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The Real Face of Romania written by Camille Gallet, France   (published in Romania)

September 12, 2016 by   Comments(0)

When I announced to my friends I was going for two weeks in Romania, they all said me approximately the same things. “It’s a really poor country, you will be hangry all the time.” “We don’t really know the countries of the Eastern Europa; it’s not our society, you will be lost, maybe they won’t have good reactions when they’ll see that you’re from a richer country.” Although I did not believe a single word of their affirmations, I admit I was a little worried when my plane took off. During the flight from Paris to Bucharest, I imagined how this travel to a country I did not know will be.

I did not watch a lot of pictures about Romania, because I love to be surprised when I arrive in a new place. That is probably why I was so astonished when I discovered that the country looked absolutely not as we can imagine when we hear about the prejudices. If I taught about it before being come in, I thought about vampires, dark castles, tiny houses and big and steep mountains. I was wrong.

Barely arrived on the Romanian floor, a driver made me discover the beautiful landscapes and a lot of little towns during a journey of three hours. I was totally seduced by his smile and by his kindness; even if I did not understand him, because I do not speak Romanian, he made himself understandable. We cross several places where the houses where beautiful, and I saw a lot of churches. I was particularly interesting by the previous point, because I am absolutely passionate by the religions. Moreover, the mountains were not steep, but covered by the forest; consequently, I found them gorgeous.

As I arrived in Brasov, it was the night, so I was not able to see anything. However, I met my host family. The mother is really nice, she tried to speak me in Romanian and with her hands; as her language and the French have some similarities, I understand some words, so we can communicate. The son knows a little of English. The both are likeable, and two hours after my arriving I felt already at home.

The next day, as the others volunteers were not in Brasov, I could go in Bran to see the famous “Dracula’s Castle” – in the office I learnt it was not an appropriate name. I expected to a dark castle, with gargoyles, and gloomy corridors. But when I saw it, after crossing an animated town with a lot of markets, in the middle of a garden, I understood I was totally wrong: in fact, the castle is rather small compared to the big French buildings, and it looks very cosy. The walls are white, and the rooms are hospitable. It was a first step in the deconstruction of the clichés I had. When I went back in Brasov, I had time to admire the streets, with the colourful houses, the black church, and all the mountains around. It was really far from the “tiny houses” and the “poor country” I heard about!

The second day was too really interesting: I met the others volunteers, and the members of the staff. They are all really nice, and even if I was a little homesick at the beginning, I totally felt in love with Romania. We walked in Brasov, and I learnt more about the History of the town. We ate too some culinary specialities of Romania: even if I do not eat any meat, I discovered the polenta in the restaurant, and some soups at dinner in my host family. I have enough of food, contrary to my friends’ thoughts!

For the moment, I enjoy my trip in Brasov; I learnt a lot in only three days. I met adorable people, and I think my memories will be in my mind for the rest of my life. I am happy to be come here, and to not have listened to the prejudices.



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The Real Face of Romania written by Camille Gallet, France
The Real Face of Romania written by Camille Gallet, France