English-speaking travellers are often somewhat comforted by seeing the McDonalds on the way in from the airport. Nice, they think. At least I can get a cheeseburger if the local food doesn't work out.
And then the Kentucky Fried Chicken at the entrance of Bucharest's biggest downtown shopping centre. Even the trumped-up Pizza Hut is sure to bring a few smiles at Plaza Romania (and elsewhere thanks to their wireless internet of course. Try not to giggle at the formal tablecloths and cutlery for your pizza, it's traditional if you're paying that much!).
Check out Mike's Advice for Travellers Coming to Romania!
But few such tourists on their first visit to Romania will realise how superficial these Western touchstones actually are. "Never Mind the Balkans, Here's Romania!" highlights the confluence of Romania's deeply entrenched cultural traditions as they meet the new freedoms, temptations and commercialism that comes with being the newest nation in the European Union.
Mike Ormsby's illuminating narrative ably focuses on life in Romania from an English-speakers' perspective, using his understanding of Romanians to highlight the often amusing cultural chasms.
Just because young women aspire to the latest Italian fashions and the men yearn for just the right pair of imported Nike footwear, does not mean they've jettisoned their centuries-old traditions resident in every crevice of Romanian life, from Christening to marriage, and at the end, equally elaborate and profound funeral ceremonies. Mike's visit with a neighbour to a funeral down on the Danube River left him deeply moved.
With meaningful reforms completed for social justice and other European Union reforms, Romania's debut as the EU's newest country in 2007 brought Romania back to it's destiny in modern Europe.
Romania is Cheap.
Being "cheap" is entirely unintended by the average Romanian on around $300 a month salary. But, you'll enjoy the great prices nonetheless, from the fresh and fabulous food at the local market square, to great lodging, fun tours and quality clothing at rock-bottom prices!
Who wouldn\'t like Braşov? The views from mount panorama of the old town part is just stupendous, and the old black church looms high over the main square. A seriously Disney looking place, a must-see stop if you\'re on the way to Sibiu or Sighisoara
David Ciobanu Firemanfrom Bradenton, FloridaRead Full