I realised I have not even talked much about the city itself or shown any pictures where I am. So where the hell am I ? MAP
Baia Mare is a smaller scale city in Romania. Its population is around 100 000 similarly to my hometown Tartu. I must have already mentioned that there are mountains everywhere unlike in my hometown, which is completely flat. On the other hand, I would say it is less developed and offers fewer places to go out, has fewer shopping malls (one big one actually), smaller fitness centres and less other leisure time activities. But if you think about it, my home city is the second biggest city in Estonia, when Baia Mare is still a very small city in Romania. In that sense, I cannot compare the two cities because the countries are too different by the size. Smaller cities in Estonia have even less to offer. I have not seen the bigger cities or the capital of Romania yet but I know already it will be pretty huge for me.
There are quite a lot of gypsies in the city. I feel like gypsies have created a lot of negative image for the country, but it must be understood that gypsies and Romanians are completely different people. And gypsies do not determine the image of Romanians. People tend to forget that and only know about the gypsies and Dracula. In reality, there is much more to it. The food, the people, their music and even their alcohol- all offer a new cultural experience. And of course, there are many beautiful sights in the country that I have not discovered myself yet.
Baia Mare is historically very important mining centre, where they used to mine gold, silver and many other metals. The mining industry has diminished for today and I guess people have moved on to work for various enterprises. There was a huge accident back in the days regarding mining. A dam at the processing plant broke and 70 tonnes of toxic chemicals and metal found access to the Tizsa river. It killed many fish, even lead some species to extention, killed many birds and affected also the neighboring countries. Apparently it is Europes worst ecological disaster after Chernobyl. No wonder mining has diminished.
It is interesting to observe the different culture here in a small city. There are so many small differences that you usually don’t think about. For instance, it is even exotic for me that they have so many grapes growing everywhere and they make a lot of wine, while my granny makes apple jam at home since our garden is flooded by apples. Somebody’s everyday life can be an excitement for others.