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Showing posts from November, 2013

How To Do Business In Romania In 4 Simple Steps

I was walking through the piata today when this amazing business plan came to mind. Here's what happened.

As I stood at one of the fruit stalls, picking through a mound of plums, the lady in charge interrupted me.
"Sir, I can't sell just a few plums."
"Why not? I'll pay."
"I'm prohibited" I loved this. It's not a business reason, it's simply a whim. That one sentence sums up a lot of the local business mentality. I imagined a boss who gave her the serving scoop and who told her, 'make sure you don't sell 'just a few plums, now, hear?'
"How many do I need to get?" I asked.
"Half a kilo."
"Sorry, I really don't want half a kilo." Disappointed, I put the ones I'd picked up back on the display.
"You can get some from the neighbour," she offered, motioning to the stand behind, "she'll sell them piecemeal"
"Okay, will do, thanks."

So, while the first vendo…

The Diaspora - An Interview With G. Yird

G (who asked that I don't use his real name) and I met this past summer when he was visiting Romania. We talked over drinks and I was struck by his keen sense of observation about the way things are going in Romania.When I sent him the following list questions, he didn't shy away from formulating very pointed answers, and I'm grateful for that.


1. You moved away to Australia as a 6 year old. Do you remember what you first liked about the new continent, and what you missed about Europe?

I moved to Australia when I was 7.5 – left Romania when I was 5. I spent a year in other European countries where my parents both worked as Engineers before we eventually received permission to migrate to Australia. Before leaving, we had been living in Germany for almost two years, where I had finished kindergarten and first grade in primary school. I had friends there, I …