One day I decided to pack everything I have, leave Netherlands forever (?) and move into a small city in Romania, Baia Mare. I was excited and scared both, reliving my emotions when I came to Amsterdam for the first time without knowing much about the country or knowing any people there. This time, I did know at least two people, so in a way, it was easier. On the other hand, the future is more unsure than before, because moving to Amsterdam assured me a secure life at least for four years till I finish University.
My trip to Baia Mare was exhausting and took more than fourteen hours in total due to all the stopovers. I arrived early in the morning and my boyfriend’s mom was welcoming me. We ate a snack and went straight to bed. My boyfriend was arriving a few days later.
The first day the weather made me already very happy, as it was 30 degrees outside and sun shining brightly. I have been here for almost a week and have an impression of the city.
When I arrived, apparently it was a celebration for Saint Mary and everybody were at the church and outside celebrating. My boyfriend’s mom took me to a market and then we were invited to eat together with their neighbours at a countryside. The people are very sweet and welcoming. You can feel that you have moved closer to the equator when people warmly welcome strangers in their home, offer them food and drinks generously. Also, people are more warm with each other compared to the people closer to the north pole.
Palincă – to burn your insides.
People offered me palincă right away and let me smell it. Palincă is a strong liqueur, which no matter how hard I tried, I was not able to pour down my throat. It burns and has a pretty awful taste. Has a killer smell too. Nevertheless, please do try it when you visit Romania. I am not a fan of strong liquor anyway, so you might handle it. The locals don’t make a different face after taking a shot of it, while I already shrivel from the smell of it.
People tend to speak with me in Romanian, even if i don’t know the language. Luckily, I do understand a little due to my background of knowing molto poco Italian. Romanian also falls under the latin languages and knowing anything from Italian, French or Spanish makes it easier to understand. Nevertheless, most of the time I am lost and just going along without being able to join the conversation. I already accepted this before coming here, because this is what happens when you are the odd one out and being rather shy. On the plus side, who knows maybe I will leave having learned a new language. And it’s been only a week. Maybe after a couple of palincăs, the language won’t be a problem.
When in Amsterdam I did not get enough meat, here meat is all I see. The variety of meat is humongous. I would consider the food to be a bit on the heavy side, but there are a lot of tasty things. I feel like it would be tough to be a vegetarian here.
So far I have not had any surprises with food, especially because I have already tasted some of it beforehand thanks to my boyfriend. One thing I do not really like is eating pure fat. I remember my grandfather used to eat also pieces of fried fat when I was little and already then I did not like it. My taste buds still say it is not fine.
Because it is in Europe, the milk, dairy products and chocolate are still the same unlike my experience with dairy products in Bali. Only the tap water tastes different. It is not actually advised to drink it , but i have my super bobble bottle with me with a filter inside. On the streets, you can also find drinking water points.
Baia Mare is surrounded by mountains. It is really beautiful when you look around you. The only thing is that it is missing is the sea. In that case, it would score 10 out of 10. The mountains, though, are not very populated and people live under on a flatter ground. Thus driving here is not so crazy either, like in Greece for example. The mountains are mostly to decorate the city.
Channel for national music
I have not noticed this in other countries before, but here in Romania, they have one channel just for national music. A local told me that it is music for drinking and having fun without any politics. All day long you see music videos of Romanians in national clothes singing. Once in a while, they stop the music and one person is sitting behind a desk answering calls from people. I find it a little funny.
So far I have enjoyed my time here being properly spoiled. I am allowed to eat and drink as much as I want and have been enjoying time by the pool like on a decent vacation. Let’s see what more Romania has in store…