Two days before the celebration of 100 days from Romania’s Unification I find myself in Brussels so sick to my stomach at the hypocrisy of my fellow Romanians. There is a huge group of Romanians staying in the same hotel, currently yelling and making huge noise in the lobby as if they were the only ones in the whole place, taking photos and bragging about various things. From what I can tell they belong to a city hall in some Romanian town and by their accent they seem to be from the area of Moldavia. I have actually seen several walk around with pins and small flags on their coats, celebrating Romania’s Unification Day. What ridiculous hypocrisy! What is there to celebrate? Really? Are we really proud of our country whose current political and economic situation has driven millions of young people out of the country? Are we really proud of our DNA which prompts us to be “each one for himself / herself” and to put our head down if that means we will get something done in our favor? Are we really proud of a country that has so seldom stood up for itself and its people? This morning on the radio I hear of the Norwegian people who opposed joining the EU, and not just once – because this is what THEY wanted. Because they felt it was good for THEM. What a concept!
I landed in Brussels last night, took the bus to the center and, walking to our hotel, took a wrong turn. To our right, on the steps of a building, tens of mattresses, blankets, smell of urine, garbage, people sleeping in these piles. On the fence next to this desolation, the Romanian flag. It struck me in a way that I did not know it could. That anyone prefers to sleep on the ground, in the middle of garbage in cold, rainy Brussels, away from probably everyone they know, rather than stick it out in Romania, breaks my heart in ways that I know nothing will be able to repair. How can you, as “officials” bragging about the 100 years of Romania, just avoid that street? Avoid the people crying in the airport, probably boarding the same plane with you, leaving their parents, children, family behind, desperate to do something to get out of this mud we call our country? Do you honestly believe that everyone will forget about these things just because you are celebrating?
How can we be proud of a Romania led by people who can’t speak its language correctly? Who only care about getting themselves out of messes they creating while stealing? A country who chooses to invest millions in a circus of a church cathedral instead of caring for its sick, educating his children or taking care of his elderly. Or roads for that matter. Or the buildings that will fall at the first earthquake.
I am so mad at the shepherd of Miorita this morning. Apart from a certain DNA which prompted him to just give up before anything was even started, there is nothing that I can find as an excuse for him not to just punch those two “buddies” planning to kill him. He gets a hunch, divinity, in the form of intuition, or a talking sheep, whatever, let’s him on to the plans of others and what he does is he give up. What the … ???? Get up and kick their asses. Run! Hide! DO something. The reason I get so mad at this is because I see it every day in our lives in Romania. This “oh, whatever!” attitude, this “halfway is ok as well” take on things, is sickening. What is there to be proud of.
I think that if the people who believed 100 years ago that Romania has a great future and died to make it into a country were here today they would be crying their eyes out. I am so sure that this country is not what they envisioned and unfortunately I do not see the way out. Like every semi intelligent Romanian I am looking at ways in which my child can escape his country. I might follow that scenario as well. What a pity! We joke about Romania being a wonderful country, too bad it’s inhabited. But the joke is truly on us!
I write this not with a critical eye or with detachment. I write this with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. I am sitting here in the hotel lobby, surrounded by the Romanians who are still behaving like they own this place, calling out to a “Mr. Mayor” to come take photos with them. Wow, this was an official business kind of trip. I wonder, in that town where they come from, do people drive their cars on paved streets? Do their kids’ schools have their toilets inside? Do they have a doctor? Because there for sure seems to be a budget for a huge group belonging to the city hall to take a trip to Brussels.
Forgive me if I am happy not to be in Romania on its national day. I will try to stay away from all celebrations as much as possible. A cheap, hypocritical, theater show, mocking the very people it is claiming to celebrate.