Friday, March 21, 2008

Reflections on Romania

I usually try to think of at least 3 things to take home with me from a new country, but now only 2 comes up from Romania. Romania, by the way, is the 44th country that I visit, making me have seen only 19% of the countries in the world. Still quite some way to go!

  • The first and last thing that you notice about Bucharest are the cars everywhere. Like many other merging nation, the biggest status symbol is owning a (new) car. My knowledgeable source of information (again a taxi driver), told that there is 800% growth in cars since 90's, that is the end of Ceausescu's regime. I bet that, as megalomaniac as he was (built the 2nd largest administrative building in the world for his comrades of the Communist party), he could not have foreseen the growth and build his road infrastructure accordingly.

    Example, I was not advised to take a taxi before 9pm to avoid the evening rush-hour (from 4 to 9pm!). Just imagine the time the Romanians have to waste in traffic jams every day!

  • The language is intriguing! I did not get hardly anything while listening ppl to talk, but when you see it written, there are so many romanic words that you are bound to make some sense of it. However, they disguise the language well by using all the Slavic looking signs (^), so it's not easily recognisable.

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