Romania- a beautiful place on Earth, located in the Center and Easter part of Europe (we will get to that!) was my gateway to freedom.
I lived in Romania for the duration of my university studies and half of my mental life before that.
I am a Romanian, born in Moldova, to get that out of the way.
When you are born in Moldova, the very Eastern republic, there are a few choices to make :
Are you with the Russians or the Romanians?
Are you pro-European or pro-communism -they are still there!
Are you pro freedom of speech, free market and competitive economy or corruption when hands wash each other and pull invisible but subjugation strings ?
Are you pro culture or en masse stupidity when you get your information reality check from FB?
What are you ?
This is a question you need to answer every day in Moldova.
I remember the days, the weeks of despair when I was waiting for the results after applying at the university in Romania for the scholarship.
I had to wait to see if I was getting my ticket to the moon or not.
The day when my father told me that yes, I was going to study in Romania, he called somewhere to know, there was no internet at that time, well, we can say that was the day I started breathing.
Moldova and the constraints I grew up in were claustrophobic for me and these mental and psychological, economic constraints did produce malformations in my development, but not only mine.
I went to study in Romania in Constanţa, by the sea. The Black sea.
And indeed that was my leap into the sea of darkness. The darkness of the unknown of myself and the world around me.
I knew I had to get out of Moldova but where was I going? I had no emotional nor financial resources. I had just the instinct to leave for the sake of my life and the curiosity to see beyond Moldovan boundaries.
That was the moment when I lost connection with my past, my colleagues, my few friends, my Moldovan life.
Not that I wanted it, but it happened.
I had no phone, no internet and no way to stay in touch with anyone who was not going to make it with me, the long way.
My journey has indeed been long.
From Romania I then travelled and worked in : Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Changzhou, Chongqing, Xiamen, Changsha, Beijing, Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic.
The desire to see, hear, live and taste life has been and it still is strong, in direct proportion to the void I grew up in.
Romania taught me:
The lesson of Repression
The lesson of Loneliness
The power of the Mind
The lesson of Oldness
The lesson of Courage
The lesson of Curiosity
….but will get to this next time.