Romanian Survival Book

April 24, 2007

Is there a Romanian culture of betrayal?

Filed under: Infamous Romanians,Politics,Raving — darian @ 1:03 pm

poza2_5596.jpgLast week was busy, busy. People went off in the streets again after our President was suspended by a bunch of 322 dazed Parliamentarians. I would not be so irreverent of our Representatives, those who go to that huge building to work hard making laws for my immediate benefit if I wouldn’t have seen their looks and their behavior. Worse for me, I used to work in that building for them, as a civil servant in the International Relations Department and later in the policy section. So i know them well enough to know who I am dealing with: a group of wannabees, many of them, not all of them, craving power and money for their un-existing virtues, other than being aggressive and intolerant, willing to get there to any price, doing any sort of compromises. People with a little education with many degrees obtained through friends in universities because, in case you didn’t know, in Romanian universities you can buy your degree or even your grade. A pass in the Medical School in Timisoara costs 300 euros, in case you were wondering. In Bucharest a post as a Assistant Professor in the Medical University again I have been told that can reach 10.000 Euros.

So…you can see, I have no trust in the mental capacity and high powered brain abilities of those who represent me in this country. I am not here to say that Basescu, the suspended President is a saint; but for what is worth he moved things forward. He is also under the suspicion of fraud in the past but it is obvious to me that he gave up narrow interest and just broke the Romanian cat after all.

What is really annoying is the whole situation: we have yet again an un-working alliance between PD and PNL, the so -called ‘DA’ Alliance who won in 2004. Tariceanu, the prime minister and Basescu, the President, hand in hand in orange in Piata Universitatii. Two years and half later they hate their guts and one commits betrayal to the so-called alliance. Is that new?! I was thinking these days whether betrayal is not in fact a Romanian trait. In all our history were countless moments: rulers sell to the Turks, to the Greeks, to the Austro-Hungarians, Germans, you name it. Rarely do we have witness an outpour of solidarity in this country. As I have mentioned the Medical School earlier, I should say something about hospitals also: you the waiting room of a hospital in Romania you wait, because that’s why is called the waiting room. The problem is that you are forgotten there waiting…nothing happens for hours; a nurse will come by and say the doctor is very busy chatting with a friend but in a few hours she will be free or better come tomorrow. If you loose your patience you leave and come tomorrow: on the door there is a note: ‘I am off in holiday, back in 2 weeks’. This is a real life scenario and is not written by me and did not happen to me but to a woman I know who has cancer and needs certain medicines at very precise moments, so she needs to wait hours long to get her prescription. Then the medic is off. Then he or she might be one of those who bought their place, the wife or the daughter of a man with money. I am sick only thinking about it.

Shortly, those who voted for the suspension of the President -in the end, whoever he would be, is the elected President by the voters and we need time and peace to focus on advancing things not hanging in crisis -and organized this entire hoax are keeping us in the waiting line forever. And I’ve got no time. (Note: This is an un-finished article; I’ll get back to it later).

The Infamous bellow: Vacaroiu, Taracila, Tariceanu, Olteanu, Iliescu, Hrebenciuc, Patriciu, Voiculescu.

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March 8, 2007

Romanian business man – a possible profile

Filed under: Infamous Romanians,Raving,Society/Lifestyle — darian @ 1:05 am

Ok, first of all, I take full responsibility for the generalizations and limited criteria that will follow in this post. I am in the full capacity of my brain and my mental condition has never been better …as much as would be possible in a country like Romania. Secondly, I am open to any additional or improved profile on this one.

The Romanian business man – a possible profile: what a rich and difficult topic! Once again, firstly, I do not think that we have a real business man in Romania, so the attempt to pile down is quite a challenge. I do except from this generalization the very few who are: polite, nice, extremely well educated, open-minded, genuine and who make a constant effort not to be prejudiced in their judgement based on sex, race, social status, looks. I have met none myself. Maybe they are out there, but I didn’t have the luck to get to know one of these rarities. I did, though, every time, run into the following pattern: well educated, but coming down the roots of being either macho – looking for a cheap extra working hours encounter and raising expectations of that sort, even though not spoken, but efficiently enough through gestures and attitude – or a total hypocrite, with a 100% cowardice attitude. As a young woman, you are obliged to eternally prove yourself and your work potential. I am not politically correct here and I apologise in advance, this is a rant against limited minded ‘business model’ of today’s society, but I often wished I was old, very ugly and extremely obese in the Romanian corporate or governmental environment, to be taken seriously. Backwards Romania to be precise. It is just the way assumptions and stereotypes function nowadays in the corporate world and not only. It would be interesting to make a documentary about this one day….Therefore, being snobbish with the people I allow having judgements over me, I think is healthy for my mental power but not for my work related credentials…but I wouldn’t change that.

After some thought, I think that the business man profile in Romania falls in 3 +1 categories:

A. Is the one I mentioned above: well educated, open minded, but eager to make money fast and enjoy all the power related advantages: a huge car, a medium one, and a small one for the wife. A big house. And a nice apartment for illicit encounters. A secret affair or two, one a bit more serious than the other. A newspaper or a tabloid or just a e-list will do where they can talk about just anything to raise their profile of a ‘smart, nice, open minded bloke next door’. Otherwise, superficial, envious on the fellows like him, utterly ambitious and devoured by his/hers little plans of accession. Lots of connections, but carefully chosen as for this type reputation or the societal appearances are highly important. The types who will give money to charities in public, but never privately, because everything serves an ambition or a hidden agenda; plus they are so insecure that the instant gratification of such a gesture offers them  external sources of confidence and the illusion of public acceptance in an exclusivist club.

B. The second is the crook: the one with dodgy businesses, having somewhere a position in the administrative council of one or more companies, usually connected with the State, endless business connections and affiliations with just anybody in politics, media or other legal business. He usually has a lot of power, an extremely strong position given by the mysterious and never fully known underground links with former ‘securitate’ or police. Usually everything about this guy is unclear and everyone knows something but nobody can prove anything.

C. The business man turned politician or the politician turned business man or both.

This guy will never die and he will never be out of business as long as in Romania the underground ‘securitate’ guy operates successfully and run the biggest companies. Also, as long as our political elite stay the same, meaning: the same old same nomenklatura, including Basescu, Iliescu, Nastase, Roman, Stolojan and their pals. They are all connected and they are all guilty and hiding something.

I would include here also the media moguls: all the big TV channels in this country are owned by very shady people, they know better. All compromised with big businesses, not very clean, connections with ‘securitate’ underground or black money. They have managed, through the power of money to built a network of followers and supporters, second grade journalists and prominent ‘talk –show’ man. So, easy and smoothly their agenda is on and everybody is happy.

D. The small business man. He wants to be like the others – that is one profile.

The other is the guy who studied/worked abroad, got back opened a consultancy or something and wants everything clear, nice and legal. He struggles. He dislikes the above profile and would like to change this negative image about the business type in Romania. He has a wife or a partner and dislikes fooling around because that’s the trend here.

As for the rest, if you don’t fool around, having lots of girlfriends, preferably 20 years younger, you are a sucker. Also, you suck if you don’t take her out with your friends to show her around like an object and buy her a nice bracelet every now and then. Or maybe not. Compulsory you HAVE to possess a big car….I mean REALLY BIG. If you are the gym type now, soon you will inevitably end up like this fellow here….because no matter your posh appearance you are no different.lucianiliescu.jpg

November 21, 2006

On being Romanian

Filed under: Raving — darian @ 2:52 am


Ok, this is sounding more and more like a personal blog, so I will indulge this round again in ranting on my idiosyncrasies. One of these, quite stubborn, as it doesn’t let me live in peace is ‘on being Romanian’ or, more precisely, what it takes to be Romanian. Do you need a special something, a certain ne je sais quoi, to be born, live and act Romanian? Well, a few things, in my view.

First, you should be selfish: if you travel abroad do not get in touch with your fellow citizens, do not help them and do not talk with them. What you can do though, Romanian like, is dissing them with every occasion you get; if it happens than one Romanian is smarter, faster and better than you, then you MUST envy him/her, wish him/her bad luck and quietly pray that he/she will not succeed no matter what. If he/she will strike against all the odds, then you must humiliate this person somehow, find something from the past and splash it out.

Secondly, if you are born Romanian you will not help another Romanian; I have already said that. By the contrary, everything must be a competition die or get dead. No sharing information, no helping hand, no good words, no positive feedback, no harmless good intentions, nothing like it, God forbidden. You are on your own and you must eliminate competition, precisely smarter and better than you. As a Romanian, you simply cannot acknowledge and accept that others are better than you this is impossible. Envy has an un-limited dimension in this country. Not getting me wrong, I know a few projects/groups in Romania, made by Romanians who proved that occasionally solidarity is possible among Romanians: there is a group of young artists promoting each other but also doing common good projects, likewise a few groups helping Romanian students wishing to study abroad and collecting and sharing a huge amount of information pro bono, in the good style of European universities, where students share between themselves lots of ideas, notes, give and receive constructive feedback that will help them do a better job. Also, in any other European country when you meet new young people, you are almost immediately assimilated and introduced to their groups and invited to events and everything goes naturally, effortlessly. In Romania, if you belong to certain group, then is YOUR group and only yours; you will not allow another, a marginal to enter, you keep others aside. If one succeeds in this endeavour, then you have to play alike, fake it until you make it, as everyone does the same, in an all exclusive membership club.

Thirdly, constructive feedback is almost a neologism in this country. You are not allowed to criticize a Romanian, whatever he does. We don’t like critique, constructive or non-constructive is not relevant. We do things better here, our way, and we said that to Europe many times until these dull Europeans got it in their heads, and now Europe must do something to accommodate itself to the Romanian aquis; basically we did not integrate to EU, Europe must integrate in Romania, and that fast. Romanians will use often though this paradigm of ‘constructive feedback’ but is just a euphemism for blunt hostility, anger and a clear intention to smash you in pieces, if possible.

Fourthly, in general, neither Romanians want, nor they care for this country to be better, they care primarily about themselves. Exceptions are allowed, things are warming up a bit in this direction. Politicians do not give a damn; they are unscrupulous, arrogant, self-interested bastards. The people are poor, they strive a lot for the bread, go to pick up strawberries in foreign countries, abandon their children hoping for a better income, journalists are more often than not like small business affiliated to a certain power interest, NGOs likewise so lately, everywhere you perceive self-centred interests and hidden agendas covered up in nice words like soap balloons. The few journalistic investigations uncovering big corruption, money laundering, dodgy business and incompetence have no follow-up, nobody feels any sort of responsibility. How could they? Many ‘big’ journalists made their own business under one or the other of our governments, business people likewise, they lobbied and courted one or the other power centres and usually the most successful business, the one success story started from scratch has a liaison in the political background that we don’t even want to know about. My excuses to the very few serious business people out there, but I don’t know them yet.

Fifthly, Romanians have no shame: they can lie continuously; they will lie into your face without blinking. They also have no respect for their word and no shame. Do not be surprised if you deal with a so called business man, well travelled, and perhaps well educated in a foreign university, who has, under his apparently fine tuned manners, the worst type of impolite behaviour you will meet around these beautiful lands: the hypocritical jerk that will walk over you as soon as you turn your back. Beware; you cannot trust Romanian business men, as you cannot trust a Romanian politician. That so long awaited young political elite is not coming, is it all outside this country already, maybe they will make great politicians and business men in those countries, which treat them as they deserve and where they don’t need to compromise in order to ‘make it’.

Romanians complain a lot too, just look at me here: about themselves, about anyone else, about anything. I am Romanian, so I am not perfect, I am guilty by birth, therefore I should not fume against my fellow citizens, like an ungrateful, but I am just very tired, I regret returning to this country, it seems more and more like the worst decision I have ever made. I will never blame those leaving and not ever wanting to hear what is here. Romania simply does not deserve its good people and I know what it takes to stick around and hang in there and fighting to change things around these places……it is a long and exhausting battle and you must have some commando skills to survive in these volatile valueless grounds.

(photo from Vivid)

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