Wednesday, 28 December 2011

FAQ: Are you collecting citizenships

It might seem like that, but no. I started all this in the fall of 1999 when I called the five embassies. My father is half Russian and a quarter Irish and Scottish. My mother is half Romanian and half German.

I called all five of these embassies and found out that if my father had become Irish before I was born, I could become Irish. Since that didn't happen, I was out of luck. The Russian, UK, and German one were all out as well, because my great grandparents were born there.

However, I saw a light due to my mom and grandfather being born in Romania. My grandmother lived there for over 20 years. At that time, she was considered to be a Romanian citizen because she married a Romanian. My grandmother left on a Romanian passport and my aunt and my mom were on her passport.

In 1999, I didn't know about the EU or anything like that. I just wanted to get citizenship because it was part of my heritage.

The issues with Romanian citizenship have come and gone over the years, but I'd still like to get Romanian citizenship. The other citizenship are far removed, as far as my great grandparents. However, Romanian citizenship comes from my mom and I'd like it to continue with me. I'm not sure that I could move to Romania and work there, but it's nice that the option is there for me and my husband to go there. We'd like to go to the EU, but I think my husband would need to live in Romania first. I think the best thing is that I'd be able to give my children the chance to live, work, or study in the EU. The EU Freedom of Movement has made it easier as well. If you're married to an EU citizen, you can live, work, or study just about anywhere in the EU.

Peruvian citizenship came about due to marriage.

Anyways, the long and short of it is that I'm not collecting citizenships. Things have just happened this way.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Notary check

So we got the name change and passport request notarised here in Suwon. They put the English and Romanian version together, so we only had to pay for 2 notarisations. Cost was about $25 each, compared to $1 in Peru and absolutely free in the US.

I've scanned them and emailed them to my lawyer. If he oks them that we'll get them apostillised, and that only costs $1.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

More notary fun

So after spending about $120 in fees here at the Peruvian embassy in Seoul, we were told that the MFA in Lima wouldn't approve the documents we sent and that my husband would have to go to Peru in person and sign. That's the only way to get docs apostillised in Peru. And that's utterly ridiculous.

So. . .

Tomorrow we're going to go to three Korean notaries and try to get his signature notarised. If that works, it'll only cost $1 to get them apostillised, compared to $2 in the State of Illinois and $15 in Peru. Seems a bit backwards that it's more expensive in a third world country, but Peru's a backwards place.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Government offices in Romania

I didn't get the best impression of Romania through its government offices. Here are just a couple issues I had.

  • Not being open
  • Closing early
  • Only open to the public 2 hours a week (the Social Security Office)
  • No information available
  • People not wanting to help you
  • People sending you to other offices even though those offices had sent you here
  • No AC
  • No elevator
  • No organisation
  • No numbers
  • Standing in line for hours
  • Pushing and shoving

I know that a month isn't enough time to get a feel for government offices, but first impressions are very strong and my first impressions were horrible. Here are some more examples of issues I had at government offices and the post office.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 28 November 2011

Romanian post offices

I had heard stories about the Romanian postal service growing up. Though the stories I heard were of parcels and packages going in, of letters being opened, and goodies taken out of packages.

I never thought that sending items out, 22 years after Communism had fallen, would be an issue. Little did I know. I had sent some post cards to my family with no issue whatsoever, but sending a package was a whole different ballgame. You can read about my experience with sending a package visa Romanian post at Day 21.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Romania's solidly second world

Having lived and worked in third world countries, I wouldn't say that Romania is third world; however, I wouldn't say that Romania's first world either. I believe that Romania is solidly second world.

They have issues that have carried over since communism, like lack of caring for public facilities, passing the buck and not wanting to do any work, and not paying the bus fare. Museums lack AC and benches, and toilets are in desperate need of toilet paper, soap, and water. However, there are also good things.

When I went to Romania, it was the height of summer and I was about 6 months pregnant. The good thing was that the city of Bucharest has erected tents that had AC, a cot, and free water. There were a couple people manning the tents as well in case you needed medical attention due to the heat. I think that was my favourite thing; it showed that Romania is slowly moving towards first world status.

The parks are also great and safe as well. Although Romania has a bad rep for its stray dogs, people really care for them and give them food and water. They're also a heck of a lot cleaner than the ones I've seen in Peru.

Romanians, especially the younger generation, are very smart and speak a smattering of languages. They're quick to help you out as well. So while now Romania is second world, I hope in the future, it moves towards first world status.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Poll Results For What's your favourite city

Bucharest and Salinas got 0 votes. Cluj, Iasi, Sibiu, and Other each got 1 vote. Constanta and Timisoara each got 2 votes. Be sure to vote in the next poll: Should Romania have waited to join the EU?

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 28 October 2011

Communism alive and kicking in Romania

Ok, while not communism per se, there are a lot of people who don't seem to have received the memo that communism fell in 1989. Passing the buck seems to be the norm. Go to government office and it won't be open. Or it'll be open a couple hours a week. Ask someone for info and they'll tell you to go somewhere else, even if they could help you. No one seems to want to work in government offices. Basic things, like elevators, working phones, or AC don't exist in government offices. Don't expect post offices to have pens, boxes, etc either.

The younger generation is better, but there is still a lack of compassion and caring in the older generation. Especially when it comes to caring for public facilities, like not putting posters up all over building walls or graffiti all over the place. Basics like soap, water, or toilet paper can't be found in bathrooms. And more likely than not you'll have to pay to use pink toilet paper and a turkish squat toilet (unless you go to Piata Universitati's free toilets).

I realise that they haven't had it easy, but neither has Germany, yet they recovered well from two World Wars and communism. So I don't see why Romania can't either.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Apostillisation in Peru

Turns out that Peru only apostillises documents that have been legalised IN Peru. I think this is ridiculous. I guess they expect us to go all the way back to Peru to sign a document.

My husband got them legalised in Korea, at the Peruvian embassy by a Peruvian notary, but they will only legalise them (again) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That really doesn't help us; we need them apostillised.

We're going to try to get them done in Peru. His mother has power of attorney, so we sent his ID with the paperwork to Peru. Fingers crossed this will work!

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Welcome to the world TMI

Our daughter, TMI, was born this morning at 6:31am after 52 hours of labour. She came 3 weeks early. weighing 2.73 kgs and 47 cms long. Natural childbirth and we were home 8 hours after she was born.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 15 October 2011

FAQ: How much longer is it going to take you?

The long and short of it is I don't know. We can guess, but they're always asking us for more paperwork. As of now, supposedly we're almost done, we just need the following documents:

  • A letter from my husband giving me permission to change my name from my maiden name to my married name.
  • A letter from my husband giving me permission to register our marriage in Peru.
  • For my name to be changed in Romania.
  • For our marriage to be registered in Romania.
  • For my CNP to be issued.
  • For my passport to be issued (supposedly I can apply here at the Korean embassy).

The two letters will take at least a month to get done since they need to be legalised and apostillised and therefore will have to be sent to Peru.
The name change and registration of our marriage should take about 4 months.
The CNP is probably another 4 months.
The passport is up to 6 months.

Now this is IF everything goes according to plan. Keep in mind that while I was in Romania for nearly a month, no office accepted any of my documents. Best case senario I can apply for my passport in June of next year and have my Romanian passport in my hot little hands by Christmas. My lawyer is optimistic, though having finally seen first hand what things are like in Romania, I'm really not sure what to think anymore.

By who really knows? They might say I'm missing some paperwork, or offices might not take my documents, or they might keep odd hours.

Fingers crossed I'll have my passport ASAP, but no matter what I'm going to keep trying until they say no.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 7 October 2011

Legalising signatures at the Peruvian embassy in Korea

Getting a signature legalised in Peru costs about $1. Overseas at Peruvian embassies it costs about $25. Not fair if you ask me. And we can't send the documents to Peru because you have to sign them in front of the notary. So to get the 4 documents legalised in order for me to change my name and register our marriage, I'm going to have to pay $100 for my husband's signature to get notarised. Then I still have to pay to get them apostillised. At least that only costs $8 for each document.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Getting permission to change my name and register my marriage

The latest is that I need my husband to sign two papers: one giving me permission to change my name and one giving me permission to register our marriage. I don't get it. Seeing as I already changed my name in Peru and the US without his permission. I even became a Peruvian citizen without his permission.

But, the Romanian authorities want it, so there's not much we can do. He has to sign them in English and Romanian. So that's four pieces of paper to legalise at the embassy here in Seoul. Then they have to be sent off to Peru to get the apostillisation. Apostillisations in Peru cost about $10, yet in the US, they're only $8. You'd think they'd be cheaper in Peru. That's Peru for you.

We also have to use a new marriage cert. Peru, finally, joined the Hague Agreement earlier this year. We tried to use our Peruvian marriage cert that had been apostillised in the US, but they didn't understand that. They kept saying that we had been married in the US, despite the fact that the translation plainly said we had been marred in Peru. So now we have a new certificate apostillised in Peru.

We're doubling checking everything before we start the process. Each legalisation should cost about $30 plus another $10 for the apostillisation, meaning it'll be about $160 plus postage to Peru, back to Korea, and then to Romania. So about $200. Fingers crossed this will work!

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Couchsurfing in Romania

I had originally wanted to couchsurf in Timisoara and Iasi. Let me tell you that finding someone in Romania is much more difficult than finding someone in Italy, for example.

I had high standards. First, I wanted to surf with a woman or family. Call me old fashioned, but there's something odd about staying over a guy's house if you don't know him and even more so if you're pregnant.

Second, I wanted them to have good reviews.

I found one person in Timisoara and a family in Iasi. I emailed them both around May since I'm way too organised for my own good and like to plan ahead. I had tentative dates, but had to check the train schedule and book the tickets once I got there.

The woman in Timisoara cancelled on me since she was going out of town. I was kind of glad since I was having second thoughts about couchsurfing. I cancelled on the Godun family in Iasi, but they talked me into it. I had a great time. It was my first time couchsurfing and I'd do it again. You can read about my experience on Day 18, Day 19, and Day 20.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Freeborn Hostel in Timisoara

Finding hostels outside of Bucharest was challenging. Thanks to the Thorn Tree forum at Lonely Planet, someone told me about Freeborn Hostel. The website was iffy, but there wasn't a lot to choose from, so I booked a room.

It was semi easy to find. There was no sign out front, but luckily I had their address. I arrived super early in the morning, around 6:30am, but there was someone there to greet me.

The hostel is relatively new, but absolutely fantastic. There are 3 rooms. One has 3 bunks, one has 4 bunks, and the other has a queen sized bed. It was very colourful: green and yellow, bright, and sunny. Best part was there were huge closets, so you could put all your stuff inside and lock it.

Outside they had a bench and small yard where you could dry your clothes. The whole hostel is rather small, but cozy. It's an apartment, so in addition to the 3 bedrooms, there's a small living room with a computer and free internet and a TV with Wii. There's also a small dining room.

The owners are very nice. They are two brothers. One of them was in Spain, but I met the other, Raul. They're young and decided to open a hostel after travelling in Europe and realising that there aren't any hostels in Timisoara. It's risky, but I'm sure they're going to make it work. Another woman, named Claudia was also helping out and giving tours of the city. They all spoke English very well.

Their prices are very good, especially for the treatment and service you get. I was offered to try tuica, a famous Romanian liquor, but declined due to being pregnant. Raul's mother also came a couple times and was always offering food. They also know a lot about Timisoara and have a good map with recommended places to see and eat at.

My only complaint was that since it is an apartment, there's only one bathroom. The toilet, sink, washing machine, and shower are all there. It wasn't that bad since there were only a couple people staying at the hostel, but it might be an issue if it's full. The good news is that they're planning on expanding to the second floor, so should have more bathrooms.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Day 24 in Romania: last day

Day 23 in Romania

My mom's aunt called and said she couldn't see me because she was working. Her husband came instead though with a onesie for the baby. It's for 6 months, which is great since I have a lot of smaller things.

It's hard to believe that it's time to leave after nearly a month here.

I had lunch with my lawyer's wife. It was Italian, ok, nothing special. We were in the non-smoking section which was about the size of a closet since everyone seems to smoke here.

My flight leaves in the evening, so I'm going to take the bus in the afternoon to the airport. I have a layover in Qatar.

It'll be nice to finally get home.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Day 23 in Romania: lazy day in Bucharest

Day 22 in Romania

My mom's aunt called in the morning a couple times, but I didn't get the call because I was listening to the radio and playing solitaire on my phone and when she called, it just shut off.

I bought some chocolates to take back to Korea and I'm going to meet my lawyer's wife for lunch tomorrow.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day 22 in Romania: relaxing in Bucharest

Day 21 in Romania

Two more days left, my how times flies. I decided to relax today so I got a pedicure and had my eyebrows done. Supposedly the shop where I went was famous. I got the pedicure then they told me to wait. So I waited, and waited, and waited. I finally couldn't stand it anymore when the guy next to me started to smoke, so I finally asked them. They asked me if I had an appointment. I said no, but I had just had a pedicure. So I got taken to get my eyebrows done. They didn't thread or wax them, just plucked them, but they look great. The pedicure didn't really impress me. I asked for a spa one, but I think they just gave me a regular one.

I went to pay and they just charged me for my eyebrows. I had to remind them about my pedicure. There were probably about 7 other clients there and about 15 workers, most of whom were just sitting around and chatting.

For the record, the pedicure cost about 55 lei about $20usd) and the eyebrows were 30 (about $10 usd). In Peru, a pedicure would probably run about $5 and eyebrows would be $2. In Korea a pedicure is about $20. In the US a pedicure would be at least $60 and eyebrows are around $15 for threading.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Day 21 in Romania: how to mail a package in Bucharest

Day 20 in Romania

I was supposed to meet up with two friends today, but they both cancelled and I'm really running out of things to do in Bucharest. I tried to send my mom the Gerovitals. It was a nightmare. For anyone who thinks that Communism fell in Romania, they should try to send a package overseas.

First post office: The smallest box they had could fit a computer monitor, so I left.

Second post office: Got completely lost trying to find it as everyone kept sending me the wrong way. I ended up in a parking lot at one point. Again, no boxes, but they told me to go to the supermarket and get one. Who'd have thought that post offices would actually stock boxes?!

Supermarket: Got a small box.

Back to the second post office: They don't send packages overseas, but gave me the address of a post office that did.

Third post office: Nope, they don't send packages overseas either. They sent me to another one.

Fourth post office: Went to one line, the sent me to another, which sent me to another. Yea! They send packages overseas. It cost $20 usd to send 3 dinky 50ml jars of Gerovital. I hope my mom gets them, because they took away the package to stuff newspaper in it. Once I signed everything I realised that I have absolutely no idea if the jars are in the box or not.

It only took 4 hours to send a package overseas. Must be a record or something. If you ever go to a post office in Romania, don't expect them to have: envelopes, boxes, tape, glue, scissors, or pens.

For those of you who are interested, here's the address of the post office that will send packages overseas. Good luck finding it, that's the extent of the address on the receipt, though if you ask someone, they should know since it's a big post office. The phone number (I think) is 0800806806
Posta Romana
Bucuresti, Dacia 140, sec 2
Retea Postala CRRP Bucuresti
Bucuresti 3 of Jud B

As a reward I went to McDonald's. I asked for ketchup and they wanted me to pay. Needless to say I didn't. Ketchup should be free.

My husband's passport copy and our marriage cert arrived, but it's the wrong marriage cert. It's the one from before Peru entered the Hague Agreement, so has no apostillise. I'll have to show him where the docs are when I get home. Though I'm estatic that he sent the stuff so fast. We also need him to sign a document saying that I can change my name and giving me permission to register our marriage. Why simplify things when you can make them more complicated? I was told that before Romania was giving Moldovians passports easily and the EU told them to stop. So now they're complicating everything.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Day 20 in Romania: shopping in Bucharest

Day 19 in Romania

I thoroughly enjoyed couchsurfing with the Goduns. They were very kind and I got an idea about Romanian families and life that I wouldn't have gotten by just staying in a hostel.

It's St Mary's Day and Monday so nothing's open. I bought some more Gerovital for my mom and I'm going to try to send it from Romania. It's funny because in the shop windows they have L'Oreal and other brands and the Gerovital is hidden inside the store. Yet any woman I talk to from Romania swears by it. I've bought 3 jars for my mom of different creams and one for me.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Day 19 in Romania: cooking in Iasi

Day 18 in Romania

I was going to go to the flea market, but was talking out of it by his family because I'd have to get up early and they said that there were usually a lot of gypsies, and it was dirty. However, I learnt how to make ciorba, a delicious soup typical of Romania. Though I don't know if I can find the ingredients in Korea. Anyways, here's how you do it.

You need to saute onions in oil until they get brown.
Then add water, carrots, and potatoes.
Next add goulash (water with wheat hull that you can buy in Romanian markets) or if you don't have that, add lemon.
Finally add the leustean (lovage) and salt.

That's it! It's easy to make and delicious.

Edit: My mom says that her mom used to make dumplings using cream of wheat and an egg. She would beat the egg, next add cream of wheat, then just drop them by the spoonful into the simmering soup. You have to get the consistency just right or the dumplings turn out very hard or they just disintegrate into the soup.

The BBC has a recipe as well. My mom adds green beans and cabbage instead of sauerkraut juice.

We started by: boiling some beef (about 1 1/2 hours)
Then add carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage, onions, salt and pepper. Boil until tender
at the end add lemon juice and parsley. Or you can precooked some onion and rice (fry them in a little oil, then add about 3/4 C water and wait for it to evaporate) before putting them into the raw ground beef.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Day 18 in Romania: couchsurfing in Iasi

Day 17 in Romania

Last night I took the night train to Iasi and was met at the train station by Mihai Godun from couchsurfing. I'd never done couchsurfing before. I was going to stay with a woman in Timisoara, but she cancelled. Since I booked my tickets at the last minute to Iasi, I called Mihai and cancelled as well. I had initially contacted him a couple months before, but didn't have the train tickets then. He called me back and said it was no problem, he could pick me up despite me arriving at 6am. He also told me that my entire couchsurfing profile had been deleted. I think someone from the hostel hacked into my account since I had problems with my email as well. I decided to try couchsurfing since it was with a family and they had good reviews. I told Mihai to look for the pregnant woman with a backpack and he picked me right out of the crowd.

He took me all over the city. We saw Piata Unirii, City Hall (where there is a status of a mayor who was mayor four different times), the 17th century St. Paraschiva Metropolitan Church, Trei Ierachi Church (which is under renovation), the Palace of Culture (also undergoing renovation), Traian Hotel (not really built by Mr Eiffel), the Synogogue (undergoing renovation), the National Theatre (undergoing renovation), the Golia Monaster, and the Princely St Nicholas Church (which is very small), Copou Park, and the Botanical Gardens. As for all the building we saw, we just saw the outside, with the exception of the University. Nearly everything is undergoing renovation or closed. I was told that they're "undergoing" renovation and that means that the government asks for money and then pockets it. They keep "renovating" and keep lining their pockets. That explains why lots of buildings are undergoing renovation.

The Botanical Gardens were very, very nice. They put the ones to Bucharest to shame. The rose garden was gorgeous. Timisoara had a nice botanical garden, but only the front was nice. In Iasi, the entire place is breathtaking. It would take a couple days to see everything.

In Copou Park there is bust of the Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889), near a tree where he supposedly wrote many of his poems. The tree had metal bands around it to hold it together because it was damaged in a storm. Years later, they discovered the tree was still alive, so they took the bands off. It's still growing and flourishing to this day.

We also drove past the first firestation which had a little firetruck. There was a dinky pump and two people would stand, one on each side, and pump water. I'm not sure how well it worked.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Day 17 in Romania: sightseeing in Bucharest

Day 16 in Romania

I went to the contemporary Art Museum in the People's House / Parliment Palace. For a palace, it's pretty run down. The parking lots is all decayed and there are weeds all over the place. Of course, no signs telling you where to go in. Anyways, I got in free thanks to my ISIC card. Though I've worked it out, I've saved just as much as the card cost, so I'm not sure I've really saved anything then.

The art museum is at entrance 4 if you ever want to go. You'll have to put your bags and such through a metal detector, probably because it's the palace, though there were probably about a dozen people, if that many, that I saw in the whole museum. They also have free cubby holes you can lock stuff up in.

There are 5 floors total, again, no signs telling you how to get to the next floor. You have to walk back towards the entrance to get to the elevator. The museum was nice, but I think I'm all museum-ed out. The good news is that they had info in Romanian and English. The first floor had black and white photos from the 1910s-1980s. The second had works by one woman, not a Romanian. Some of her videos were more than odd. In one of her videos she put paint all over her hands, face, and neck. Modern Art, I don't get some of it. The third floor had work by a Romanian artist. I liked it. It was very colourful. most of the paintings had one part that was right-side up and one part that was upside-down. The paintings were very recent, from the last 10 years. The fourth floor had videos and the fifth floor had Romanian comics and a cafe. The first museum cafe! The view was strange, because you can see the whole city, but you can also see how badly the palace needs to be repaired. I had hot choco with whipped cream and a salad. I think it was the highlight of my day.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 16 in Romania: visiting friends in Bucharest

Day 15 in Romania

I went to my friend's house for dinner. She's from Romania, but lived in Belgium for a bit and married a man from there. She was studying a PhD, but never finished. Her husband works on oil rigs or something like that where they have to travel and move a lot. I met her in Peru and she's living in Spain now.

She bought an apartment and fixed it up very nicely. I saw some before pictures and it looked like it should have been condemned. The woman who lived there before got into black magic or something like that. It was a complete disaster. It's fantastic now.

I met her husband for the first time. They just celebrated 10 years of marriage.

There was a weird Russian guy in the dorm at night. They ended up kicking him out the next day.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Day 15 in Romania: more paperwork in Bucharest

Day 14 in Romania

Our old marriage cert is no longer valid since Romania can't understand how we got married in Peru, but have a US apostillisation. So now that Peru's, finally, in the Hague Agreement, I'm going to have to get a new marriage cert. I don't know why they make things so difficult. So I told my husband to send a new one along with a copy of his passport. Though he couldn't find the new ones and sent an old one. I guess I'll have to do it when I get home. He's says it's absurb that I need paperwork and documentation from him. I'm not one to argue with that, but it's what they're asking for.

I also had to go to a notary to give my lawyer a new power of attorney specifically to change my name and register my marriage. It cost about $60. The same thing would have cost a lot less in Peru. I guess now that Romania's in the EU they can charge higher prices, though I think that they probably make about the same as people in Peru.

I was going to go to the train station to reserve my ticket for Iasi, but it's raining, so I'll go another day.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Day 14 in Romania: visiting Brasov

Day 13 in Romania

Brasov was very nice. They have one of the narrowest streets in Europe. Though I hardly think it can be called a street. It's more like an alley or a passageway. It's like that one street in the UK where people in opposite houses can stick their arms out the window and grasp hands. I couldn't even stretch my arms out completely. It was about as wide as my elbow to my other hand. It's called Str. Sforii, the rope street. Nearby was the Synogogue that was supposed to be opened, but wasn't as well as Schei Gate.

I went to the Black Church, which wasn't as ornate as all the other ones I had been too, though I suppose that was good since it meant they used money for other things, like helping poor people. At least I hope they did. The Black Church got its name from a fire. You weren't allowed to take photos and it was very large. It's famous for all its Turkish carpets which are on the walls and pews. It's also got a wooden floor, which probably wasn't helpful during the fire.

On one of the hills around Brasov is a "Brasov" sign similar to the Hollywood sign in California and the Chorrillos sign in Lima. I took a picture of it.

I also climbed to the top of the Black Tower. It wasn't that bad of a climb, maybe 5 minutes. It was great because you had a view of the whole city. I had some French students take my photo. There was also a White Tower, but I couldn't find it. The Black Tower was reached by going along a small road close to a canal, it was nice because there was a cool breeze. It was almost like being in AC, but outside.

Brasov also had free bikes, but they were locked and the shop that gave them out was closed. Yet another ironic thing about Romania.

I ate at a nice restuarant and had pasta. I'm still amazed that being visibly pregnant people ask if I want smoking or non and if I want to have a drink. Though the non smoking sections are few and far between. They had one at Pizza Hut, but other than that, it seems like you can smoke wherever you want.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Day 13 in Romania: doing nothing in Bucharest

Day 12 in Romania

I took the train back to Bucharest last night and again shared the car with a woman. I also bought my ticket to Brasov. I'm just going to take a day trip there. I know that many people also go to Bram Castle and Sibiu from there, but the trains are just too slow for me to do that.

Since it's Monday and I had just gotten back from a long train journey, I did absolutely nothing other than buy groceries, write in my journal, and read.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Day 12 in Romania: visiting museums in Timisoara

Day 11 in Romania

We decided to go to the Revolutionary Museum. Supposedly the Revolution started in Timisoara with a priest called Laslo, but I've also heard it started in Iasi. I'm sure every city claims they had something to do with it.

It was a private musuem run by a man who had been shot in the leg during the Revolution. It was small, but had some good photos, drawings by children who had seen the Revolution and some videos. They also had typical museum things, such as flags, medals, and military outfits.

We went back to the hostel and talked about the museum and were told that after the Revolution many people claimed to have been injured in order to get money from the government, so you can never tell if someone had been really injured or not.

The Revolution started on December 16 1989 and lasted until the 21st of December. Ceausescu and his wife were put to death by a firing squad on Christmas Day. Although many people agreed that he should die, they also agree that the trial was unfair and only lasted a couple hours. In 1989 communism was falling all over Europe and people wanted it to happen in Romania as well, but they wanted a good income, like Germany, not like Tiananmen in China.

I went to a small flea market in Union Square and bought a yellow bracelet. The art museum was also there, so I decided to go in. My favourite part was the Baroque Room which took 30 years to complete. It was blue and purple. The walls looked like they had wallpaper, but it was really a painting. It must have taken a lot of patience to do it. They have information in English and women sitting in many of the rooms, who tried to talk to me, but I really didn't understand.

Timisoara is famous for other things besides the Revolution. They were the first city in Europe to use electric street lights and the second in the world after New York. They also had the first horse drawn trolleys. Their buses are nice as well. The bus stops have seats, timetables, route, and information about when the next bus is. Bucharest doesn't have any of that. It's a lot cleaner than Bucharest, but you can still find posters and graffiti on building walls. People also smoke a lot here. Cigarettes aren't that cheap either, about 2 euro.

I leave tonight to go back to Bucharest and promised to keep in touch with Raul and Claudia from the hostel. Maybe someday we'll end up back in Timisoara. If I had a choice, I'd like to open a business and Timisoara and Iasi are the two cities I'm looking at.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Day 11 in Romania: glad to be in Timisoara

Day 10 in Romania

The sleeping car was nice. The other person in the car was a woman. The cars are neat becuase they have little sinks that are hidden below the table. They also provide you with a toothbrush, toothpast, shoe shin clothes, and hand wipes. The ticket was a lot more than I had anticipated. People had told me that train travel was cheap in Romania, but I guess it depends on which train you take.

The P is the Personal train and the worst. Next comes A which is Accelerate. Then R which is Rapid and better. IC is for intercity and finally comes EU which is Eurocity. I didn't see any Eurocity ones.

Anyways, mine was a rapid train and a round trip ticket cost about 100 euro, which is a far cry from the 30 that people had told me it would cost. Though you're paying for three things: the ticket, the reservation, and the bed.

I had a map of Timisoara and directions to the hostel. Since I got in around 6am and it was light outside, I decided to walk. I don't really trust taxis. It was a bit hard to find. Getting there was easy, but there were no signs or anything outside. It was a new hostel, they'd only been open a couple months. Luckily, I had the address, so could actually get there.

It's called Freeborn Hostel and it's an apartment. They have 3 rooms, one with a queen bed, one with 6 bunks, and the other with 8 bunks. All nice and clean, huge closets to put your stuff in and you can lock the door. Very bright and airy with lots of happy colours like green and yellow.

It's owned by two brothers. I met one of them, Raul. The other one was on vacation with his wife. Another girl worked there, her name was Claudia and she spoke English very well even though she was still at university. Raul also spoke English very well.

My first impression of Timisoara was that it's much nicer than Bucharest. I took a bit of a nap since I didn't sleep well on the train. Usually I sleep pretty well on trains, but this time I didn't. It's probably because the train jerked around and starts and stops and makes horrible screeching noises when they put on the breaks. Afterwards I went to Victory Square, Liberty Square, and Union Square.

I also saw the Metropolitan Cathedral, which kind of reminds me of a cross between a candy house and a Russian Cathedral. The inside is amazing. I tried to take photos, but they didn't turn out at all. There's gold and ornate details all over the place. They have a gold altar with paintings on the walls and ceilings, statues, but no pews. I guess there were so many people that it was standing room only. They did have some straightback very uncomfortable wooden chairs along the walls though. One thing that I didn't like was how commercial it was. There were candles that you could buy and lots of religious knicknacks from rosaries, to pictures, to postcards and a lot more. They had a priest there for confession too. Lots of people were constantly coming and going and crossing themselves and kissing statues. They're very religious, but it's a bit hypocritical since they don't really take care of their country, at least in Bucharest they don't. You'll see someone passing a church and crossing themselves a dozen times, but then they'll go and litter or pee on the street.

There were two other churches that I saw: The Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. My mother says her family used to go to Orthodox services and the only thing she remembers is the hard wooden pews, incense, and the 3 hour sermons. At that time you couldn't pray to God, you had to go through the priest during confessions. You also couldn't eat meat on Friday, now you can. It's amazing how much the church has changed when they realised they were losing people. The Orthodox church was closed and the other one had a gate near the back, so I could only go in so far.

There was an older Danish guy who played the stock market and a young Chilean woman who worked in tourism and was travelling for 6 months. The Danish guy was trying to go everywhere in Europe over time. He had about a month of travel time. The Chilean woman said that she didn't need a visa for Europe. Lucky here, Peruvians do.

We decided to all go out to dinner together. We went to a place called Acquarium, which was far away and on the 6th floor. I had pasta and they gave us free pizza, but made us each pay about 1 euro for bread. Still, we couldn't complain, the food was great and the restuarant was fantastic. We were underdressed in jeans and travelling clothes. We went kind of late and it was dark when we walked back. I don't think it was in the best of neighbourhoods, at least it wasn't nice at night. We saw gypsies and a man who was very drugged on glue. Had I been alone, there was no way I would have gone to dinner at that time. Though we were with the Danish guy who was over 6 feet tall, which really helped.

On the way back we stopped at Union Square where there was a free concert. We got approached a couple of times by gypsies, but that was it. We finally headed back home at 11pm.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Day 10 in Romania: visiting the Village Museum in Bucharest

Day 9 in Romania

My train leaves at night to go to Timisoara so I had the whole day to kill in Bucharest. After more than a week here, I'd had basically seen everything I wanted to see and stuff I didn't want to see just to kill time. Lots of museums and churches are undergoing renovation, so there's some things that I couldn't see even if I wanted to.

I decided to go to the Village Museum and it was by far the best museum I had been to. They had toilets, with hot water, soap, and toilet paper. I couldn't believe it. Anyways, besides that, it was a neat outdoor museum. They had taken typical houses from all over Romania and stuck them in one place. Most of the houses were taken around 1936. All of them were very folksy and some of them were only one room, but they use the space very well. I really liked the museum. They had a decent sized gift shop as well as people selling typical treats and sweets that weren't that expensive. Another thing that was neat was there were lots of school kids there doing crafts and such. They also had artisians selling what they had made. And a small place to eat. I highly recommend this museum to anyone going to Bucharest.

After wandering around for a couple hours, I decided to go to Herastru Park. It was large and safe; they had police on horses. It started to rain a bit, but the trees kept out most of it. They had a Japanese Garden, which was a bit sad. Most of the pond had evaporated, there were no fish or really anything to make it look Japanese.

I had to eat dinner and though I'm against eating at chain stores, it couldn't be helped. I had only seen cafes and the one restuarant I had eaten at before was so smokey I couldn't breath. So I broke down and went to Pizza Hut. I still don't understand how places like McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, and Pizza Hut are considered nice places to eat and are somewhat of a status symbol, but that's the way it is, whether you're in Asia or Europe. In fact, at Piati Romana McDonald's Burger King, and KFC are all right next door to eat other.

I had lasagna and it was very nice, though smokey. I was outside and smoking is allowed just about everywhere. It wouldn't surprise me if it was allowed at hospitals. The person at the table behind me decided to smoke, but at least it was only one person.

I took the cable car to the train station a bit early since I wanted to arrive there before dark. Luckily it gets dark around 9pm. They had a waiting area with a security guard outside. Inside about half the lights were out and the AC didn't really work. Chairs were broken as well. Though I have a ticket on a sleeper, in first class, so it should be nice. There's going to be one more person in the car. I hope it's a woman.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Day 9 in Romania: paperwork in Bucharest

Day 8 in Romania

Today I went to the Social Security Registry with my lawyer's wife. Things didn't go well from the start. On the door there was a sign that said they only attend to the public one day a week, and for 2 hours. You just look at these signs and think, this must be a joke. How can government offices only have 2 office hours a week? Yet they do.

So they told us to go back to Sector 1, where we were the other day, and try to register my marriage there. But Sector 1 had sent us here. We were clearly being given the run around. I'm not sure if that's because no one wanted to do any work or they had no idea what to do with me.

Anyways, we found out that my husband has to sign papers to give me permission to register my marriage and change my name. A bit chauvanistic if you ask me.

The good news is that it takes 4 months to do all that. The bad news is that first they have to accept your documents and so far no one has done that.

Sector 1 told us that we had to come on Tuesday at 4pm to put our names on the waiting list and then go on Wednesday to actually talk to someone. Yet when we went on Tuesday at 4pm, they were closed and the security guard said the time to put your name on the waiting list had changed and was now 9am on Sunday. The only thing I can do is shake my head in disbelief and wonder how the heck they got into the EU.

I went to their house for dinner. She's a great cook. I'm jealous. I can't cook worth beans. She told me to buy Jamie Oliver and Harry Eastman's books. Maybe, but if I found the ingredients in Korea, they'd probably be way out of my price range.

I'm off to Timisoara tomorrow. My first of two big trips.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Day 8 in Romania: celebrating my birthday in Bucharest

Day 7 in Romania

Happy Birthday to me! I never imagined that I'd spend my birthday in Romania. It kind of stinks to be alone though. I'm 29 now and the baby is 28 weeks along. I didn't exactly have the best birthday though since I had to deal with Romanian bureaucracy.

We went to the Registry Office for Sector 1. It was supposed to open at 9am. So around 9am they opened the door and quickly closed it. Then opened it again and closed it. No one had been in or out yet. They did that about 4 more times before they actually opening the door and let the avalanche of people in.

Once you got in you had to tell the guy who was blocking the stairs where you wanted to go. So he sent us up to the 5th floor. No elevators either. We get there and the office is empty. We wait and some woman finally shows up. She looks like she's about to go clubbing with fake eyelashes and long, fake nails. We talk to her and she tells us to go back to the other registry office that Yolanda went to on Monday (that registry office sent us here). We tell her that and she offers to call them. She picks up her phone and it doesn't work. It's probably not even connected.

My lawyer's wife says it's typical of Romania. That people don't want to really do anything, so they just send you to someone else or to another office. It probably has something to do with the fact that government salaries were just cut by 25% and taxes went up to 25% from 19%.

So this woman tells us to go down to the basement and push our way to the front of the line. So we do and the security guard won't let us in. Since they won't see us at this registry office, we're going to have to go to the passport office, where they know her and they're nice to her. She says there is a special place for foreigners and that's where she goes with my applicaton. We lug my huge 5 inch file folder out and arrange to meet later.

Of all the countries I've lived and worked in, I've never seen anything like the mess at the registry office. Government offices in Peru are even better than that. And I'm not one to speak highly of Peru.

Since I still had most of the day ahead of me, I decided to visit the 3rd St Nicolas Church near Lipscani, but it was closed. Ironically, it had a government office nearby with tons of people. Nearby Doamnei Church was a Peruvian store. I couldn't believe it. I went in to talk to the owner. He was Peruvian. he says there are only about 40 Peruvians in Romania. He's studying to be a doctor. He's rather old, about middle age, and imports things such as Peruvian chess sets and alpaca clothing to Romania. He complained about the tax hike as well. His shop is called Inca Land. He started off small, selling earrings on the street near Bucharest University and now has his own shop and has to pay 1000 euro a month just for rent.

After talking to him I went to the Romanian History Museum which was nearby, but again, hot, with no AC, and closed windows. It's like they don't want people to actually visit the museums.

I tried to find a good book to read since I had already finished mine on the trip over. Anthony Frost Bookstore was way too expensive and the one next door had cheaper books, but they were all in Romanian.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Day 7 in Romania: churches and museums in Bucharest

Day 6 in Romania

I tried to go to the Natural History Museum, but it was closed for renovation, so I went to the Peasant Museum. It was neat, but not as nice as I thought it would be. It was also very hot and had no places to sit down. There were no toilets either. They had some postcards that I got though.

I also visited the George Enescu Museum, which was very small with only a couple rooms. It's hard to find since it's number 141, but the numbers opposite it are around 200.

I saw another St Nicolas Church, it seems to be a popular name. However, this one is known as the Biserica Alba, since it's white.

My lawyer's wife says that the Romanian authorities want to re-issue all my documents, including my Romanian birth cert since it doesn't have a CNP. They even want to re-issue my husband's Peruvian birth cert in Romania. I don't get the logic behind any of this.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Day 6 in Romania: walking around Bucharest

Day 5 in Romania

Since it's Monday, most museums and tourist attractions are closed. I went to see Bucharest University near Piata Universitatii, which is the only place that has clean, free toilets. Very nice toilets. And a tourist information centre with maps and people who speak English. Both places are at the underground.

Bucharest University has lots of graffiti on the walls and outside are tons of booksellers as well as lots of construction. I also saw someone very drugged on glue. Never seen that before.

I saw the History Museum, it was closed though. The Coltea Hospital is close by. It's a nice red and white building, but you have to look carefully to see the sign that says "Coltea Hospital". I also found St Nicolas' Russian Church which is supposed to be similar to the Arkangelsk Cathedral in Moscow.

My lawyer's wife went to the registry today, but they closed at 1pm, even though the info on their website says they're open until 5pm. We're going to try again on Wednesday.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Day 5 in Romania: Botanical Gardens in Bucharest

Day 4 in Romania

I went to the Botanical Gardens and got lost on the bus. I then arrived at the correct bus stop and didn't see any sign of the gardens or any signs pointing to them. So I asked two policemen and they had no idea where it was. Not very helpful. I finally asked a flower vendor and she pointed me in the right direction.

The gardens were nice, but not what I expected them to be, which is what seems to be the norm here in Romania. There were also no toilets. Actually, I take that back. There were toilets, but they were locked.

The greenhouses were pretty nice though. There were lots of kids and old people at the garden. They also had a nice rose garden.

I went back to the hostel and then met my mom's aunt and her husband and they showed me where my mom used to live. It was a duplex in a nice, old part of town. Lots of the houses were built to house the factory workers. There also was some type of parachute jump tower. It had a hoop on it. They couldn't really explain what it was for other than practicing parachuting.

I asked where we were exactly and they said that park's name had changed so many times and now it was called September 23rd, but I checked a map and couldn't find it. It's near an old stadium and new church and is an old part of Bucharest, but other than that, I don't really know much about it.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 30 July 2011

Day 4 in Romania: Peles Castle in Sinaia

Day 3 in Romania

I decided to get out of Bucharest today and went to Sinaia to see Peles Castle, which is supposed to be better than Bram's Castle, which is good, since I have no intention of going to the latter. The train ride there was nice, but the one on the way back wasn't. I don't like sitting on a bench facing someone else. I know that some people like it since they can have a conversation, but I'd rather all the seats faced the same way like an airplane.

At Bucharest station I had a hot chocolate which wasn't very nice, but the waiter was. He told me I should visit Sighisoara. I'd like to, but my lawyer told me to spend most of my time in Bucharest to take care of paperwork. Plus, the trains are so slow.

There were no signs saying how to get to the castle. There was a monastery on the way, so I went there too.

Peles Castle was great, again my ISIC card saved me a lot of money. There were tours in Spanish, Italian, French, and English. But when people asked about the, they were told that only English was available. Very typical of Romania. They offer lots of options, but don't have them. It's high season, you'd think they'd offer more. The person at the door kept saying 10 minutes, but we had to wait about 30 to go in.

The castle is fantastic and despite only taking 40 years to build is very ornate and intricate. After the tour I still had a couple hours, so I walked around the touristy area, which is a street and sat in the park, where they had cars for little kids to ride.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Day 3 in Romania: Guided Bucharest walking tour

Day 2 in Romania

I went on a free walking tour, called Guided-Bucharest. They also have one in Brasov called Guided-Brasov. I think it's a fantastic idea. Although it's free, they appreciate donations so most people gave about 10 lei, so our guide made about $30 for 2 hours of work. Not bad. Maybe I'll end up doing that if we go back to Peru. They have tours during the high season: May to September. Our guide was young, about university age, but spoke English very well. There were about a dozen people on the tour, everyone was young and most people were from Europe.

We walked all over. We started at Piatia Unireii and found out that Bulevard Unirii is 1 metre wider than Camps Elysees in Paris. Ceausescu wanted to out-do everyone. We also saw the People's House, which supposedly has lots of underground tunnels and is still not completely finished. Ceausescu basically used the people's money and tore down neighbourhoods to build it, trying to show that Romania was rich. Some of the churches were literally hauled away to other parts of the city so that they weren't destroyed. Churches are often hidden and hard to get to thanks to him.

Nearby we went to an old inn called Hanul Iui Manac which is now a resturant. Locals still like to meet there.

We walked around Lipscani District, which is a famous tourist attraction and has lots of little overpriced bars and restaurants. The Old Princely Court and Church is there. For being so touristy, it's very decrepit and delapitated. There is lots of construction and our guide told us that it has basically been going on since he was a child. Open manholes and electricity lines are everywhere, it's amazing people don't sue.

The stray dogs are there too, but people seem to like them. They look clean. A couple years ago the government wanted to put them down, but the people protested. So the government said they had to adopt them. So they did, then released them. I don't see the point. Some of them have ear tags and that means that they've been fixed. Others have tattoos, and that means that they're part of a gang. I haven't seen any of the tattooed ones. I haven't seen many beggars either. I thought there would be more.

In Lipscani District we saw The Beer Car Restaurant, which is one of the oldest in Bucharest. They have a rooster and a cat on either side of the door, which symbolises that they're open from the time the rooster crows to the time the cats come out.

We walked a bit more and came upon the National Bank of Romania which has ironically never ever been robbed because it doesn't have any money in it. We saw a part of a building that had been burnt. There was a fire and businessmen threatened that if the fire department wouldn't help them, the whole city would be destroyed because of money. So they helped them and the city was still destroyed. You can stand on the street level and look through the glass below.

We saw Pasajul Maeca Vilacrosse which is a small horseshoe shaped passages famous for its hookah places. The roof is green and there are lots of pigeons. If they poop on you it's good luck.

Once again I saw Kretzulescu Church at Piata Revoluntiei and the Revolution Monument that some people say looks like an olive on a stick and others say looks like a potato on a stick. The artist says it's modern art. There is a wooden path that leads to it which symbolises that people united and there is also a plaque with all the names of the people who died that day.

The Romanian Athenaeum is close by and has paintings of famous people up near the top. Next door is the Athenee Palace Hotel and the Statue of King Carol 1. That's where we ended our tour.

I went to La Mama to eat, It was nice, but smokey like every place else in Romania. Food and prices were good and I think the majority of the people there were Romanian.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 2 in Romania: how to buy a cell phone in Bucharest

Day 1 in Romania

I finally found a cell phone shop. When I told the woman that I wanted to buy a cell phone, she condescendingly said it would only work in Romania. That's the whole idea of buying a cell phone in Romania. If I wanted it to work somewhere else, I would have bought it somewhere else. I bought the cheapest one, it was about 40 euro.

Once I got my cell phone, I sent texts to the 3 friends that I had (one in Bucharest, Sibiu, and Cluj), to my mom's aunt who is the only family we have left in Romania, and my lawyer's wife.

I met up with my mom's aunt. Both she and her husband spoke English well. They're retired now. Her family left in the 70s, but she decided to stay because of her husband. I found out that my grandfather and his family were born up near Iasi, one of the cities that I plan on going to.

Transport is cheap in Bucharest though. It costs about 0.30 euro for a bus ride, so it's comparable to Peru. Though lots of people don't pay. There are 3 doors on the bus and people just get in without paying. My mom's aunt says that she thinks transport is expensive. They can ride for free since they're pensioners. The bus stops aren't nice at all. There are often just little plaques that say the bus numbers, no routes, timetables, nothing. And when there are little bus stations, they have glass roofs that don't keep off the sun and don't have seats. I've been told that there are lots of pickpockets on the bus, but I haven't seen any.

I spent the day walking along Calea Victoriei, which didn't really have much to look at. I guess because it's summer a lot of places are closed. I ended up going to the National Art Museum, which used to be a palace and saw the Japanese exhibition and then the European and Romanian exhibitions. My ISIC card was worth it as I can pay the student rate. The museums were ok, no places to sit and no AC and therefore not many people. I walked by the Military Club then went to Cimigiu Gardens to relax and saw Kretzulescu Church, which had graffit nearby. It's sad that people don't seem to take care of anything here.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Day 1: First impressions of Romania

Going to Romania tomorrow

The flight was really long and felt longer because I'm pregnant. I took the airport bus to the hostel and then had to walk about 20 minutes. The hotel is ok, but pretty basic and loud. I can't find any tourist info anywhere. People told me that used phone shops are easy to find, but I haven't found anything. In fact, lots of shops are closed and have graffiti and posters on the wall. My small 35 litre backpack weighed 8.5 kilos. I have no idea what's in it that weighs so much. I don't even have a guide book. I have some gifts and brought old clothes, so I'm hoping to go back home with less.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Going to Romania tomorrow

My flight is tomorrow, with a layover in Doha, Qatar. It'll be the first time in over 50 years that someone in my immediate family has been to Romania. I'm not sure what to expect.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Good news!

My lawyer and his wife are fantastic!  My mom was feeling very bad about not getting her birth cert to me.  I'm wary about it having sent through the mail.  We were told you only get one and that's it. No more.  You lose it, you're in trouble.

Well, seems like they were wrong.  Or things changed.  My lawyer and his wife have gotten it re-issued in Bucharest.  So they have it there, just waiting for me to come.  I'll be bringing my Romanian birth cert (sans the ID number that they left off).

So with my mom's birth cert and my birth cert, both from Romania, we should get somewhere.  I don't think I could get my passport, since we have to have Romania re-issue all the non-Romanian documents, like
1. My husband's birth cert from Peru
2. Our marriage cert from Peru
3. My grandfather's death cert from the US
4. My parent's marriage cert from the US

That's ok if I don't get my passport.  I'll be happy if I can get a document from the Ministry of Internal Affairs saying that I'm a citizen, like they gave my mom.

I don't know why.  They've been apostillised and translated, but we have been told that they have to be re-issued in Romania.  Maybe that means registered.  Not sure.  Either way, I'll be there soon and it'll be great to visit a country I've been wanting to visit for years!

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 22 July 2011

More problems

My mom just sent off her birth cert to be apostillised.  It should take 2 to 3 weeks for that, plus it has to be sent to Romania.  Looks like it won't be done on time.

I emailed the Chicago consulate and asked about apostillisation and they never got back to me.  My mom called a couple of times and they didn't answer.  Seems like things are similar to when we went back in 2006.  Luckily, the Romanian embassy here in Seoul answered the phone.  They told my that apostillisation takes 3 months.  So that's out.  They're very nice and speak English very well at the embassy in Seoul.  Courteous and helpful.  I like this embassy.

Anyways, looks like we won't have my mom's birth cert, though my lawyer doesn't think it'll be a problem since he can get another one. Plus, my mom doesn't matter anymore, since in theory, my Romanian birth certificate should be enough.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Going to Romania

It's finally happening! I'll be visiting Romania for nearly a month this summer in hopes of getting my Romanian passport. I'll be there from 27 July to 19 August and probably be spending the whole time in Bucharest. I'd like to travel around, but the main reason I'm going is to get my paperwork in order. And if that means spending the whole time in Bucharest, then so be it.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Passport problems

Darn it! My lawyer has told me that I have to present the paperwork for my passport myself, in person. There's also the issue that Romania doesn't accept foreign marriage certs. Mine is from Peru, my mom's is from the US.

Good news is that my lawyer CAN register our marriages in Romania and send us all the documentation. Then I will take that and try to apply here in Seoul. My only worry is that my birth cert doesn't have the Romania ID number on it, so I don't know how I can prove that I'm Romanian.

Worse comes to worse, they say no and we try to do it in Romania when I go this summer.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Applying for my passport

Finally, after years of paperwork and wild goose chases, we found out that my mom is still a citizen. Due to this, I can apply for a passport. Here's all the items my lawyer will be submitting. Not all of these are original forms, but certified copies are all my lawyer needs.

● My Romanian birth cert and American birth cert
● My Peruvian marriage cert (for name purposes)
● Mom's birth certs (old and new one)
● Mom's American marriage cert
● My passport
● Power of Attorney
● Declaration of no criminal record
● Cert of Mom's Citizenship issued by the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

The passport application normally takes 30 working days, but we're going to allow 60 for possible delays, because things always take longer! They may not physically give my lawyer my passport, because the power of attorney authorizes them to apply for citizenship (which would include the passport, but not to receive it, and they might want to see my American passport (so I'd have to send it to my lawyer).

The way around this is that my lawyer will request them to send it an embassy. I might have to sign a sworn declaration, but that would hopefully be the last thing I'd have to sign. Then a couple weeks later I could pick up my passport. Worse case senario, is that I'd have to go to Romania and get it. But, I'm planning on going to Europe anyways for the summer.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

FAQ: Speaking Romanian

Is there a Romanian Language test before you are awarded citizenship?

In theory, not if it's because of ancestry. But, that's not to say that they won't try to give me one. Anyways, I can pretty much read and listen, it's the writing and speaking that's hard.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Friday, 18 February 2011

FAQ: Why do you want to be Romanian?

Congratulations! Once you have your Romanian passport, how will that help you with your professional goals?

Kind of personal / professional. IF I get the passport, then my husband and I would consider settling down there. It would be a halfway point between living in the US and living in Peru. It won't be his country, nor mine, but ours. We'd both have to struggle with things, but I think less so than if we went to our respective countries.

He could get citizenship. Romanian would be MUCH easier for him to adapt to both culturally and language wise (He's already able to translate gov't docs just due to knowing Spanish). I've heard the job market isn't the best there, so we're also considering Saudi for a bit to save. Hopefully by the time we leave Korea we'll be able to buy another flat in Peru and basically save all the rent we get and live off of whatever we make in Romania.

Basically, Europe would be open to both of us. Even if we don't work there, we could own property, send our kids to school, hopefully get pension, etc.

If I could stay in Korea for five years at this same job, my pension would go up a lot. If we had kids, then we'd have to decide whether to stay in Korea, move to Romania, or go to Saudi.

Awesome, NG.

Acum, poti invata romaneste!!
Espanol le ayudara.

I'm a little envious. Congrats.


Don't be jealous just yet Wink I've still got to get the passport. If it makes you feel any better, I first called the consulate in fall 1999. This hasn't been easy! Anyways, finding out that the Ministry of Internal Affairs recognises my mom as a citizen is wonderful news!

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Mom's a citizen

Updated 17 October 2015

I found out that this document just says my mom was a citizen when she left Romania.

Good news: My lawyer sent me confirmation that my mom is a citizen from the Ministry of Internal Affairs! She never had her citizenship revoked and never renounced it. Yea! So hopefully I'll be getting my passport this year! (My grandfather did renounce his citizenship. No info about my grandmother's Romanian citizenship. But none of that mattes. My mom IS a citizen, therefore I can get citizenship.)

So excited!

Things are taking longer than we think, though. We applied for confirmation of citizenship in July 2010 and were told that we'd find out 4 months later, in September 2010. However, we just found out now. So it actually took 9 months.

FYI: Romanian citizenship during the Communist regime.
I have been told that any Romanian who left during the Communist regime were considered traitors by having committed "high treason" and thus revoked of Romanian citizenship. However, since the fall of communism, laws have changed. Th
e 1991 law basically cancels the revocation of citizenship due to its extreme political nature, therefore, my mom still has citizenship (which has been proved by the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs). My grandfather's is a different matter. He willingly renounced his citizenship. If we had wanted his to be restored, that would be another legal matter.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Husband's back

And this time it's for good. We'd like to start a family here in Korea. And I'm sick of buying him one way tickets.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.


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