A Lot of Pain In Romania

I did an internship with the UN in Romania for one summer.  It was a very eye-opening experience.  Romania is a very poor country whose people suffered a great deal under the former dictator, and who continue to suffer years later.   Most of the country's wealth is in the hands of a few people, while everyone else is extremely poor.

In the middle of all of this, refugees from Iraq, Iran, and Somalia, among other places, end up in Romania and are pretty upset to be there.  Typically they will have paid a smuggler to take them to Germany or UK, but then they end up in Romania and have to apply for asylum there.  If they get denied, they get sent back to wherever they came from; if they get admitted, under EU law they can never leave Romania.  Most of them are fleeing war, religious intolerance, stuff like that.

Most of the people I talked to were really upset about the state of their country.  Apparently there was less gangsterism in Romania during the communist era, and the Roma people ("Gypsies") were tolerated; in contrast they are utterly despised today.  No one seemed very happy to be living there.

I also dated someone there which was a bittersweet experience.  She was highly educated and spoke four languages fluently, and had even translated a book by Hannah Arendt into Romanian from English. We had a very strong initial connection but her experiences in Romania had really warped her.  Her step-dad had abused her and she was estranged from her Mom.  She lived alone with a small white dog.  After some time I realized she was a pathological liar -- she used lying as a defense mechanism to protect herself.  It was a very difficult relationship as I could tell she really felt for me but also had a lot of problems that needed professional help (which she would be unlikely to find).   I had to break it off when my internship was over, and she was heartbroken that I wouldn't stay in Romania (or take her back with me).  Bittersweet.
Seraph1m Seraph1m
26-30, M
7 Responses Feb 17, 2007

I lived in Focsani. Even if Vrancea isn't the most beautiful part of the country, I fell in love with it. I have also lived in Japan, Spain, and Germany, but there is just something about Romania and the people there that seeped into my soul. Sure there are problems, but there are problems everywhere. I think it's an absolutely wonderful place and I am giving some serious consideration to moving there permanently.

I love, absolultely love my memories of Romania. I saw much of what is discussed here, but I saw the good too. I met wonderful people, delighted in the beautiful language, and I would love to retire there. The food produces good health and the countryside is gorgeous. Every country has problems, every country has strengths, and no matter where a person lives, losses, neglect and abuses in childhood will cause problems that have to be addressed in order to have a healthy relationship in adulthood. Can't blame that on geographic location.

I lived in Romania for 6 months last year and I absolutely loved it. Yes, there are problems, but there is a kind of earthiness to life that I loved. I am working on going back to stay for a long time. I met people there I love and miss. And the food is divine. I got disgustingly healthy and strong while I was there. Came home to the good ol' USA and the adulterated food and started feeling like garbage and putting on weight. I want mamaliga!

Actually I know what are most of our country's problems, especially the ones in the educational system and about our politicians. But life won't improve if you can't see the full half of the glass ;)<br />
And I was just saying that people aren't "extremely poor" anymore. There is wealth inequality, but we aren't THAT poor.<br />
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I live in Transylvania, two hours far from Brasov :)

hi whatsername I'm glad your experiences in Romania have been good for you. I will say that I spent most of my time in Bucharest -- when I went to places like Brasov or Sibiu I thought that people were generally happier. As for my comment that most of the country's wealth is found in the hands of a few people, you can easily find statistics on wealth inequality in EU countries, and Romania ranks as one of the highest. <br />
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I mean no disrespect to Romania. Romania is a beautiful country with beautiful and loving people. But that's just what I saw. I live in America now, and believe me America has problems as well. But life won't improve if you can't see the truth about what is good and what needs fixing.

Look... I just want to say that this "Most of the country's wealth is in the hands of a few people, while everyone else is extremely poor." is not true at all. There are wealthy people, mediocre people and poor people here. I mean, look at me, for example, I have a computer with everything it needs and a fast internet connection, I live in a two story house, but I come from a mediocre family, my parents don't earn much, they didn't even go to college, but we can still afford a lot of things. After the communist era ended things were like that, but that changed. I admit, politicians in our country are not great at all, but peoples' lives have changed A LOT.<br />
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And I also admit that roma people are discriminated. But I have never witnessed Roma people that have a home, a job being discriminated... At my school there are roma people, a lot of them. The ones that beg on the street for money are discriminated.<br />
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I live in Romania and have lived there all my life.

Coming back after a place where you had no home, no life, no appreciation, coming back in a place like Romania and hoping will be diffrent it is not a dream or a lie. We may have a Black Sea, but we don't have BLack dreams or lifes or soulds, Many.. , yes have not an easy life. And It is hurting to know that your help it is not enough for thous how needed . But Bad the way it is or sad , or black ROmania It is place wehere some coll it home. For me it is the only home I had. And The big world , wehe I lived seame to me nothing that a scary and unhappy home. I feel afraid to walk , to run, to pass the streat, to take the bus, to be. The people help me have this feeling . I hate people how said lies. I don't hate peole how chare reallyties. And no matther where I am , I love mornings and hope to be home.