Architecture School of TM; Romania



Jan '05 - Jan '07

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    Planet Transexual in the galaxy of Transylvania

    By Oana S.
    Sep 13, '05 2:05 PM EST
    You know, I really like to believe that I am tolerant and understanding. I give my best in that sense: I don't yell, behave patience, never push when in line etc.
    This is the last time I bring this up but I have to talk about it. The romanian feeling. When you leave your country you are wondering if people see where you are from. Usually strangers mistake the romanian language for portughese or italian, so it's not that bad to talk like that. Too bad the car has a sign ”˜RO'. You try to hide it. Actually there are people on which you see that they are romanian (and I don't mean the 2 women collecting money ”˜in the name of the church' in front of the Rheims cathedral) and there are people who look rather civilized. It sounds bad, it is true. It is not hard to see the difference. From this point of view when you are in another country and someone adresses to you in the local language it is kind of a compliment. Now don't go that far as to think that it is a disaster or I'm obsessed with it, these are small feelings in a big bang. Anyway, I've had both the bad (when little) the good (lately) and the ugly (the common) behaviour with strangers.
    One thing is that people are kind of afraid if you talk to them, as you might expect something from them (playing the poor one). Not to mention that you might probably steal. something. somehow.
    For example there was a mobile custom point at the german-french border. They checked the passports of everyone. The ro car (us) had to be checked more carefully....and then the show began. We stepped out the car and 8 or 9 people started checking it : they opened every cigarette pack, looked under the seats, every bag was emptied etc. you get the picture. They where actually funny ”˜cause when 2 people finished checking the front part, another 2 checked it again. I have to say they where in a good mood. A bit disappointed but with a ”˜finally some fun' smile, they finished 15 min later. As we where driving a 2004 model french car one officer couldn't help it and asked ”˜what is your job in romania?'.
    But things like are not bad in any way but totally understandable. I do not judge them for acting like this, I even kind of agree with them. I don't think you miss much if the only connection you make with ro is dracula. If I were from another place god knows I wouldn't give a damn about this little land that keeps compromising itself.
    The other day I was with some friends in a club. Around 4 o'clock a guy from belgium takes a seat at our table and starts ”˜talking' to us: ”˜you have a beautiful country, very beautiful girls, very lucky to live here'.He didn't really had a chance to continue. It may sound rude by my friends literary jumped on him, trying to make him shut up. You have to understand, that is a typical arogant approach we have met very often, an attitude that screams ”˜let's talk to this underdeveloped beings, they should feel honoured'. Don't get me wrong, it's only the attitude and the bad acting that is disturbing, strangers often act as landlords in such a country. If you are working with someone outside the country you might have the surprise that he is visiting you only when you find a girl for him(long lengs, slim).
    But what I really find disgusting is the institutionalized behavior.

    A small example: I have to get a visa for a scholarship in italy. Ok. Step one: go to the embassy write your name on a list and wait along with one hundred other people in an 8x6m courtyard to be called. After several hours they call you to get in line in order to reach a clerk who is going to settle a date for your visa request. Until you get to the clerk (who btw speaks only italian) you have contact only with 3 security guards, they make the lists, they make the rules. There are no posters, no information point, no access to anyone/anything.The pressumption is you get an appointment only if you prove you have a reason to ask a visa (working contract, invitation). The earliest appointment is after 2 month. Due to the kindness of the italian school, they even wrote to the embassy and put me in contact with the chief secretary. Talked to her, everything is alright.
    2 month later, fully loaded with patience, you proceed to the embassy (in case you find out what papers you need ). You wait again in the courtyard until they call you. Then you get to stand in another line inside the building. In this room you have hundreds of papers glued on the wall: necessary information. While waiting you can check (whether you have the right papers) and might even find out new things: you have to pay 50 E for the visa, for student visa you're in the wrong line etc. Though I am not claustrophobic I hate being in small rooms (4x4) with many other people (30), especially when it's hot outside. Today I waited from 9 am to 16 pm to get to the clerk. the only person you can ask for advice continue to be the security guards. And they love it as people noticed it's good to be on their side. The clerk then told me I won't get a visa because I haven't applied through the embassy (he only spoke italian, my papers were in english). I am enrolled in an italian school, have a scholarship which covers a lot but no visa. Great. Not just 7 hours on your feet without any air, not just 2 month in which you changed everything according to this visa, but the perspective upon the following 2 years. Next day, discussion with the same secretary: 'sorry, not possible'. Does anyone care? Don't think so. This is a small fragment of a big ugly reality. And it sucks being treated like an animal or an inferior species in such a legal way.


    • BLK

      You are maybe a bit to pessimistic. Romania is not that far from "Europe and the rest of the world", I've learnt tha just yesterday.

      O, and civilized people... are hard to find in any place.

      Sep 14, 05 6:13 am

      Oana, keep fighting for that visa. paperwork & visa procedures can be awful but there's so much to gain. is there a way to apply through the embassy now? maybe you can ask someone at the italian school to help you translate the application? can they put some pressure from their side? a later option: since this is nor rumanian paperwork, but italian, try to contact the italian embassador. detail your problem, including copies of acceptance letters, etc. ask the italian school to contact them.

      Sep 14, 05 10:13 pm

      ... studying outside your country, whatever country you're from, is a great experience. oh, and as you've learned, italian and french men are really impossible. often cute, but really a bit too sure of themselves. only surpassed in this by greek men. all archinecters excluded, of course.

      Sep 14, 05 10:16 pm
      brian buchalski


      your story just made my day. it is very kafk-esque and i can relate since recently every simple thing that i attempt to do becomes sooo complicated.

      anyhow, i can't do any for you regarding italy, but if the pretty girl from the little country would like to visit america, maybe something can be worked out, yes?

      Sep 15, 05 1:41 pm

      aml... you haven't met me yet. : )

      Sep 15, 05 3:18 pm

      good luck Oana, surely you'll work it out.

      Sep 15, 05 5:27 pm
      the cellardoor whore

      that problem of yours is not just romanian, the undead walk everywhere. i despise the who visa farce to begin with, and that still does not include the drab inefficiency of bureaucracy or the de jour mood of the 'infiltration' interviewers. but seriously, its depressing and humiliating. there is, usually, a radical difference between an eu/american/uk citizen who applies for an other visa, and an other who applies for an american/schengen/uk visa. (the irony is the more acerbic when you speak the interviewer's language better than s/he does, innit?)

      as for all this inter-romanian stuff. its just silly. thats your own trap.

      sometimes i get so bored and frustrated in an embassy, i start think of performance art. like getting naked and doing a twirl and bleep with electronic joy (and if you had the chance to stupify all those other irrelevant people who want a measure of control over you ... let them into my mind and zap them with the sweetbitterness of hatred and love for them. and when i think people i think of that hunk of a guy at the pool back in a chubby 8 year old's life. he gave such a cruel look that introduced the sad lonliness of consciousness. his as well.)

      Sep 15, 05 8:15 pm
      Oana S.

      thanks a lot.
      i've just acted out my feelings in a moment in which i was extremly upset. i still am but it's better now.
      anyway, the guys in milan are great as they understood the situation and they try to help me. that is comforting.
      i'll let you know how things develop.

      PS the cellardoor whore, i know 'this inter-romanian stuff. its just silly. thats your own trap.' you are right.
      and performance art in such situations is all that makes me bare the long hours of waiting.

      Sep 16, 05 4:45 am

      good to hear you're not giving up.

      the paintings are beautiful -who is the artist?
      keep us posted and best of luck.

      Sep 16, 05 2:28 pm
      Oana S.

      anselm kiefer

      Sep 17, 05 3:40 am

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