How foreigners see Romania – episode #2
Héloïse has opened our series of short interviews with foreigners having visited Romania. Today we continue the saga with Mattijs.
Interview with Mattijs, native from the Netherlands – episode #2
What was your impression about Bucharest?
Mattijs: Bucharest feels like a city where, in one way, time stood still but which is also ahead of time. Old buildings are mixed with nice and new looking bars and cafe’s. People are very friendly and want to help you with everything.
Bucharest also feels like a really safe city. In the old city there is enough police so you don’t have to worry about anything. It feels good that Romania is taking care of its tourists.
What have you done there and what experiences have you appreciated?
Mattijs: We visited the parliamentary building. It feels really special to walk around in a building that big, with so much history. You can walk into massive rooms decorated with giant chandeliers. It is just really special to see this and you get some good and interesting information from the guide.
The other really fun thing was visiting the gay bars in Bucharest. We had a really nice talk with the owner of “Thor’s hammers”, a really nice and friendly guy!
What did you like less about the city?
Mattijs: It is really busy on the roads. For two guys from Holland driving in the city centre of Bucharest, the experience was a bit stressful.
Have you visited any other places in Romania?
Mattijs: This was my sixth time visiting Romania. I have visited lots of places and I have too many stories to put in one interview. But below I’ve listed some things that I really enjoyed:
- Bucharest – Bars, cafe, night live.
- Costinești – The sea and the night life.
- Sibiu – The really old buildings and the feeling you get from being in a city looking that old is really nice.
- Făgăraș – Transfăgărășan road is a must see! The mountains are really nice and the people in Făgăraș are really friendly. I still have contact with people from Făgăraș and I am already planning my next visit to Făgăraș to see them.
- Brașov – Bars, cafes, the skyline of the city from the mountains. The surroundings of Brașov are also really beautiful.
Have you discovered or lived any odd / different / unique experiences in Romania?
Mattijs: The most unique experience in Romania was when we met a guy that lived near Făgăraș and told us we should go see the surroundings of Făgăraș. It was 5AM, so everyone was a bit drunk. We made an appointment to meet each other in front of our hotel at 9AM. We overslept but at 10AM we finally were in a taxi with the guy from the bar.
After driving for around 20 minutes, we stopped at a small village, were the bar guy asked a shepherd if he could borrow his horses and carriage. The shepherd said it was no problem and started to look for his horses. The horses could have been all over the village, but he found them. And off we were to the mountains with the shepherd, the guy from the bar, me and my friend. We were all incredibly hungover. But once we were up on the top of the mountain we no longer had a hangover. We had the most AMAZING view. It looked like you could see the end of the world. You could see the mountains all over the landscape. It was incredible!
Have you bought any souvenirs from Romania?
Mattijs: I didn’t buy any souvenirs but we received some stuff from people in Romania. We got some pălinka and some local products from Făgăraș and the surrounding areas. And some homemade honey.
A few words or phrases to describe the mindset and way of being of the Romanians you have met during your trip there?
Mattijs: Romanian people are open minded and want you to see their country. They want you to have a good holiday and will do a lot to make that happen. At the beginning, my friends were a bit hesitant about going to Romania with my boyfriend. But nobody thought negatively about us.
What major differences have you noticed compared to your native culture?
Mattijs: Romanians are not very punctual. If they say they will be at your place at 10, don’t be surprised when they show up at 11.
Another thing about Romanians is that they are very impulsive. But in a good way. For example, when you meet someone at the bar and you talk about mountains, if he knows a wonderful spot, there is a big chance he will drive you there and cancel his plans for you.
Any similarities with your native culture?
Mattijs: Open minded, very helpful. There’s always enough to eat and drink. The inhabitants want visitors to see their country.
More stories to come soon about how foreigners enjoy Romania. Don’t miss out!
Andreea & Carmen
*The pics are a courtesy of Mattijs