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A Little Bit About the Canadian Dream

Believe me, this will tie in with Romania and the everyday situation of people who live here as real Romanians.

This brief aside is just to show I'm no longer to be considered a real Romanian:

After ordering a beer (insert Ciuc product placement), I thought I'd check google maps, in case I was missing something in the area. I noticed the place had wi-fi, but that it was secured so I asked the waiter for the password.
"Murfatlar" he responded, but when he said it it sounded like complete nonsense and I couldnt figure out what letters he just spoke.
"What?"
"Murfatlar, like the wine"
"Sorry, I can't hear or something, what's the name of it?" In my head I was like, wtf are you sayin, bro.
"MUR-Fatlar" He, was getting aggravated.
"Umm..ok, so how do you spell that"
"You're not Romanian, are you?"
"Well, yeah I am..."
"No you're not."
"I mean, it's been a while."
"Yeah, yeah" and he walked away to a nearby table. Not only that, but it wasn't the right password.


Hence, I'm no longer to be considered Romanian.  I suppose this is akin to a Canadian not knowing about maple syrup...then again, I eat sunflower seeds now and that's more or less the epitome of Romanian-ness.

Back to the point though, since there is one. I would like to first describe "The Canadian Dream" as I grew to understand it, and even aspire to it...

It begins with retirement since the average working Canadian likely won't be 'living the dream' during his working years. The idea is that by retirement, the Canadian will have bought a cottage by the lake and will finally be able to enjoy it on a regular basis. Hopefully by that time, the 25 year mortgage will have been paid off and the house fully owned. With all that taken care of, the Canadian may finally take that long-desired trip to Europe, or China, or the Galapagos if he's into wildlife. I'd say that the Canadian Dream is closely related to the American Dream but with less of an emphasis on privately owned enterprise being the ultimate achievement. Anyway, in the US, the cottage doesn't need a lake but a forest -because who shoots their gun on a lake?


There are two questions I now find myself asking...myself:
1. What is the Romanian dream and
2. IS there a Romanian dream?

People here will listen to your life story and tell you theirs all day if you're so inclined, so I've had the opportunity to learn a lot. One of the things I've learned is that the majority of (real) Romanians are living the Canadian dream...and much before retirement.

One guy I was talking to is a lawyer, he was telling me how hard things got since the recession hit and that it's destroying Romania's chance for a middle class. I can see by many of the prices here that it's true, based on the average salary, I don't know how people survive...then again, the Canadian Dream. You see, lots of Romanians are homeowners, outright. No nonsense mortgages or silly foreclosure threats, Romania has the highest percentage of homeowners in all of Europe (http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2010/07/more-banking-statistics-home-ownership.html), so maybe that's why it's weird to rent here.

If you owned your home outright, would you really worry about anything? I mean, obviously food is an important monthly expense but if you're a real Romanian, you're probably going to have a vegetable garden and see a big discount on your grocery bills during the summer months. Can't afford a vacation? Yeah, it sucks, but you live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and you probably own a cottage somewhere outside of the city, likely with an orchard or a vineyard on the property. Vacation at home and help your economy a bit, I mean, even Newfoundland does it. 

This brings me to somewhat of a conclusion. There is no Romanian dream because so many Romanians live it without even knowing. So the closest thing to it is the dream of leaving Romania for greener pastures (until they figure out they're not that green after all), or staying in Romania to become filthy rich -but I think that's for another entry.

Comments

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog. Quite an interesting insight that you show here. I am Romanian born and raised in Romania. I have seen Canada also for like 2 months cause my uncle lives there. He went in search of the Canadian dream as you like to call it. I plan to leave too. I am not sure where you got the idea from that most Romanians have a house outside the city where they can go and unwind. It's really not the case. I know a few only and they are upper middle class. From my uncles perspective in Canada as someone who worked in IT in Romania and now does the same in Canada it's a much easier life there. People are friendly, less corruption, less pressure in general and he was able to go on vacations outside of Canada more than a few times which he hadn't been able in Romania.

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