Why Transylvania matters

Today, December 1st, is Romania’s national day. It marks the day in 1918 when Transylvania joined Wallachia and Moldavia to form (more or less) the Romania we know and – for all its many, many, faults – love today. Now, for anyone who may wonder why December 1st remains such a big deal, we suggest… Continue reading Why Transylvania matters

Victor Ponta: President of Wallachia & Moldavia

At no stage since Transylvania voted to join Wallachia and Moldavia in 1918 has Romania been so divided. When the final results of the first round of the Romanian presidential election were announced this morning, the map of Romania looked like this: So much for Victor Ponta suggesting that he will be the president who… Continue reading Victor Ponta: President of Wallachia & Moldavia

Prince Charles & Romania

‘Eco-hypocrite’ Prince Charles, who a couple of weeks ago told people in the United States that they should eat fewer steaks for the sake of the planet (this from a man who reportedly has 82 servants) is this week on a private visit to Romania, where he owns property. Tomorrow he will apparently meet Romania’s… Continue reading Prince Charles & Romania

New Poland Express 22/10/10: On hardships, both real and imagined

This week’s column, as first seen on Friday in the New Poland Express: We are fairly certain that just about every expatriate reading this column has at one stage or another greatly exaggerated their suffering at the hands of Poland’s weather/bureaucracy/infrastructure to the good people back home. We have. It’s part of the attraction of… Continue reading New Poland Express 22/10/10: On hardships, both real and imagined

Almost six months on, Top Gear is still causing offence amongst Romania’s ostrich population

Oh dear. It appears that some Romanian with a grudge against the Daily Telegraph, Top Gear and Britain in general successfully hacked into the Daily Telegraph’s website last night, replacing a sub-domain page with his (or her) own rant about how Britain continually misrepresents Romania’s image. The hacker, or hackers – calling himself RNS: Romanian… Continue reading Almost six months on, Top Gear is still causing offence amongst Romania’s ostrich population

Ever heard of market forces?

We caught the fag end of a debate about occupancy rates in Romania’s hotels and pensions yesterday afternoon, a debate held on the – in our opinion – rapidly deteriorating Realitatea TV news channel. (Given that we consider the standard of reporting on Realitatea to never have been all that good, you can imagine how… Continue reading Ever heard of market forces?

Romanian Tourism Ministry gets it (partly) right. At last

Now there’s a nice surprise. News reaches us today that everybody’s favourite Tourism Minister, Elena Udrea, has taken the sound advice offered here by our good selves (and, we doubt not, in many other places by many other people) and finally realised that Romania – as a tourist destination – cannot be all things to… Continue reading Romanian Tourism Ministry gets it (partly) right. At last