1. If you’re a man, you are terrorized between the 14th of February and the 8th of March.
The Period of Terror for men combines the American Valentine’s day, the traditional Mărţişor offered to women and girls at the beginning of spring on the 1st of March, and Mother’s Day. And usually, all the women in your life are expecting a gift on each of these days, not just one.
2. You can throw back strong drinks like palincă, rachiu or ţuică.
You always have these with the main meal, but you always recommend them for a healthy lifestyle. A true Romanian can tell the difference between palincă, rachiu and ţuică — plus identify which fruits are used in each.
3. You can recognize an old Dacia car anywhere.
And you believe these old Romanian cars are still good and often work better than their newer models. When you see them in the countryside you remember that they were first produced in the communist period.
4. Soup or ciorbă is always your first dish at lunch.
And not because you feel sick, your stomach just always craves something warm and liquid. You cannot even think about lunch without them.
5. You believe Slănină cu ceapă (smoked bacon with onions) is one of the healthiest and most delicious meals around.
And as you read this, you’re going crazy to eat the şorici from the bacon’s hard part.
6. And you believe grilled trout has no taste without mujdei and mămăligă.
You love to make mujdei with a lot of garlic and you always serve it with grilled trout and polenta.
7. You understand what ‘a freca menta’ means and you know very well how to do it.
We Romanians have developed the art of wasting our own time, especially when we work with a fixed program and salary.
8. You’re always eager to take your holidays anywhere outside of the country.
Having our roots in the communist period, we Romanians are set up to spend our holidays away from home. Otherwise, it’s not a real holiday because we feel trapped in our own country.
9. You’ve gotten used to hearing your fellow citizens listen to Manele.
You’re often disappointed when you hear the Manele music style, but you know it’s appreciated as a remarkable musical genre for Romanian mass culture, having a lot of regional influences like traditional fiddler Romanian music. So in the end, it’s not so bad at all.
10. You know that mămăligă cu brânză şi smântână is the easiest meal to cook.
The local cheese you use is brought directly from the mountain villages and it’s called telemea. You’ve eaten polenta with cheese at least once at a sheepfold in the mountains, cooked in a special way by shepherds, like balmoş or bulz.
11. Wherever you go, you know how to travel on bad roads and without major highways.
You know there are only three highways in different parts of the country and they are not enough to ensure a good transportation infrastructure. So you’re always mentally prepared to cross the Romania — taking almost 8 hours to travel just 500km — in heavy traffic and on a road often filled with holes.
12. You spend most of your free time barbecuing with family and friends.
And you know that mici is the traditional combination of different meat fried on the grill for a typical barbecue, with mustard and beer.
13. You use ‘mişto’ or ‘fain’ to say something is ‘cool’ or ‘beautiful.’
14. You know the truth behind Dracula’s story.
The legend refers to Voivod Vlad Ţepeş of old Wallachia country. Vlad Tepeş was only impaling his enemies, he was not a vampire. You respect that it’s just a good story to tell and you enjoy it’s tourism profit.
15. You throw a huge party every time something happy happens in your life.
Weddings, baptisms, high school graduations, university graduations, birthdays, religious namings — these are all important events in Romanian life. They’re all a great opportunity to spend a lot of money on a huge party.
16. And that party should include lots of food, drinks and dancing.
The traditional hora is still very popular, even if you don’t know how to dance it. People are just spinning all together in one big circle to the left or to the right.