Let's say you've been working all day, ever since your cozo/milk/coffee and cigarette breakfast (the real breakfast of champions). You've been sitting at home in meetings, coding, clicking around, being somewhat productive (let's not get too carried away) and before you know it, a thought starts to poke its way in, interrupting your fourth coffee break of the day. Admittedly this is now a major issue all over the world, but I'm going to write about it because it's important to point out that Romania is not immune to the, what are we having for lunch dilemma.
In some cases, it's an actual question; money's tight and maybe you had to decide between paying the heating and electricity or buying groceries. Research shows that about 50% of Romanians were unable to pay at least part of their monthly bills in 2020. Meanwhile, eighty million Europeans live below the poverty line. Times are dire. But still, for those of us in the Big Tech bubble, the lawyers, the notaries, all the creme fraiche of Romania's nouveau middle class, you now have Tazz, takeaway.com, Bolt Food, FoodPanda (recently acquired by Glovo), and also, Glovo.
When I got to Romania in 2011, you were lucky to get a pizza in 90 minutes. That was about all you could get delivered and never when you actually wanted it. Funny enough, I was at the sharp end of mobile app development at the time, even if smartphones were still only optional back then. With today's hindsight, if I went back in time, would I make sure we focused on developing one of these delivery apps? Of course not, I'd buy bitcoin. But that's neither here nor there. This little procrastinatory paragraph is, in fact, a written example of the what's for lunch, there are too many options paralysis.
So you go through each of these apps, racking your stomach for inspiration. Will it skip a beat when your finger hovers over Burger House? Will it gurgle its approval when Phu King Noodles scrolls into view? Will it turn to jelly for Big Belly? Choices are bad and the communists knew it. But, eventually, like any authentic Romanian who eats cozonac for breakfast, you go for the Pizza.
Like the Someș river winding its way through our beloved Cluj-Napoca, this average Romanian day may now continue at its leisurely pace.