Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The two sides of Romania

In South Africa, you regularly find yourself saying 'Gee, Place X would be so nice, if only it wasn't for the people.'

I've often said here that there are numerous parallels for me between Romania and South Africa, and I've just come across another great example of that.

Firstly, here is more achingly beautiful drone footage, this time of Romania from the sky:



Then, of course, the flipside of that video ... introducing some people to the landscape: Romanians who don't know the name of their country (a Facebook video so Google won't embed it).

For English-speakers like me, the premise of that video is simple: the interviewer repeatedly asks all subjects what the name of the country is, and they all - bearing in mind they were selected because of this - claim to not know (listen out for 'Nu stiu' - I don't know). 

Again in South Africa there is a lot of snide humour in the urban hubs aimed at the expense of the 'uneducated masses' in the country, so this is a predicament I have a lot of empathy for. It seems that in any 'developing country' a substantial percentage of the populace gets left behind.

Before I'm accidentally guilty of entrenching the 'Romania is rural' stereotypes any further, let me balance it out with this equally-entrancing video of Bucharest shot by drones:





Thank you, Romania, for not being some two-dimensional country with a back-story nobody cares about. There's so much to this country, and I'm enjoying the journey of discovering each disparate puzzle piece.


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