Nowadays I often catch myself thinking in Romanian -unthinkable ten years ago. I'll be browsing grocery store aisles, or recalling a recent conversation -maybe even imagining an upcoming one- and a new voice will interrupt that internal monologue (dialogue?) to say, "Romanian, eh?" Once conscious of the fact, I switch into English, but there's no denying it, I've gone native.
Back when I started writing on expatro, my mission and vision were clear; to write a blog about re-adjusting to life in Romania after a lifetime away. Indeed, I approached the endeavour through an expat's eyes, which is essentially the befuddled, and sometimes frustrating, lens of cross-cultural experience. I think that phase lasted about three years, maybe a bit longer, in the sense that even now Romania makes no qualms about befuddling me (along with the rest of her citizens), but unlike those early years there is less of a rosy tint to all of it now, and less of that detached tourist curiosity; expecting the unexpected is just part of the package. That is the permanent state of all activity in this country, from the most mundane shopping experience to the dizzyingly complex encounters with the dreaded bureaucratic apparatus. The difference now, as in all things one becomes accustomed to, is you just learn to live with it.
This is not something I'd have written back then. Yet, 'learning to live with it' is as Romanian as it gets, especially when you're talking about uncomfortable living arrangements. No, Canadian me had other thoughts on the matter. But that was then and this is now, and now is the time for a refresh, a rebirth...a recognition of the facts if you will. What this is, after so many years, is a more realistic, less romanticized, and an even more nuanced approach to that initially jubilant 're-adjustment'.
Some of the content will be similar (ex. Best places to eat, Things I love about RO, How to _____ in Cluj, Why do Romanians____? ), but I won't be exploring from a purely expat perspective, not least because it would be impossible even if I tried. Anyway, I have a buletin (Romanian ID) and a local driver's license now, as well as a car with CJ plates, and a mortgage. If I'm not the definition of a repat, I don't know what I am.
This platform (ghost.org) is supposed to be great for bloggers to engage their readers and I'm considering some subscriber only content down the line in the form of longer pieces about specific topics or experiences. I recommend you sign up if you're up for getting notified about that sort of thing. Also, if you happen to come in off the expatro blog, you've got all my admiration for coming along this far. Get in touch anytime, I'm always happy to hear from readers, fellow ex/re-pats, or anyone with anything interesting to say.