ROMANIA:Loves & Loathes from a Zambian Perspective


As a Zambian living in Romania for almost three months now,I can sum up my experience in one word; Interesting.

From the minute I steppef out the plane,it became clear to me that I had become a ‘minority’. I immediately began a mental game of “count the number of black people” and needeless to say,the game didnt last long! I felt a surge of panic but it was immediately diverted by a friendly voice “Hello! Are you from Miami?!” I was taken aback. But I decided I was going to stick out like a sore thumb anyway so why not act like a celebrity in the process?

I arrived in the summer so it was beautiful,warm and friendly neighbours who took me shopping,eager passersby staring only ever so slightly. Heres the thing with staring,the older people,and theres alot of them on my street,they stare with shock,the younger ones with curiousity. I have learned to just smile and wave.

Going out to a restaurant is as big a deal as it is in Zambia. You want to eat something you cant cook at home right? So I tried the local cuisine. Soup is a big deal,big deal. Theres a traditional soup made of animal fat,eaten with whole chillies. My family here order it each time we go out. I will not be ordering it any time soon. While we like our meat well done,here all the restaurants I have been to serve meat Medium Rare and its the norm here. So if I go out to eat I am most likely to end up at Mc Donalds or Pizza Hut. Shameful.

If you dont own a car,you can use the taxi Company. Just carry your Rosary and say a few hail marys because the taxi drivers drive like the way the Zambian taxi drivers drive. Like they own the road and the road owes them something.

Romanians and not just the taxi drivers,seem to be impatient. If someone visits you,they will ring the doorbell and expect you to immediately appear. In Zambia we knock once,wait five minutes,knock twice,wait five minutes,call the name of the person u want to see, and wait some more. The waiting part doesnt exist here. If you hear your doorbell,jump regardless of what you are doing.

I would be lying if I said I didnt love this place. My town is surrounded by mountains,the air is so clean and its so beautiful. The culture is rich and the people friendly and always offering compliments.

I still count the number of black people because they are so few,if any. I dont bother so much about the latest Brazillian weave because here,natural is perfect. I love how people launch into a full conversation in Romanian after hearing me say a few words,I love how they have all these little tit bits of advice and are always looking out for me. I miss the amazing sunshine of Zambia but I cant wait for the morning I wake up and theres snow falling from the sky.

About amalembo

I am a Zambian living in the United Kingdom, spent nine months in romania and now living in blog is about my experiences here, there and everywhere
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26 Responses to ROMANIA:Loves & Loathes from a Zambian Perspective

  1. chikondi lisa phiri says:

    A wonderful read!! Honest and to the point. I had a good laugh and look forward to seeing the snow through your eyes! Please document your visit to Draculas castle for my sake! Love you big sis๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜š

  2. Muso says:

    Hey Mape! Sounds like a great new adventure. Wish you all the very best, keep us updated as you uncover the sites and sounds of Romania. God bless ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Kapumpe C says:

    Interesting read. I’m just curious, do they automatically serve you medium rare? If you requested medium well or well done are they flexible? I’ve grown accustomed to eating medium well anything less cooked than that is still a big no for me though. don’t blame you for eating elsewhere.

    • amalembo says:

      Medium rare is just how they eat here. So they automatically serve you that.its their version of well done. We sent back food three times once. Cultures are so different.

  4. thokozile says:

    i enjoyed reading it too..and everything you say is true,i totally relate because i had the exact same experience,lol.*especially the stares*
    Im glad you love it and you having a good time.
    what town are you living in?

  5. Marjorie Sinyangwe says:

    nice read. I need more lol

  6. MwatePrecious says:

    Make this a regular thing ๐Ÿ™‚ looking out for the next read. Wish you all the very best babe! Loved this article x

  7. Clive Shumba says:

    Interesting. Your choice of blog is welcome, exceptional even. Waiting to read more from you. Enjoy!

  8. Eye says:

    Interesting. I saw you live in Brasov. My wife and I are looking to possibly move there if we get a good offer from the German school there. She’s German by the way and I Nigerian. We’re still torn between Brasov – Romania and Gyรถr – Hungary. But it’ll be sure nice to learn more about the city from another African’s perspective.

    • amalembo says:

      Hey.the city is great! My article was wrote it just after getting here. Theres not many black people though. I understand the capital has a little more black people. But it lacks the charm of Brasov. I get stared at alot. But mostly its out of interest. I know a nigerian guy on facebook that lives in Brasov. I could connect you though ive never met him in person. It is a great place to live. You can ask me more questions if u feel like it

    • amalembo says:

      hi, sorry for late response. Brasov is beautiful. you will love it.theres an active german expat community so wont be hard to make friends. Theres a few nigerians too!

  9. Panganani Njobvu says:

    Bravo author. I found this a very fascinating read. My brother has been living in Cluj this last year and he has shared many similar experiences with me! He also said that Romanians are impatient and always in a hurry! He has said that though there are few black faces and he gets a lot of stares, people seem open and welcoming on the whole. How are you and your family getting on? I would enjoy reading an update.

  10. Panganani Njobvu says:

    Bravo author! A Fascinating read. My brother has been living in Cluj for a little under a year and has shared some similar experiences! He has said that Romanians are always impatient and in a hurry! And he has said he gets a lot of stares because there are not many black faces! However he also said that people are on the whole welcoming. How are you and your family doing out there? I would be interested to read an update.

    • amalembo says:

      hello, thanks for your comment, Ive heard good things about Cluj! we moved to the UK and I will be posting an update to that effect. Tell your brother to be open to friendships with the romanians who are willing to make friends with him, always a great idea to mingle with the locals. xx

      • Panganani Njobvu says:

        Now that is more my cup of tea. I have spent many happy years in the UK! I considered my brother very brave when he took this job! Which do you and your family prefer? Looking forward to reading an update.

  11. amalembo says:

    definitely the UK

    • Panganani Njobvu says:

      Amen to that! My brother also has told me that it he has met almost as many men in polygamous marriages in Romania as he did back home and that it is not at all unusual for Romanian men to have more than one woman. I have shown him this blog. Unfortunately he is not really a member of the digital generation so I do not expect to him to write his own any time soon.

  12. Jay says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    I have visited Romania several times in the past 3 years and I found myself considering moving there. I was born in the Caribbeans and raised in Canada. It took me quite a bit of time to get used to the starring. The cyclist or drivers on the verge of an accident due to my presence in a village. The lowered cellphone recording me while I sat on the train. Yet, as I walk the streets on Brasov, I feel like itโ€™s the next step in my life. In this beautiful city, the people are warm, the food is delicious and quite inexpensive, I find! More research is required before I make up my mind…

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