Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Tried the Chicago consulate again

I figure I had to try. I started there years ago and wanted to know if anything had changed. I've written about all the troubles I had with the Chicago consulate before. As luck would have it, the same consul who was there in 2005 was there then. There were lots of people waiting when we got there. We handed over all our info and they said they'd get back to me 20 minutes later.

A little over an hour and a half later they said that in order for me to get my CNP and my passport, my mother would first need her CNP, to register her marriage with Romania, and to get a temporary passport. She could either travel to Romania and do it herself or get a lawyer. I asked how long it would take if she went and they said, it's easy, maybe two weeks. I don't see that happening. Since my mom doesn't speak enough Romanian to deal with legalities, we're looking for another lawyer. Hopefully someone can help us out.

On the positive side, it was a lively place to be. There were about 6 people waiting when we go there. All of them easily switching between English and Romanian. One couple was complaining about the long wait, another complaining about the wrong information the consulate had given them about American citizenship. Later on a family of Roma came in. Their dresses were beautiful and their kids' hair was a pretty reddish brown. The kids weren't wearing shoes. My daughter was jealous. They weren't speaking Romanian at all. It's nice to see diversity.

The person we spoke to was very nice. He asked if I wanted to speak in Romanian or English. I said English. He wasn't condescending at all. 

All in all, it feels good to get closure. If I can make this work, great. If not, no one can say I didn't try. From the USA, to Peru, to Romania, to Korea I've definitely tried.

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

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

They've Revoked My Romanian Birth Certificate and I'm Giving Up for Good

As you probably remember my docs were submitted to the Embassy of Romania in Peru at the end of October 2013. I was told it would be 3-4 weeks. So at the end of November, they asked for a link between my maiden name and married name and said it would be a little while longer. But their hands were tied, it was up to Bucharest to do what they had to do.

I thought that I'd hear something by January. I just received a long email from the embassy quoting laws, which are just letters and numbers to me. The long and short of it is that they've cancelled my birth certificate, so now I have nothing. They've cited that article 40 alin (2) of Law no. 119/1996 wasn't respected when I got my birth certificate (since the consul of Peru gave me my birth certificate, I completely blame him for not respecting the laws). According to article 57 of law no. 119/1996 and article 127 about civil status documents approved by government decision no. 64/2011 they've decided to revoke my birth certificate.

My mom still has a piece of paper from the Ministry of Internal Affairs stating that she's Romanian, however, the Chicago consulate has refused to register her marriage stating that she needs a passport and refuses to give her a passport stating that she needs to have her marriage registered. And let's not even get started with the fact that she has no CNP because they didn't exist when she was born.

I've been trying to get Romanian citizenship for years and years now. I've run into brick walls and kept going, but I think this is the straw that broke the camel's back. It's time to say this is enough and move on. For some reason it's simply not meant to be.

Ironically, this Saturday I received an email from someone who came across this blog and he wrote this, "May I ask you why you want to learn a useless language and get a useless citizenship from a f***ed up country like Romania ...I don't know what to do next in order to get out of this cursed place as soon as possible."

In some ways that sums up how I feel right now. Romanians have been leaving Romania in droves now that they're in the EU. How they got into the EU I don't know, though from talking to Romanians it seems to be a well-known secret that they outright lied about various issues in order to get in. The Romanian government sure has a long, long way to go to reach EU standards. The low salaries, high cost of living, and rampant bribery all add to the problem. Everyone in my family was asking me, "But Sharon, WHY do you want to become a Romanian citizenship?" There are many reasons why I want to get Romanian citizenship. However, I'm starting to see more and more problems with how the country is run.

I'm trying to get in, while many Romanians want out. Enough is enough, if you want to move on you simply have to move on.

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

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Friday, 7 February 2014

My work plans for Romania

If things fall into place and I do get my Romanian passport I'd probably move to Romania so that my daughter and I could learn Romania and we could get EU residency. It's been about 14 years since I started trying to get citizenship, but I think I'm really close this time!

Moving anywhere scares me. Personally I'd rather move to another country than move back home to the US because I left in January 2002. I've never really lived there as an adult and had to deal with rent, insurance, or a job. So better the devil you know than the devil you don't, which is why I'd probably stay abroad.

I'll be honest, education in Korea isn't that good. My daughter speaks Korean and her daycare is absolutely fantastic! But I wouldn't stick her in a Korean school where memorisation and quantity are more important than quality and the ability to think outside the box. Job security isn't very good here either. You usually sign yearly contracts and many places will get rid of you after 1, 3, or 5 years simply because they don't want to pay more into the pension scheme. Or because they can get rid of you, so they do.

Being not married to a Korean means that things are harder for me. I don't have a Korean husband to rely on and some jobs only hire those married to Korean. Expats make it hard for us as well. I get told that if I don't like it I should go home. Yet these same people complain about their mother-in-laws, but according to them, it's ok that they complain since they're married to a Korean.

Another thing is that I'll never fit in here in Korea. Even if I'm fluent in Korean, I will always look different. My daughter already gets special treatment, sweets on the subway, and can get away with a lot. I don't think that's good.

So as it stands I'm contemplating either moving to China, the Middle East, or Romania. Of those places, Romania is the place where I could actually blend in. Not only would I be Romanian by blood, so I'd also look Romanian. But I would also have citizenship, thus giving me the right to live, work, and study there. In addition, the school system seems much better than Asia. In the Middle East, my daughter would have to go to an international school, which are horrendously expensive. One of the reasons for living abroad is for her to learn languages and I don't see any sense paying $20-$25k usd for an American school when they're free back home. No matter where we go, I'd like to hire a tutor for her to keep up her Korean and for her to learn a couple more languages as well.

Jobs are an issue. I can live decently and still save in Korea. In China I might be able to save more since the cost of living is lower. In the Middle East you can save, but as a teacher I'd be pretty low on the ladder amongst the oil expats. In Romania I could probably make about $1500 usd a month teaching at a bilingual school. I'm not sure if I could get into international schools even though I have taught at that level. To be honest, having taught at an international school, my experience wasn't the best so I don't know if I'd go back to one. Teachers at my school were not treated well at all and the parents ran the school. Teachers were treated like household help and the parents seemed to know everything even though they weren't teachers by trade. There was also a lot of useless paperwork and focus on unimportant things like perfect handwriting and underlining titles twice with a ruler. Not an environment I want to be in.

$1500 usd a month isn't much in Bucharest when you consider that to rent a place you'd probably need about 400 euro, about $600 usd. Working more than one job would help and luckily I've been doing that for a while now. I could teach private lessons, but having done that I don't think I'd like to do that. One or two, maybe, but not too many because you lose a lot of travel time.

I became a childbirth educator earlier this year and I must say I really, really enjoy the work. I like teaching highly motivated people and as an English teacher I don't run into people like that too often. More often than not they're in the class because it's a required class. I'm hoping to continue teaching childbirth classes no matter where I go. I enjoy organising info, helping people out, and giving them the tools they need to get the birth they want. I also have lots of useful info on my website (Tender Embrace Birthing) such as doulas, breastfeeding counselors, hospitals, and clinics in Korea that people can access. So while this is a very long winded post, I hope it gives a bit more info about what I'd do if I went to Romania.


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

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

No News is Starting to Get Annoying

As you probably remember my docs were submitted to the Embassy of Romania in Peru at the end of October 2013. I was told it would be 3-4 weeks. So at the end of November, they asked for a link between my maiden name and married name and said it would be a little while longer. But their hands were tied, it was up to Bucharest to do what they had to do.

I thought that I'd hear something by January. But alas, there's still no news. It's extremely frustrating. The embassy says that they've emailed Romania, but that's no enough. If the current method they're using isn't working, they should try another method.

My husband's been contacting them every week and I just emailed them, suggesting that they actually call Romania and ask. It's been 3 months now. Granted there were holidays and all that, but still, it's a long time. Too long, 3 weeks have stretched to 3 months, which could easily stretch to 3 years. I hope something gets done fast.

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

Romanian Citizenship recommends:

Monday, 6 January 2014

Poll Results: What brought you to Romania?

Here are the poll results for the 2013 poll.

Love: 0% with 0 votes
Work: 0% with 0 votes
Studies: 0% with 0 votes
Other: 100% with 3 votes

Be sure to vote in the 2014 poll which is, "What's your monthly salary?"

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

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