Life Is So Much More Fun When You Say “Yes” To Everything

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Guest Post Intro

 

I moved to…Bucharest, Romania.

Before that I lived in…London, UK.

The reason for moving here was…to get out of a rut and start afresh.

If I were to describe my current city in one word, that would be (And why?)…Romantic, because of the lovely parks filled with couples strolling hand-in-hand (and the beautiful customs such as martisoare)

A snowy ornamental clock in one of Bucharest’s many parks

A snowy ornamental clock in one of Bucharest’s many parks

Martisoare hanging amongst the blossoms in Cismigiu park

Martisoare hanging amongst the blossoms in Cismigiu park

Dusk on Herastrau lake

Dusk on Herastrau lake

Early morning haze over Herastrau lake

Early morning haze over Herastrau lake

The first thing a new expat needs to know when moving here is…Step on the manhole covers in the pavements or roads at your peril!

The language issue…I took lessons when I first arrived but it was easy for me to be lazy and not learn because most people here speak English. If you already speak Italian, French or Spanish then you have a head start and of course, like most places, the locals love it when you make an effort.

Since I moved here I stopped…cycling to work because I value my life and public transport is so cheap! The tram tracks and street dogs make cycling hazardous and the drivers are not used to contending with cyclists so they don’t think to look out for bikes.

Since I moved here the new thing I started doing is…living life to the full – each weekend I am either hiking in the mountains, snowboarding or heading to the beach on the Black Sea coast – all within easy reach

Sliding down the mountains in Predeal

Sliding down the mountains in Predeal

Drummer girl

Drummer girl

My biggest lesson learnt was…that life is so much more fun when you say “Yes” to everything (within reason)

Some weird habits of the locals…always saying that their holiday has been too short even when they’ve been away for a month!

My biggest cultural shock was…feeling so safe on the streets and metro – I haven’t felt threatened and I’m worried that I’ll be complacent when I move to the next place.

My funniest / weirdest / scariest experience was…participating in a reality TV show “Pasaport de Romania” where foreigners are put through their paces in the Romanian countryside in an attempt to be awarded a “passport” to Romania. I had to sing and dance whilst dressed in a traditional outfit. I was extremely confused one morning when a woman burst into my room in a wild rage at 3am looking for her teenage daughter and I was terrified when the producer screamed at me for not reacting to the surprises in the way she’d wanted me to.

Getting to know the locals

Getting to know the locals

Traditional Romanian dress

Traditional Romanian dress

What I miss the most from home is…British cheese and smoke-free bars and restaurants.

I go home as often as…my friends get married (which is becoming less frequent as I grow older).

I keep in contact with my friends and family…Mainly via Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and email.

My favorite dish/local food is…chicken schnitzel with country style potatoes (cartofi taranesti)

My favorite places in town are…the old town center, in particular Papiota bar where there’s a drink named after me :), Cismigiu Park, the Atheneum and Herastrau lake.

Beautiful concert hall owned by the people

Beautiful concert hall owned by the people

Papiota bar, the coolest hangout in town

Papiota bar, the coolest hangout in town

I get around the city by…metro, bus, tram and on foot.

Street fashion? Women always look fantastic and make an effort – it doesn’t have to be a special occasion. They will wear beautiful dresses, high-heeled shoes, have painted nails and styled hair.

My view on people: Many of the Romanians I’ve met have had tough lives but they are strong and resilient.

Being an expat…gives me an energy I don’t have when I’m at home – it must be all the stimulation from new experiences and meeting new people – I’d hate to miss out on anything!

In 5 years, I see myself living in…Costa Rica, or maybe Kuala Lumpur, or maybe San Francisco……who knows? A lot can happen in 5 years!!

 



Alice Paterson

A British girl who stumbled across Bucharest by chance and hasn't looked back since.

After a conversation with a friend where I'd said I wished to move abroad and work for a charity I couldn't believe my luck when two weeks later an email popped into my inbox inviting me to apply for a role in Romania. I took it as a sign that it should be my next step. My family and friends at home thought I was bonkers but I took the plunge anyway and have had no regrets. It certainly helps to be working for such a worthwhile organization (Hospices of Hope) and know that the work you are doing is helping to improve the lives of people who would otherwise be suffering.

Romania must be Europe's best kept secret - I feel so lucky to be in on it!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Your favorite "New Comers" Stories from April | XpatGirls.com

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