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.