One of the few signs of public kindness left in Romania is.... hitch-hiking. At the exit of all cities you can see a few people waiting for lifts – which they will generally get in 10 minutes or so. As you leave the car – after a trip of 50 kilometres say – you will simply put a note worth a couple of euros in the driver’s hand as you leave. But hitch-hiking in Romania is being banned – with the guilty party now designated as the driver (as if we were the customers of prostitutes).
So where does that place me when I am on the 6 kilometre stretch of track from the main road to the village where I live in the summer when I encounter villagers? No justification has been given for this stupid new law which, hopefully, will be ignored by all, not least the police (as it was for a previous effort some years back apparently). As if Romanians were not being crushed enough!
I referred some months back to a great book of black and white photographs of Ceaucescu‘s Romania by Andrei Pandele which got a nice review on the BBC magazine.
The author of the piece, Tessa Dunlop, wrote a novel recently about the period – To Romania with Love
Finally, for those who want to know more about aspects of Romania’s history, there is an interesting review of the second-world war dictator Antonescu here