Sometimes Bucharest gets to me, and sometimes Romanians drive me nuts. But the last few days have been full of reminders that Romanians are really awesome people and the world would be a whole lot better if we had more of them. Yes, they’re not perfect and have all sorts of faults. But God made Romanians in his image, and I love when they show that image clearly.
So, without further ado, here are ten reasons why Romanians are awesome.
1. Nowhere else will a total stranger spend 30 minutes with you trying to help you find the obscure address you need to find. He may even lead you to the wrong place in the end, but at least he’s there in the wrong place with you and just as frustrated as you are. Seriously, I’ve never met a Romanian who wasn’t willing to help even if he didn’t really know how.
2. Despite saying “No” multiple times, Romanians will continue to offer you coffee, a drink, lunch, advice, etc. until you give in and say “yes.” For better or worse, if a Romanian offers you something, you will not be able to say “no.”
3. I’ve yet to meet a Romanian unwilling to offer advice. Whether wanted or not, helpful or not, Romanians love to give advice. As a foreigner, this is awesome, and I love it… even if it means I get a ten-minute lecture as the furniture in my kitchen gets re-arranged every time the neighbors come over.
4. Where else does your landlord invite you for coffee, offer you a beer, and give you a can of Coca Cola all in the space of 30 seconds? I am seriously amazed at Romanian hospitality. I could go on and on about how willing Romanians are to share and show hospitality, but I’m saving it for the points to follow.
5. My business is their business. It took me a while to appreciate this one, but now that I’ve learned to love it, I wouldn’t want to live without it. If I have a problem or a difficulty, I know every one of my neighbors knows about it… probably before I do! And at least one of them is already thinking through solutions to my problem.
6. They don’t get upset if I’m late. Romanians, even those on a tight schedule, really seem to understand that things happen, subways run late, traffic gets bad… I’ve yet to meet a Romanian that was offended if I showed up a few minutes late, something I couldn’t live without here where my life is run by public transportation.
7. I can have a heated discussion, even an outright argument, with a Romanian and not worry about losing a friend. We in America are far too PC, far too thin-skinned, far too proud. Romanians are not. We can yell at each other, disagree, fight it out… and then come right back and call each other “brother” and mean it, too. I love it!
8. What other country is there where your neighbors will cut and stack wood for your furnace when they notice you’re coming home late? Seriously, nine times out of ten, if I get home late, I’ll find a stack of wood waiting for me at my door. Yes, Romanians are awesome.
9. “Hi, I’m Romanian, and I speak twelve languages fluently.” Seriously awesome and in need of no explanation.
10. Last but not least, I need to again mention Romanian hospitality. Romanians are seriously amazing in this area. When I invite a Romanian for dinner, he’ll always bring something: wine, candy, something… This is cool but pretty normal. What really gets me is how, when Romanians invite me over for dinner, they always send *me* home with something. Seriously, Romanians kick butt when it comes to showing hospitality. Compared to them, we Americans might as well be throwing our guests to the wolves.
So, though this country sometimes completely boggles my mind, though every day is full of “what the heck” moments, Romanians are awesome people and we sure need a lot more of them than 20 million.