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domingo, 8 de junio de 2008

Introducción al rumano, Parte 1

Mi estrategia para hacerme con el idioma, la ciudad y la idiosincrasia rumana se resume, básicamente, en la famosa frase "donde fueres haz lo que vieres", aunque algo tamizada por ele sentido común (espero no llegar a conducir nunca como alguna gente conduce por aquí...).
Y, en lo que se refiere al idioma, va funcionando, aunque también tiene sus problemillas, y te puedes encontrar despidiéndote de un cajero en el banco con un "a sus pies, muy agradecidos" (sărut mână, mulţumim!, "le beso la mano, se lo agradecemos"), imitando el saludo habitual hacia las mujeres que se suele utilizar aquí, y despistada respecto al hecho de "muchas gracias" se conjuga por aquí. Cuando salí por la puerta aquel día, no entendía porqué el hombre se había quedado parado y me miraba raro, no me había parecido maleducado... Al día siguiente me lo explicó una amiga rumana entre risas, diciéndome que a su novio, extranjero también, cuando llegó a Bucarest le pasó lo mismo, y que los hombres reaccionaban aún más raro, como me podía imaginar, cuando era un hombre el que les besaba la mano... Por cierto, que hay aquí mucha gente de la vieja escuela que cuando te presentas te besa la mano... Si ya hay muchas chicas en España a las que no nos gusta la costumbre de los dos besos en el contexto laboral (ir dando dos besos y no la mano a desconocidos en traje), imaginaos que esos desconocidos te anden besando la mano...

Me gusta (creo que en general le gusta a todos los extranjeros por aquí) la manera de decir "muchas gracias", merci frumos, o mulţumesc frumos, que significa literalmente "bonitas gracias". Frumuseţea, "belleza", es una palabra que me hace mucha gracia, como si me hiciera cosquillas...

También me hace gracia el nombre de un tipo de tienda, depozit de calculatoare, que es como se llaman las tiendas de informática... Al principio no lo entendía, la verdad, por qué había tantos sitios para almacenar ordenadores en medio de la ciudad...

Es entretenido, estar en un país de lengua románica pero loca, con todos sus falsos amigos y algún que otro enemigo... Por cierto, me he vuelto una señorita en rumano, yo que en español digo "joder" muy a menudo, y que aprendí un italiano rodeada, al parecer, por lo que me han dicho, de malas influencias, con una frecuencia en el uso de cazzo y similares superior a la media (desde que lo sé me intento controlar). Porque en rumano no tengo ninguna palabrota que enseñaros, todavía...

jueves, 5 de junio de 2008

Y si tienes una moneda de 2 euros, que pesa más, ¿estarás más en crisis que si sólo tienes una de 50 céntimos?

martes, 3 de junio de 2008

PostCommunist, NeoEuropean elections: some thoughts on Romanian local elections

I've been living in Romania since last February, trying, amongst other things, to understand national political system, ideology, civic culture... It's quite complicated (and risky) to draw opinions in any country social life, being new, being an outsider. Anyhow...

This Sunday (1st June) were local elections (first round, second round when needed, as happened in Bucharest, will be held on 15th June); national elections will be held in Autumn.

That means that I have suffered a colourful elections in acity split in 6 municipalities, everyone with its mayor, plus a general mayor to be elected. Imagine that one side of the Thames is ruled by one chap, and the other side by other... That's Bucharest. Now, imagine you have to decide on the future of the bus that links both riversides... That's Bucharest.

Anyway... Colourful: 7-8 parties with enough money to campaign around, with coulourful posters (red, three types of red, a brigt yellow, light blue...). Political programmes? I couldn't find real proposals on their webpages: all candidates belonged to the "I'm not going to steal like them, I'm green, I'm near you" party. A colourful political circus. By the wayk, if you want to meet the clown, I recommend you a wiki-reading: Gigi Becali

Meanwhile the actor in the construction playfield where I'm currently involved professionally where quiet but moving: either getting their projects signed before change, or waiting for the goddammit elections to see some movement in all the projects that had ben paralized since February-March. That's usual local and national politics, by the way, no typical Romanian here.

So here we are: 1st of June ended, new mayors here, new mandates for old ones there, second round stand byes now and then... In the news, a lot of data reading, some scandal (punctual poll problems) that seemed bigger on TV as they repeated it all over and over again. Low rate of political analysis, appart from some Traian Basescu (President) vs. Calin Popescu (Prime Minister) never ending discussion. So, without any local commentator I trust yet (blame my ignorance), I'm still left on my own in this.

So, let's back to the data, at least one clear data. National electoral turnout: 46,59%. Bucharest electoral turnout: less than 35%.

I'm not boring you with theories on first-rate elections and second-rate elections... I will just tell you that I was the most surprised on such a low participation, and the lack of reaction on such a low participation, that must be thus considered as normal here. Either Romanians doesn't think on local elections as first-rate, important ones, or they doesn't feel any implication in the system... or both.

I only know that such a result would be a great scandal in Spain, and I hope that not only in Spain, but in some other countries... Here it isn't.

PostCommunist Romania is different from other PostCommunist countries (i.e. Russia) where people might vote more, but anyway in a large extent vote for the government option, without considering there's a choice.... However, Romanian political culture, quite the opposite, doesn't seem much moe possitive to me...

And I then I began thinking on those that lost illusion on "regular" democracy and ask for abstention, saying that if the day nobody goes voting the change will come, political class will change, so on.
I'm not myself in a "God bless liberal democracy" mood lately, quite deceived by so many things, but I was thinking these days... If someday in Spain only 30% of electors go to vote, shall it be the scandal we hope, or will it be the end of an growing apathy process, life going on and no change at all? Because I have just read that this is the worst participation rate since 1989 in Romania, and life does go on, too much.

Dunno, yet today my most pessimistic views prevail. I wish you all better thoughts.

domingo, 1 de junio de 2008

A tourist break

I should write about so many things: about lively street life in Bucharest (parks, music, bikes and beer), about sad imprints that blur the photo (stray dogs -oraşul e al nostru-, wandering glue-addict kids, empoverished pensioneers, high profile homeless), about politics (the politically void electoral circus, the Romanian perception on Italian government recent derive -forza, V.-), about the construction fever, the Romania-European Union deluding romance, about either funny or significative everyday challenges (exhausting bill paying, language misunderstandings...).

I should write about so many meaningful things. However, summer is coming, and some of you asked me many weeks ago to describe a little bit the Romanian "touristic circuit". But I'm afraid I have traveled around just a little bit so far, only to Southern Transylvania and the North of Bulgaria. So I will just upload some photos and mention some names.



Transylvania. An up-and-down itinerary through valleys and montains very different from Pyrenees but as impressive or even more, with many historical towns and castles to stop by. Sinaia-Brasov-Sighisoara-Sibiu summarize the route; being Southern Transylvania quite near from Bucharest, it can be done (a part of it) in a week-end, but there's secondary roads and valleys for a week, also. A lot of Dracula merchandising around Bran, the most deceiving spot in the route, from my point of view. Very tasty cheese is sold by the road.
Suceava and Moldava. The "Monastyr route", I've been told it to be one of the most beautiful spots in Romania. Maramures is the distant region everyone want to visit around here these days.
Towns like Cluj or Iasi are both interesting to be seen and the operation center for car trips to Moldova-Suceava-Northern Transylvania. From Tulcea to the East, the Danube delta is the first option for nature lovers (spetially bird lovers), although in any case there's trekking routes all over the country.
Well, maybe this is not a very useful post for people planning a trip, but sometimes traveling is like picking books or CDs, an appealing name and a nice cover fuel imagination... Anyway, this is not at all a planning-in-advance country... Just buy a round ticket and gather some general ideas, and get on the road!

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