what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Guide to blogs about Romania

I know of at least three other Brits who blog from a Romanian base – first a highly literate Conservative with a blog entitled A Political Refugee from the global village. He’s an “Englishman in love with Bucharest’s blowsy charms” who apparently came to live here in 1998; works as a “headhunter”; and blogs regularly. His posts in 2010 are good on various aspects of Romanian history and the disappearing charm of Bucharest. 
Then there is Dr Peter Fogarty who has apparently been blogging about life here for the past decade on pictures of romania - and has indeed collected his various comments together in several books which can be accessed on his site.
The other blogger is Andy Hockley whose blog has the catchy title Csikszreda Musings - that being the Hungarian name for Miercurea Ciuc – which, to me, always sounds like “Wednesday beer” (Ciuc being one of the big beers here). He’s been here since 2004 and some of the early entries are good – but, understandably, his blogposts have fallen off in the last 2 years. His posts about English politics suggest that he too is a Conservative – if of a more populist type than the first Bucharest guy. I can’t quite work out what he does for a living. A couple of years ago he had a good blog about the Romanian film Katalin Varga - a film which gives a very good sense of the old village life. 

So that's four of us Brits who have chosen to live here in Romania (me at least half of the year now) - and blog about it. Apart from us, I know of another 3 Brits who have settled in Romania - 2 in Brasov (with property and tourist businesses respectively) and an ex-British Council training guy who has chosen Iasi (which he calls Romania's cultural capital by virtue of its intellectual heritage).
That's 7 of us - compared with the 6,000 who settled a decade ago in Bulgaria! (although there are apparently now only 2,600) There are some French people - generally associated with food and drink (!) - and a French couple has indeed arrived in our village here and is doing a good job of restoring an old house faithfully in the old tradition.

An American in Cluj has a blog which used to be called “I’m more Romanian than you” but now seems to be called, more modestly, on Romania. He’s a more recent arrival; is more chatty; but has offered various language lessons.
Bucharest Life is a fairly typical, mundane collective ex-pat site which did, however, in the winter have some good photographs of the snow and of examples of the highly annoying habit of parking on the pavements.

There are also a handful of Romanians with great blogs in English about the beauty of landscape, buildings and art you can find in this country. Guide to Romania is a blog which gives good detail (and pics) about various famous Romanian buildings and sites. True Romania was another blog giving useful information about historical Romanians and sites - operated by a teacher and pupils at Ludus secondary school. Sadly the blog stopped posting in 2011 – but the archives go back 4 years and offer a great source. 

Historical Houses of Romania is an excellent site maintained by Valentin Mandache – who has also taken to organising walks around the architectural jewels of Bucharest. It was one of his posts which pointed me to this interesting piece about the legacies we can see of one of Bucharest’s modernist architects

There was a TV journalist here who had great entries about modern art – but his address now gives me the Artindex auctioneers in Bucharest which has, however, retained his posts. Look at this great one on the Zambaccian Museum in Bucharest.

Last but certainly not least is an external blogger. Sarah in Romania is actually based (still I think) in Paris although I understand she's American (??). Her's is the only serious external site I know. Her posts are always instructive and passionate – for example this recent one on the superb Mogosoira Palace on the outskirts of Bucharest.

postscript; I have just come across this rather unctuous American blog.

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