First stop: Romania – the place I will always love.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
– Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
We all have that one place that we will always love. Whether it is because of the people there or the landscapes, we should all have that one place that we love going back to. For me, this place is the one I call home. I was born in Romania and 18 years later that was the starting point of my journey around the world, hopefully. But until I went away, there were many things that kept me there. In the next few hundred words, I will tell you try to sum up my view about Romania after going away and coming back.
Why Romania? Because it is my home-country and because it gave me a chance. Many people might not know about this country, and this is not to blame – probably none of us know about all the countries in the world, at least I don’t; so it would be hypocritical to blame anyone for not knowing about Romania. But anyway, I am saying this because it has happened to me to be asked basic questions about my country and not to know what information to choose first. I could say that my country is most popular for Dracula, Transylvania and other vampire stuff, as many people bring these up when they refer to Romania. But, there is a little bit more behind the vampire stories – which, by the way, are not real.
Romania is located in South-East Central Europe, North of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. It is a country of multiculturality and diversity, as I now like to see it. We have a little bit of everything: mountains, seaside, countryside and city life, beautiful sceneries and unique architecture. And there is also a multitude of people: Romanians, Hungarians, Rroma, Germans, Turks, and Ukrainians, to name some nationalities that make up Romania’s population. So, this is where the variety comes from. I think that what I like most about Romania is that wherever you go, you see how different cultures combine and make up a single, unique setting. Or, how a friend of mine likes to say it, whenever I talk about Romania, I sound like I am talking about Paradise. I like this idea, and even if he says it as a joke, I tend to believe that it’s at least half true. As the quote at the beginning was saying, when you come back, you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. I think it’s starting to work for me.
Anyway, here are some of my favourite places in Romania that I will always love and go back to. The first one is Bucharest, my hometown, where I have lived most of my life. It is the city I know the best, but I still discover new places every time I go back. Second is Brașov, the lovely little city in the mountains and probably my dream city in Romania. Third would be the seaside, which hosts nice memories and beautiful stories. And fourth, would be a combination of a lot of different places that I have travelled to in Romania, but in order to show you all of that I would need to write a book. However, before letting you watch little bits of Romania through my eyes, I would like to conclude by saying that no matter what people know or talk about one place, in the end what matters is that places and people always have two sides, or maybe even more. I prefer looking at the good sides of things, even if I am aware of the ‘not so good’ sides.
Enjoy and until next time, open your eyes and your ears to what the world has to tell you.