Anyone reading this blog from beginning to end all in one go might notice that my attitude toward Romanian drivers, authorities and postal employees is hovering dangerously close to racist. And they’d be right. On a side note, anyone reading this blog from start to finish in one sitting should consider getting a hobby or a new job or what have you.
Yes it’s true, my tolerance has been put to the ultimate test over the past ten months and been thoroughly vanquished. I fear and loathe all outwardly deranged drivers, I despise all people in authority and I have fantasized at great length about burning down the post office (all three of them).
Before you pass judgement, in my defence, I’d like to offering the following evidence: First, I have driven (or been driven) through 40 countries now, including such heart-quickening places as Morocco, Portugal and Duluth and I have never seen a group of drivers even as remotely dangerous, inept and foul tempered on the whole as the drivers in Romania. The prevailing attitude here is that flying along at the very edge of disaster is the pinnacle of skilled and commendable driving.
Furthermore, anyone not conducting themselves in this manner is inviting all manner of unadulterated verbal and horn tooting abuse. Combine that with a blanket “I’m-the-centre-of-the-universe-and-I-can-do-whatever-I-want-whenever-I-want” mind-set and you have the makings for a theatre of sustained horn-blaring, curse words and wrecked cars. Spend five minutes at any busy intersection for irrefutable proof.
Second, on the subject of dealing with authorities, I challenge anyone to come to Romania and buy a used car. If you can; a) Complete the transaction in less than a month while maintaining a full time job, b) Avoid paying a single bribe and/or c) average less than two hissy-fits a week (I’ll spot you the odd nervous breakdown), I will buy you a Lada.
As for the post office, well I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure that the palpable tension and arbitrary abuse meted out there has something to do with why Romanian citizens can’t buy firearms.
Finally, I hereby invite all Romanians reading this to comment. Complaining about driving, bureaucracy and personal injustices suffered at the post office are as regular topics of conversation here as the foul weather is in Minnesota. I believe I speak not only for all long-term visitors, but indeed all Romanians when I say that my sentiment is mainstream. If one were not to vent in this manner, they would inexorably find themselves flying off into a frustration-induced, violent rampage and end up institutionalized for the rest of whatever. It’s a self-preservation response, because really, as bad as the above topics can be, nothing is worse than Romanian prison.
Thank you for your understanding. And the first person to smuggle a year’s worth of Zoloft to my front door can have my car.