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Showing posts from October, 2015

10 More Reasons Romania is Better Than America

I get it. The US is special. I hate to say it, especially as a Canadian, but it is.

But it's mostly special because of the America that it used to be. The idea of America is special.

There was, once, an American Dream within the reach of any hard working man. It was a country that offered unprecedented freedoms and opportunities unmatched by any other. The great melting pot was about inclusion towards one common goal, it was not divisive, individualistic and driven by a Bergeron-esque vision of 'equality'. Assets were not based on decades-long lines of credit, and salaries kept up with cost of living increases. I could go on about 'the way things used to be' but you can look it all up if you're interested. If you live there, you should be.

The reality in America is different now.

Sure, it's still the land of plenty. But the plenty is not all good. Plenty of debt, plenty of poverty, plenty of obesity, plenty of civil unrest coupled with plenty of heavy-hand…

From The Outside, Looking In: Part 2 (Times New Romanian)

Not to be confused with Times New Roman, the font, nor the satirical Romanian version of The Onion, Times New Romanian is as much a travel diary as it is a cultural exploration of a country through foreign eyes.

The thirty-eight interviews that Nigel Shakespear presents form a mosaic of experience across the length and breadth of Romania. We have the stories of Brits, Americans, Indians, Italians, Dutchmen (and women), and others who, for a variety of reasons, now call Romania home. Few say they would go back to the place they were born and many can't imagine a life outside of Romania. You would think it's a story of the perfect melting pot, but if these voices prove anything it's that personal perspective and social integration can be mutually exclusive. One can love Romania and be critical of it at the same time. Many Romanians, I think, aren't able to do this. At least, not in the same way that foreigners do. It's a zero sum game with Romanians, while foreigner…