Common misconceptions and clichés about life in Romania

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in Romania can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in Romania?

What are the most common clichés about life in Romania in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


I had no view (well... at least I don't think I did!) of what the place might be like at all before I came. I knew pretty much nothing about Romania so I couldn't form any preconceptions.

When communicating with people here, I found people to generally be very friendly, but very disorganised, and poor at communicating important or essential information. When I arrived, and actually had to start getting things done that really required other people/offices etc, it was confirmed that most people are very friendly indeed. But also sadly most people are also unfortunately very poor at communicating information, and don't seem to want to accept responsibility for anything getting done. Unfortunately this means a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, and unplanned misadventures. It means inability to get things done in a timely and cost efficient manner.

There seem to be very few expats in my area, but everyone I've spoken with tend to agree with the general message I have provided.
Unfortunately when there is a lack of logic or any explanation, even the Romanians say "welcome to Romania, the land of possibilities/where anything is possible!" in a sarcastic way.
When there is no explanation for a lack of logic, the answer is "We are in Romania".

All that said- I am enjoying living here, the city, the people, the experiences, and I look forward to more!

Also- it's not quite as inexpensive as people think!

couldn't agree more

When i first visited this country i loved the different set of pace that it was very laid back and crime free,I did have a basic view as i had visited prior to moving here.It is really a lovely and peaceful place to live. But after a while, the feeling for me moving from an urban modern living and lifestyle i still struggle dramatically. I have to drive for a 1hr to get to a mall.I have no friends that understand my lifestyle, there is not a lot to do if you do not live in a big city,everyone looks at you when you walk on the street,you feel compelled to do what everyone is doing. I like it here but i surely don't love it.The rules of organisation is a load of crap,people buy their way to jobs or just about anything. Its such a shame even opening a business is difficult cause you are unable to trust the next person.
The great thing about Romania is if you haven't experienced culture you would love it at first.Sometimes it gets too much in my opinion .They also love spending time with family and friends.I also completely agree with the above discussion. The educational system is horrific...Imagine having to study over 10 subjects a year the pressure...Subjects that they might not even need or not even good at,everyone has to be alike.It surely is still the communist way of living.The people just keep quiet i guess that is what keeps the peace cause no one does anything about it.

It's so nice to read these comments as I don't feel so "alone" in my observations of this country. lol! I have travelled to more than 30 countries across Asia, Central America and Europe and have never seen a single country with so many unusual and confusing mentalities social mannerisms. India was a HUGE culture shock to me, 100 languages, 1000 dialects, and 3 major religions (not to mention thousands of cults and minor religions) but after only a month even with all that diversity, I felt that there was a definite rhyme and reason to things and I began to adapt. The same for many other Asian countries, and to a larger degree Latin American.

Nearly 10 years here and I am still puzzled by so many things here! The major lack of personal responsibility, the utter obsession with the neighbors business, the strange mix of rage, hatred and warm friendliness shown between strangers. The enormous amount of both pride and hatred for Romania as a country and its history, the obsession with academic achievement in a completely broken corrupt system. School system is enough to drive you insane: teachers openly act insane and are known to be insane, but cannot by law be removed from their position, parent/teachers meetings are filled with verbal insults regarding the personal lives of the family of the pupils.     

Don't get me wrong, I have a number of great friends who are wonderful people and there is plenty to like about the country: landscape, food, love of family etc...but it's like the country was meant to be a paradox. I am afraid I may never fully "get it" and maybe that's ok.

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