Visiting Romania in 1964

Unrelated to most of my posts and meant as an invitation for my dear foreign readers, I couldn’t resist sharing a lovely video about visiting Romania from 1964, made by the Brits for the Brits (I suppose).

Why am I sharing it? This video is doing the grand tour of Facebook and chain e-mails between Romanians, mostly with the effect of making us angry after comparing our country now to how it was exactly 50 years ago, during the climb of communism.

What we see: beautiful places and sceneries that we recognize, but that have changed – for the worse – during the past decades. A lush Bucharest with clean wide streets and less traffic, no beggars on street corners, coherent architecture and urban spaces and, most of all, clean and dapper people walking down the streets (meaning no loudly dressed, loudly motorized and generally loud people like nowadays). The one thing that hasn’t changed though – country roads! What you see in the video is the exact state they’re in now… or probably better. Oh, evolution! Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t carefully directed to hide the flaws, but at least half of what you see was everyday life.

What non-romanians should see: This is still by far a better promotional video than what we produce these days, singing a praise to flashy (and loud, yes) Mamaia, where Ferrari’s queue in front of clubs with prices similar to the French riviera and services more similar to the African one (maybe I’m being unjust towards Africans). Most of the sights you see are still standing today and it’s a marvel to see the countryside, the monasteries and the mountains, or the Danube Delta (by the way, why wasn’t that featured in the video??). So don’t be discouraged; even though you won’t find the “communist” cleanliness and respect, it’s still worth visiting and you should probably hurry before democracy and capitalism finish them off for good.

Am I being too harsh and judgemental? Decide for yourself.



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