When life chooses for you
Why did you leave Catalonia?
I left Catalonia five years ago because I wanted to have a working and life experience abroad. First of all I landed in Scotland; then I moved to Jordan; I went back to Scotland and finally moved to Romania. This is my second year in Bucharest.
Why did you choose Romania?
To be honest, I didn’t, but sometimes life chooses for you. I was living in Scotland and I didn’t have a full-time job, so I applied to some vacancies abroad and one of those vacancies was in a school in Bucharest. I wasn’t hopeful but I got the job and I moved there. It was a good option for my family because we all spoke Romanian and it made our life easier than in an unknown country.
How long have you lived there?
For one year and almost two months.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
Yes, it’s been an enriching experience for all of us. I work in one of the best schools in the country and my son can study in English and feels happy here.
What do you think is the best thing about living in Romania?
I particularly like traditional Romanian gastronomy, like their tasty cheese (you can find plenty of variety of smoked, salty cheeses...), ham, salads, vegetable and meat soups. And barbecues are very popular as well. I also like travelling and visiting mountain villages like Sinaia, Sibiu, and Brasov. Visitors can easily get to those from the city by train.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
I would visit the famous Bran Castle, the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Satului Museum, Brasov (the first Romanian school) and Sinaia (Peles Castle).
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
I would recommend visiting the north of the country: Maramures (including all the wooden churches and the Happy Cemetery); Bucovina (the monasteries because they are part of UNESCO World Heritage); Transylvania (Sighisoara, Cluj-Napoca and Targu Mures) and finishing with Muntenia. If it is during May, then I would recommended going to the Danube Delta. Also, thermal spas offer treatments in the Black Sea area during the summer.
What do you miss most from home?
The Catalan Public Health System, driving etiquette, public transport and the mild winter. In Bucharest, the temperatures in winter drop down to -20º C.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
Yes, but I don’t know when. Probably soon.
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
Pescarus Restaurant (in Herastru Park). They offer delicious meals with traditional music.
Where would you have a special dinner for two?
In Vatra Restaurant, because the food is really good and there’s entertainment, with performances by professional dancers. Another good option is Caru cu bere Restaurant, a famous brewery founded in 1879 with a Gothic-style interior.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
To visit the Danube Delta, only in May. June, July and August are the best months to visit the country on the whole. September and October may be a bit rainy and windy. There’s skiing in Poiana Brasov and Predeal during the winter months.