You Can't Alway Get What You Want....
But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. The Rolling Stones obviously knew what they were singing about there. Since moving to Europe, I now understand why people nearly kill themselves, and risk everything they have to get to the U.S. It's not for our "freedoms" - most emmigrants never vote, they could care less about politics. No, what they love about the U.S. is they fact that they can make un-godly amounts of money, own a "Big" house, a new car, have more than enough food, cheap utlitlies, and the convenience of Wal-Mart.
See here, you can't find everything at one place - you have to literally WALK all over the city to get everything on your list. The cost of living is almost the exact same amount of your monthly income, thereby making it impossible to make a better life. House and apartments are tiny and cramped. Even the "BIG" houses here are small compared to what you find in the older average 1500 sq.ft. house back home. Yeah, my thoughts exactly. At least that is how it is in Romania. Water and electricity is outrageous. Don't think about leaving water running even when bathing. You get in the tub, turn the water on, hose down, turn water off. Lather up, wash good! Turn water on, rinse, turn water off, get out!
Romania is one of those countries that didn't fare well post communism. Economically it has NEVER recovered, and the fall was 20 years ago Dec. 1st of this year. There are still horse drawn carts that are used, even in the larger cities you can even see warning signs posted next to speed limit and other traffic signs. See the photo at the top of the blog.
You can buy fresh cheese, meaning, no preservatives, chemicals, colorants, etc. You can get fresh meat, from animals that were not fed chemicals. Fresh eggs, bread, sour cream yogurt, etc., etc. That is the wonderful thing about this country. The bad thing is that there is zero common sense, manners or customer service here. When standing in the checkout lane at the market, you will get pushed with the buggy of the person behind you. Or if they don't have a buggy they stand right on top of you, and when the person in front of you moves half a step, you better moved, cause that person behind you is going to push you. It irritates the mess out me, and in these circumstances it works out well that I have a language barrier, cause otherwise I think I'd loose my Christianity! One of my pet peeves - invading personal space. The cashiers are rude, people walking on the street are rude. If you buy the wrong size of something - oh well you are stuck with it! Don't get me started on the Post Office - that is a whole other can of worms.
The people of Romania have a giving nature when they know you, or find out your an "AMERICANO", however the 40+ years of living under a dictator made them hard, cynical and un-trusting, and the fact that the Roma, a.k.a. Gypsies are constantly ripping people off, stealing, etc. doesn't help matters either.
There will be many more posts about my ex-pat life in Romania soon. All in all, this is a BEAUTIFUL country, with much promise, and a lot of good hearted people. Like anything, the country and people of Romania just need a little TLC to help restore them to their former beauty!