is the way they know it to live. It is part of their GPS map.

Power

Living from your heart desire is respecting and loving yourself the way you are. It is living guiltless and sinless and it is the way that makes you have your own power.

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. The power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.

― Susan Polis Schutz

Living from your heart, and taking control over your life is your real GPS map. Follow it, for nobody can do it for you!

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay 

With Love,

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Copyright © 2019 manuela@inalove.world

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

May each hour of every day

be surrounded by

beauty,

people who love you

and

all the things that make your life

full of joy!

Happy New Year!

With Love,

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Download it for free from here or here.

The only chance you have to be yourself

The only chance You have to be Yourself

Last week I found the following quote:

Instead of being a period of unusual behaviour, Christmas is perhaps the only time of year when people can listen to their natural impulses and express their true feelings without feeling self-conscious and maybe crazy. In short, Christmas is about a man’s only chance of being himself.

– Francis C. Farley

In my opinion, the quote expresses the truth. Maybe, the rest of the year you just try to please others, to respect the rules made by others or to do what you have been educated to do. Most of us do not do an important thing, to be ourselves.

Christmas is the season of the year when being yourself, you feel good. Probably, you feel happy. So, who are you for the rest of the year? Why are not you happy?

To be happy, in our society, you need something to motivate you. If we do not have a reason, or we do not have things or people we consider needing them, we are not worthy. Thus, we accept what others want us to, and we are not ourselves but the desired variant by others or our ego.

Is Christmas de only chance you have?

Is Christmas the only chance we have to be ourselves? The truth is that at Christmas time we wish the best to everyone, even strangers. We also feel that every person deserves to be happy.

It seems as we really live only during Christmas time. What about the rest of the year?

From my own experience, we cannot be ourselves because of the fear of facing our own fears. And these can be many …

Anxiety

Anxiety is just a bunch of fears and it is natural to make you feel the need for something or someone in your life. Their presence in your life makes you feel worthy. Otherwise, you feel incomplete and unhappy.

There is also the fear of losing a person from your life. But every person who comes into and leaves your life helps you become the person you are today.

There is a fear of being alone on holidays. Thus, you feel unloved because no one wants you in his/ her life. Consequently, you enter into toxic relationships and consider that you love without being loved.

Anxiety is the poison of human life.    

– Blair

So, you need to confront your fears. The more you do it, the happier and free you feel you are.

Another kind of Christmas

This Christmas I lived like any other day of the year, without anything festive. Actually, it is the way I live for several years now. I mean, the way I never thought before I’d ever do it.

This year was also the first time that the only companies I had were my dogs and a cat. I was far from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the rush holidays bring with them.

Thus, I enjoyed the pine tree I planted in the yard, but without decorating it. I enjoyed the food I have without doing anything special. I enjoyed the loyalty of the dogs and the cat purr.

It does not mean that I do not like the other people’s company or a man’s presence, but I do not want the company of one just for not being alone. It does not mean that I do not love my child, mother or siblings. They are always with me because I have them in my soul all year long.

Gratitude for everything

Going back to fears and anxiety, they are what brought me into my toxic relationships I have experienced. The good part is that they taught me to love myself first. To be grateful for every minute I live and for everything I have in my life. They taught me to be grateful for what I have and to give others what I have.

I learned that You do not need anything or anyone in your life to be happy. You find that happiness within and when you have found it, no one can take it away. It is part of yourself.

Do we need a certain time of year to be ourselves? Do we need many people around us to know that we are worthy?

Love and gratitude for everything is part of ourselves. It is because

love and gratitude are fundamental to the phenomenon of life in all of nature.

― Masaru Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water

How would the world be like if?

Living By giving

A gift to everyone every day of our life? No, you do not need to go shopping for gifts every day.

A GIFT can be a kind word, a thank you, please or forgive me. You can like or comment on someone else’s work. These are gifts we can offer every day to anyone. Thus, we can bring Christmas into someone else’s soul any day all year long.

Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

 – Oren Arnold

Living Beyond ego

The ego is the one that distorts and limits the way we live. Your chance of being yourself you have it every day. You can choose to face your fear or to live with them.

It is living by letting be Christmas every day in your life or only once in a while.

Living With gratitude

In my opinion, the Christmas spirit can be a way of living for each and every one of us. You do not need to belong to some specific church or religion. You can carry that spirit all year long with you because you can find it within you.

I wish we could put some of the Christmas spirits in jars and open a jar of it every month.

– Harlan Miller

With Christmas in your heart, you keep it all year long and share it with others. Thus, you have the chance to be yourself in every single day of your life.

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!

– Charles Dickens, Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

I wish you Christmas in your heart and to keep it all the year!

Photo by Oldiefan from Pixabay 

With Love,

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Copyright © 2019 manuela@inalove.world