Romania, Ready for a revolution…

The government passed a law on 31st Jan at 22.00 which will free corrupt politicians, and people who are serving under 5 years in prison for various crimes, by decrimnalizing corruption, politicians who were in jail would basically get a clean slate. So those who took bribes or were doing trade/ business with each other would avoid jail time, as long as the offense is under 200,000 lei (€44,000). While also after 6months of the crime, if not found out they could not be charged for said crime. So like a game of monopoly, politicians basically have a get out of jail free card.

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Their excuse was, that this was all in the hope that the E.U. will not give them a massive fine, as the Romanian prisons are overcrowded; so this is what they need to do. But if they thought that was a great idea, then maybe they should really let someone else do their jobs. This is the same government who was last elected in Dec 11th 2016. But like a lot of politicians these days, they lie there way into office with empty promises, then screw you over then when they get in power. (nothing new there then with politics) Withing hours of them passing this law there was 4,500 people out protesting, and no better place to do it then in victory square that night till 2am. With some protester shouting “like a thief in the night you do this to us” or “we came here to protect our country from political criminals”.  As the days are passing so is the momentum of the people. Since the first night of 4,500 people protesting, that figure has reached 150,000 and that’s just in Bucharest. That is not including the number in Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Timisoara, Brasov, and Iasi.

protesters

They will not take this lying down, the Romanian people know that they are the ones with the real power, they know the politicians only sit in their seats because the Romanian people put them there. The people have the power because they stand united together and that it what is truly beautiful to see,  I was talking to my boss who has been out every night since it started. He like so many other Romanians, will continue to protest until this madness from the politicians stops and this law is changed. For the most part, the protests have been peaceful, but like anywhere you will find a few idiots trying to start trouble. These idiots cannot outshine the beauty of what is going on here, the Romanian people are coming together for the common good, and justice they will have. With a “never say die” attitude of theirs, they will not give up until they win.  I’ve heard some great stories of protesters giving the police flowers who are on duty supervising the protests, a sign of peace as they are not there for trouble, but change! Shops and restaurants giving free tea and meals to protesters to keep the troops going. Hotels offering free accommodation for people coming from outside the city, plus kinder-gardens are offering free supervision for kids so the parents can go and protest during the night. If that ain’t the people coming together for the greater good, then I don’t know what is. Im so glad to be here for it, it’s such a beautiful thing to see how a city is coming together here. At 10pm tonight the protesters held a minute’s silence and when it was done they joined together and sang the Romanian national anthem 🇷🇴. When they all finished protesting for the night, all the people cleaned up whatever mess they left on the ground and went home leaving Bucharest’s Victoriei Square like nothing had ever happened.

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There has not been a reaction this big from the people since the Nicolae Ceaușescu era in 1989 when they protested and stormed his government office to end his communist ways. Which shortly after he was executed. 

I’ve seen a lot since I came here, and I as a foreigner in a foreign land, I can look at things and maybe see them in a different light to someone who has grown up here, I think sometimes that can give me a different perspective  on things. I have literally been to the other side of the world on my travels,  In my time I have seen some beautiful sights; that this world has to offer.  I have never seen something like what I am seeing in Romania in this past week. The spirit of these people is incredible to go out every night and do as they are doing. Simply put, it’s amazing 💪👊🇷🇴🤔

Bravo Romania..bravo ♥♥

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January in Bucharest, lots of snow…

Snow is something I ain’t never seen much of growing up in Ireland. It’s something I always wanted to see and wished for around December for the Christmas period and onwards. From what I can remember in these 33 years and a bit, that I’m here on this planet; I can only remember it snowing on Christmas day once back home in Ireland. I was only like  6-7years of age at the time,   getting my fatherly advice from the old man saying “whatever ya do, don’t eat the yellow snow” but since then we never really had a lot of snow up until about 6years ago, when it snowed for about two weeks. Other than them two experiences, I don’t recall where I could honestly say we had what some would consider a season of snow. Winter in Ireland is pretty cold and windy with a large pinch of rainfall, for sure you can get all 4seasons in one day if you are there at the right time.  Rainfall is always a certainty at some stage, no matter what season it is. As we say in Ireland: Of all the islands in the world, we get the feickin rainy one!!

In the past week over here in Romania, we are being updated constantly about the weather, with yellow/orange/red warnings in place since it started, as much as it’s beautiful to look at or to go for a small walk in. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass also. It has been -20degrees most nights, So as you can imagine not the best time for skinny dipping 🙂  I don’t mind any kind of weather once I’m inside. I’m looking at people every morning here and there digging out the snow, as so they can leave for work in the car, snow plows going on the hour most hours. Public transport has been a lot busier since the snow has come, I have the car there and it can stay there until the summer comes to thaw it out. It’s bad enough to be out walking the dog 3 times a day in this weather. It’s a good thing I have Coopie on the dog lead with the red jacket or his little white ass could get lost out there. I can’t say I fancy waiting at the bus stop either, but it is the lesser of two evils. I’d have to commend the local authorities for keeping everything in good condition from what I can see .ie the roads etc Earlier in the article when I spoke of the snow in Ireland we ran out of salt for the roads after 3days one year, we had to get it in from neighboring countries if I remember correct! Not the first time the Irish government falling asleep at the wheel so to speak!!

It seems Europe is getting hit hard with the snow, I have seen some reports over social media outlets saying over 150 trains were canceled on Wednesday, 5 people have died in Romania alone and that number reaches to 60 across Europe. For sure its dangerous weather out there and as always at this time of the year I would feel sorry for anyone who is homeless as I wouldn’t put a dog out to stay in that weather. So I spare a thought for them. Ok folks, I have put in a few pics for anyone who would like to see them and also a video link for the facebook page so you can see with your own eyes what it’s like here.As alway’s if you like what you have read then please like/share or comment below.

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Christmas & New Years in Bucharest

As everyone is waiting for the clock to tick down to 12 midnight. Another new year approaches and for certain there will be lots of new years kisses, glasses been raised for a toast, family, and friends celebrating the new and the old. For me this year it will be different from previous years. I’m living in a different country from my own.ie Ireland. Like anyone who lives abroad, over the Christmas and new years period you miss your family and friends back home etc. But when I look back and reflect on things past and present I’m happy to be where I am, Ireland has been my home for a long time, but that home will always be there and now I have a new home. Let’s face it I don’t think a whole lot has have changed in the time that I’ve gone. I’m pretty sure everyone is doing pretty much the same as always, some will have kids, got new jobs, went out and did the same routine as normal etc. Life goes on. “Such is life” as a wise man once said.

In Romania  Dec 31 – Jan 1 means the burial of the old year and the birth of the new one, and it is called the old year before and the new year, after that midnight. St. Basil is the first of the holidays celebrating the important saints of the Romanian religious calendar. St. Basil is celebrated every year on January 1, as a joyful young man who likes love and fun. (dont we all)

Christmas in Romania has been pretty different in a lot of ways from back home. Some similarities to be fair, but different never the less. Romania has a lot of traditions in so many ways, no matter what time of the year it is. We had people coming to the apartment complex and outside the block singing their hearts out with some lovely Christmas melodies, (pity I wasn’t fluent in the language to really take it all in) charming nevertheless… a group of people cracking whips as they walk by the blocks, not to sure about that one, the cutting/killing of the pig for the feast, the boiled wine in the Christmas market on a cold winter’s night as it snows around you. As I am but a student of this land, I let it all soak in; where ever possible.With any big city, you have lots of Christmas lights and Bucharest is no exception. I didn’t get to see all that i would have liked but there is always next year. From what I did see I was impressed.

This is my first Christmas in Romania and also as a daddy, when I think back on the year I have had, it has been one of the best as I got to welcome into the world a beautiful little lady, and as Christmas is a time for giving, my fiance gave me the best gift of all. The gift of life. For that, I will always be eternally grateful to her; and I would like take this time to tell her I love her very much. Christmas without having a kid or kids, has never meant that much to me, but its kids/family and friends who make Christmas. So to all my family and friends and whoever reads this blog. I wish you all the best for the new year ahead and I hope it brings you as much joy as I have had this year.

If you got this far, thanks for reading. Please like/follow/share or leave a comment. Feed back in always welcome.

Some nice pics below

 

5 Things I have noticed since moving to Bucharest, Romania…

As you can imagine living in Ireland, we are some what way out of the distance of central Europe. As once described by Roddy Doyle in “The Commitments” the Irish are “the blacks of Europe” 🙂 Every country you go visit or live in has its differences, Ireland like many other countries is no exception. The way we talk, act,carry on and so forth. As a people we are hard-working when we need to be and very laid back also, never short of a joke or a good story. All work and no play makes for a very dull day. We like to have “the craic” where ever and how ever we can. Today I was thinking about some of the difference that I have seen since I came to live in Romania. Just little things, but I’m sure a few Romanians might agree with what I write about here today.

The local bus

Everyday Mon/Friday I get up to go to work, I get the 355,or 330 to where I work. It takes maybe 25/30 mins at most to get there. In this time, I have noticed that no matter how hot it is outside; and no matter how hot it is inside? The windows for the most part are always closed, very rarely do I see a window open, no matter how many people are in the bus. If you are brave enough to open a window, then be ready for someone to close it just as quick. For some reason, I don’t know why. But the older generation of Romanians in particular, think the cold will hurt them in someway or that they will get sick. Sometimes its like a tin of sardines on the bus, there are so many people packed into it. If you’re a claustrophobic person, please take the metro!! If not, for sure you will have a panic attack on the bus and die during rush hour 🙂 (don’t say I didn’t warn you)

The local bus conductors,

For sure it you are a foreigner they will see it and they will approach you looking for your card, to see did you pay before getting on or if the card is valid. I’ve had one or two run ins with these guys. If it was legal to hit them by all means I would love too, as would many other Romanians. Quite simply put, there assholes. Maybe not all of them but the ones I had dealings with. They took me off the bus one day and tried to scam me out of 50 Lei, I payed my card before getting on the bus. They came and checked it. For sure they switched the card and then said, no money off, off. So I got off, they threatened me with the police. Then wanted me to pay 50 lei fine, I called their bluff and said ring them. When they seen they weren’t getting anywhere, they gave me back my card and told me to go in a not so polite way. So I obliged and got the next bus.

Old women in the supermarket,

The first time I ever went to the supermarket it was an eye opener. In Ireland we are very relaxed when we go grocery shopping, in Romania however it’s a different story altogether. Think of it like, formula one driving meets destruction derby!!! The old women and gentlemen think it’s a race, they are very fast and eager to get their shopping done, so much so that when you are weighing your fruit or vegetables, personal space goes out the window. They will be almost be humping you from behind to get in next to weigh their groceries. Space can also be another issue if there coming down your aisle, be sure to get out of their way or use your trolley like a shield and attack their trolley till you can push your way through. I’ve had a few stair downs with some old ladies but I stood my ground. Luckily enough I have a bit of fight in me. As for the trolley, it never fully recovered and had to be put down… dame you old lady!!!

(Ps…. I have nothing  against old people)

Men going around with their T-shirts above there belly’s like tank tops,

Not to sure what to say about this, but yes its true? Its seems like its fashionable here, Men of all shapes and sizes, young and old. On a hot day for some reason lift their t-shirts above there belly’s and let it all hang out, as the air works its wonders around said area. I’m not criticizing, its just an observation. Each to their own as they say. If you did this in Ireland, a few eyebrows would be raised.

The traffic and crazy driving,

I’ve read a few articles about Romanians driving, as in any big city people are always in a rush. My father is from Dublin so when visiting relatives in Dublin I got a good feel for this their also. Bucharest is no exception!!! The traffic lights can go from red to orange and for 0.5seconds later when it turns green you better be driving off or you will hear the beeps from the cars behind you. It’s good my Romanian is not so good, I can’t understand if there swearing at me and my fiancée or not? I just smile and wave goodbye. But for sure if your driving here, it wont be long till you learn how to swear in Romanian 🙂 While also becoming an unqualified rally car driver.

This article is just a little look at some of the things I noticed here, please rest assured no trolleys or old ladies died in the production of this article…

If you like what you see here please feel free to share, comment or like the article. Any feedback is always welcome.

Anthony