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A Guide To Importing Your Belongings and Vehicle Into Romania

Jennifer reached out with some suggestions for new blog posts and I thought, why not have a guest blogger? Her post addresses several questions I've already received from readers and will be helpful to anyone who is looking to make the same move I made years ago. It is a well sourced guide, but keep in mind that when it comes to bureaucracy in Romania there are usually alternatives and variations to the process on a case by case basis.

Jennifer Bennet loves to travel and to write when she travels. She also enjoys reading and a simple life with few belongings.
Here is her guide to importing your belongings and vehicle into Romania.












Smârdan Street in Bucharest,
Source: Ștefan Jurcă via Flickr

There aremany reasons to make Romania your new home, when looking to change your country of residence. Romania offers free or nearly free healthcare to foreigners, as long as you work within the country. Crime rates are also quite attractive, with the capital city of Bucharest enjoying a rating as…
Recent posts

"Crucify Me" - A Conversation With a Romanian Politician

We were celebrating a friend's birthday in a rented log cabin on the banks of Lake Tarnita when I met Steve (not his real name). Steve was well dressed, in dark coloured slacks and a white button up shirt with cufflinks. It's only worthy of mention because I found it overly formal for a cabin get-together where the principal activities were eating, drinking, and karaoke, but to each his own. He'd kept to himself most of the evening, but then he came by the kitchen-counter/bar where I'd gotten comfortable with a bottle of Ballantine's and we got to talking, initially about travel.

"If I could live anywhere in the world I'd move to Costa Rica." Steve said.
"Why there?"
"Nice, peaceful country. The weather's perfect. And it's far away from here."
"And you'd leave Romania for good?" I asked.
"Oh yeah, this country is done for."
"How about the future?" I asked, just to be philosophical.
"R…

In Memoriam: Doina Cornea

In the summer of 1988, my mother took me along on a trip to Cluj.  My recollections are vague; the giant 'Mathias Rex' statue in today's Unirii Square (back then known as 'Libertatii -freedom - Square'), excitement at taking the tram and the bus, an oppressive summer sun beating down on the city.

But I also remember a small leafy street, mom holding my hand tight as she pushed past a small gate into a little yard, and the affectionate welcome we received from her former French Literature professor, Doina Cornea.

I knew there was an element of danger to the situation though what I understood about it is uncertain. What is certain is that they left me outside to play, while they went to speak inside a walk-in pantry. I later understood they had gone into the pantry because there were no microphones there.

At the time, I did not associate microphones with singing and live music. I understood microphones to be small, hidden devices, planted inside people's homes by…

10 Things Romania Does (A Bit) Differently - Part 2

Most lists don't begin at number 6, so if you want to start at the beginning, head over to Part 1.


6.  The Clothes Dryer
The mighty clothes dryer, a staple appliance in just about every North American home, is essentially non-existent in Romania. While it isn't suspiciously regarded as a harbinger of death, as is the A/C unit, it takes up a lot of space and consumes plenty of energy, both of which come in short supply relative to Romanian preferences. Besides, if everyone had a dryer, then balconies, clothes lines, and drying racks would take up space for no good reason, and doing the laundry would be an all too efficient endeavour (generally considered bad taste in our neck of the woods).  Of course dryers do exist, usually on a steam-drying system, sometimes in a 2-in-1 washer/dryer combination (which requires no external vent or filters), but it's nonetheless a long-forgotten luxury for many a nostalgic expat.


7. Sidewalk Parking
I could write several blog posts about pa…

10 Things Romania Does (A Bit) Differently - Part 1

A few days ago, after walking into a grocery store, I couldn't help noticing I was in a state of trepidation. The reason? I'd walked in with my gym bag, purposely avoiding the security guy at the entrance. I felt his eyes must be following me and that a loud, "Hey, you!" would ring out the moment I turned into an aisle.

It turns out that the longer you live somewhere, the more you get used to it. A truism, of course. What is not immediately apparent is that this isn't necessarily a good thing, especially when you find that you've become used to something you may have found, at some point in the past, in another place, entirely unacceptable.

This is why, now that I've crossed over the honeymoon period of my move to Romania, I find my enthusiasm for life here wanes when, for the 286th time, I  am forced to walk into a supermarket through the designated entrance point, even if an empty checkout is much closer and no less accessible. Then, upon entry, a grump…

All Souls Day at The Jewish Cemetery in Cluj

Cemeteries have never bothered me. I think this applies to most Romanians who grew up celebrating October 31st with a visit to the final resting place of friends and family members. It's probably the same for Mexicans.

I've already written about All Souls' Day, and shared the requisite images of the event, so I won't go into it here, but I'm always impressed by the bustle of activity around cemeteries on this day. Small businesses pop-up as flower and candle sellers line the roads leading to the entrance, while the cars parked on either side inevitably take up the sidewalk. In spite of the bazaar-like character, it is still a solemn and subdued event by Romanian standards.

On my way from an unrelated errand today, I passed the Jewish cemetery, tucked off to the side of a small dead-end road. It's relatively easy to miss, though easy enough to identify once you're standing in front of the wrought iron gate.


I'd been curious about the place for years, ha…

"Dottore" - A Primer on Romania's Plagiarism Scandals

It is not enough that Romania's politicians are smug, incompetent, and generally reprehensible, but their pathetic lack of self-awareness also feeds a seemingly overpowering impulse for outrageous narcissism.

It's as if they were saying, "Step aside, Trump, let us show you how it's done."

The phenomenon can be summed up in the wisdom of an old Romanian proverb, 'Prostul nu e prost destul, daca nu e si fudul'. It basically means, "a fool is not enough a fool,  if he's not a blowhard too."

Which brings me to the matter at hand.

I've never directly addressed Romania's plagiarism scandals. In part, maybe, because if that was the worst thing our politicians were doing to this country, I wouldn't have other things to write about. But also because I always saw it as symptomatic of a more deeply rooted cultural issue.

For added context, for non-Romanian readers, think of the Asian parents stereotype. From an early age kids are pressured …