On visiting Romania, beyond the clichés of Dracula and creepy Transylvanian castles, you will discover a fascinating, dynamic country that exerts an inexplicable pull even as it frustrates and bewilders you.
Romania’s citizens have retained their “seize the day” mentality despite the deprivations and repression of nearly half a century of Communist mismanagement. While their country rushes zealously to embrace capitalism and conspicuous consumption, they still face the daily problems of a transition economy, which they bear stoically with a shrug and a resigned “This is Romania."
Culture Smart! Romania looks at the ways the past has shaped present-day Romanian attitudes and behaviour. We examine the Latin temperament that sees drivers gesticulating and hooting with a fervor that suggests their manhood depends on it. We meet people at home in the grim Communist apartment complexes that they do their best to render cheerful and into which they will welcome you with the very best of what they have. We study them at work—where some stay late into the night determined to forge a better life for themselves, and others play PC solitaire while the boss isn’t looking—and at play, partying until dawn in smoky basement dives.
Whilst Romania is not always for the faint hearted the biggest draw is the warmth of the people. This guide will help you negotiate the pitfalls and discover the country at it's best. Welcome to Romania!
Romanians are surprised by the number of “pleases” and “thank yous” that foreigners can fit into a short exchange, and many consider them unnecessary. Romanians are a straight-talking people, and this directness should not be mistaken for discourteousness.