Another one of those “In Praise of Romania”-moments

Coming to Bucharest is like visiting someone for the first time and being invited to go through all their rooms, closets and even digging into their most obscure hiding places. There is no touristic side of the city, we don’t have fancy rooms where we can offer you exquisite aperitifs and closely purchased glasses of champagne. We don’t throw the dirt to Africa, Asia or some other unimportant continent, we keep here with us. Sometimes we use it do build new stuff (like a WiFi antenna out of an empty tin can). Sometimes we hide it all under the carpet, knowing how you, Westerners, would laugh at us.

We don’t have fancy Brandenburger Tors, we don’t sweep the streets, wash the windows and cut the grass every day, because we’ve never had and will never have nationalistic feelings. Everything is just as it is, due to luck and the good will of a few people, usually regarded as complete nutheads. Some nice old buildings crumble to the ground, some might still be standing twenty years from now.

For now Bucharest (and frankly speaking, the whole country) has remained raw and simple. We don’t have big, impressive museums, the whole city is an unique museum with limited edition exhibitions everyday – that is, if you’re prepared to walk with eyes widely open, and assumptions of western superiority shut down.┬áIt is among the last places where people haven’t built walls to hide themselves from the world.

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