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March 2019 | N° 17 | FREE COPY

I N S P I R AT I O N A L L I F E S T Y L E M AGA Z I N E

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INSPIRATION AL

Spicing up traditions with music

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Auras, Mihaiu's Siriu Paradise

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CULTURE

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O ZI BUNA

Chooo Chooo

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Douglas Williams - Publisher

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t’s official, Bucharest is going gangbusters. The Romanian capital is hurtling along with business boom boom booming, this city is going like a train and I for one can’t help but feel we’re headed towards a cracking summer. Yes, you heard it here first, Bucharest is going to be the place to be this coming summer. Everywhere you look luxury new apartments are being thrown up, fancy brand new cars are everywhere. Beautiful people are dressed chiquely, malls packed to the rafters. New bars and restaurants are opening all over the place and what is going on with coffee shops - how many coffee shops does one city need! Like mushrooms overnight! Somebody has switched on the money tap, it’s clear. Meantime Henri Coanda airport is receiving an ever increasing number of arrivals from an ever increasing number of cities and countries, tour operators can barely cope, and during your average visit to Lidl or Mega you’re likely to overhear a bewildering array of languages. Folks are flocking here cause the word is out Romania Rocks! It happened elsewhere, now it’s finally Bucharest and Romania’s turn. Even just one year ago the genius (and free!) language learning app Duolingo had a fairly limited Romanian offering, now it’s far from limited, in fact it’s more than a little daunting! The world has clearly switched on to Romania - films and series are being made here, Romania even figures in Harry Potter! And how cool is “Killing Eve” with its Bucharest filmed Moscow? It’s going gangbusters but the question is how you want your city, your country to develop? How is this new found prosperity going to manifest in meaningful, worthwhile, genuinely beneficial ways beyond a gridlocked city with flash cars bumper to bumper? The authorities have finally woken to the traffic nightmare that’s clear and thank goodness - new buses have been purchased and junctions are awash with cops waving people through on green 6

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and advising people to stop on red… err I think most of us had grasped that concept. Intensely annoying bibbed parking dudes and dudettes leap out to demand 10 lei all over but they merely shift the parking problem around without fixing it. But, credit where it’s due, these moves are a start. There must be a chance, however, that these cosmetic touches morph into proper infrastructural changes with actual organised parking (solid gold investment opportunity, hello!!!); public awareness campaigns to promote the existing excellent public transport (why not make it free like in Estonia’s Talinn). A fully joined up and systematically expanding cycling network with bike-sharing would be great especially through summer in this flat as a clatita city and might I be so bold as to suggest pedestrianisation? How lovely would that be! Just like the exquisite Slovenian capital Ljubliana (where they are raking in the tourist euros btw). Calea Victorei through Piata Revolution for a start? On a more serious note, traffic calming measures, especially around schools, are long overdue and much needed. Cars are great, I love my Dacia dearly, but they require managing otherwise they take over. On May 26th, there are the elections for the European Parliament and these are crucial on many levels but the most crucial thing is that everyone actually votes. We’re all living with the consequences of voter complacency and low turnout - from the poor ol’ befuddled and Disunited Kingdom, to the equally fractious formerly United States, some might even place our own dear Romania on the list. Register and vote, you may live to regret it if you don’t. As always, i hope you enjoy this new edition of OZB. If you have any suggestions, criticisms, events/products/ people/places you wish to promote, if you want to get involved, jokes you wish to share, freebies or samples you feel we should test and extra especially if you’d like to partner with us commercially please get in touch: douglas@ozb.ro

DOUGLAS WILLIAMS

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief douglas@ozb.ro

OANA VASILIU

Editor

PAUL GIBSON

Commercial Director

DANA TUDOSE-TIANU

Contributing Editor Layouting and Visual Communication by

FOR SALES ENQUIRIES: Paul Gibson 0730 037 755

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Contents March Events

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The Land Where the Buffalo Roam

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A statement of intent

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12

Rivers of Black Crossing Dusk Skies

National Heritage Goes Digital: Bethlen Castle Cris

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The Museum for Recent Arts (MARe)

Celebrating Women's Day with Entrepreneurship lessons-to-learn

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Meet the Nod Makerspace people: Ruxandra Creosteanu

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New Restaurants: Bistro Ateneu & Paninaro

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Enjoy a Tank Beer at Draft Pub

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Spring is in the Air - Martisor Musings

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The Tailor's Granddaugther

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Cooking Up With Music

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Still Undiscovered Romanian Paradise: Siriu Region

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Locally Produced, Internationally Enjoyed

Image: sketch by Alexandra Exter, 1924 W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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March Events

Exhibitions

Events

• Hashira-e. Japanese Pillar Prints

• One World Romania

Until March 31,

ARCUB, Cinemateca Eforie, Point, Pavilion

National Museum of Arts Romania

32 Goethe Institut

March 15-24, Cinema Elvira Popescu,

The exhibition highlights one of the

The 12th edition of One World

museum’s Japanese art collections

Romania International Human Rights

so far largely unknown to the wider

& Documentary Film Festival asks some

public. Hashira-e or pillar-prints form a

very important questions for this edition:

category apart within the broader realm

What and how much has changed in the

of ukiyo-e. First produced toward the

past 30 years? How much has Romania

middle of the 18th century hashira-e

evolved on the axis of democracy and

were highly popular for about ninety

rule of law? Have we reached past the

years after which they fell into oblivion.

transition and where are we heading?

Hashira-e. Japanese Pillar Prints

• Bikers’ Fair March 29-31, Baneasa Shopping City parking Bike fan? Awesome, because the largest fair organised for you in Romania returns in a larger space, the parking lot of Baneasa Shopping City. National and international brands will bring their latest products, while an impressive skate park will be settled for demonstrations and tricks. Entrance ticket costs RON 20.

One World Romania

Brâncuși, Brașov Exhibition

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March Events


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FASHION

least one of your statement pieces. How did you come to build such an adored brand?

A statement of intent by Anda Ene

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aura Rotileanu is an entrepreneur as she started a travel agency when she was only 25 year old. She is also a beauty seeker and a beauty creator and 6 years ago, she started to design and soon after she launched her jewelry brand: Laura8. Her collection is a symphony of pearls, crystals, lace, cashmere and silk that appeals to fashionable women of all ages and from all over the world, who have something to say and who wish to stand out and be remembered.

Laura you’ve created an exclusive brand, your jewels are worn by many celebrities in Romania, and a lot of women are dreaming about having at 10

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Right from the start, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by wonderful ladies who appreciated the statement that handmade jewelry can make. Each Laura8 piece is designed in a versatile, sophisticated and empowering manner, and I think, aside from the design related aspect, these are the attributes that really resonated with our audience and made the brand grow over the years.

How many hours are necessary, in average, to create one of your pieces? Each Laura8 jewelry is 100% handmade in our Bucharest atelier and it can take up to 10 - 12 hours to make, depending on the complexity of the item.

I’ve noticed that when a woman buys a piece of Laura 8 jewelry, she often becomes addicted and wants to have more. What are the attributes of your products that make them so desirable? How do you keep your clients always wanting for more? It's true, most of our clients have their own mini-collection of Laura8 items! A statement of intent

The first time, you buy it as a statement piece. It is only after that you discover the beautifying effect of our jewelry, almost similar to make-up. Choosing the right shape, size and colour can enhance the most beautiful features and offer that extra glow. This is why I encourage all our customers to try on as many as they can, and discover which ones are the perfect style for them. Last but not least, I think that the large array of styles and their versatile quality is always appealing to our clients, who wish to constantly update and upgrade their wardrobes with handmade designer pieces, which can be considered a fashionable investment.

What do you love the most to wear from your collection and what outfit do you generally create around? Of course I love all of them, but If I had to choose only one piece of Laura8 jewelry, it would probably be the Chandelier earrings, in all sizes (small, medium or large). They are both a statement piece and a versatile accessory, which you can wear from day to night, with a multitude of outfits, from more casual to office and elegant. I would wear them with a crisp white shirt, jeans, and a pair of chic flats for daytime or stilettos for evening - the easiest way to make a quick transition from AM to PM. •


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HERITAGE

533 likes

1,495 likes

65 likes

AUGUST 18, 2018

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

JANUARY 8, 2019

cronicariidigitali “Castelul de la Criș este cel mai frumos exemplar al arhitecturii de locuire și de apărare renascentiste din Transilvania.”

iamgeorgiana Baby be my Romeo and sing me something sweet, I'll wait for you here #romaniapitoreasca #promovezromania #ig_ transylvania

myphonedidthis Hello there!

National Heritage Goes Digital: Bethlen Castle Cris

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he Bethlen Family Castle is located near Sighisoara, in Cris village, Mures County, in the middle of a park with secular trees. The castle has been part of the Bethlen family since the beginning of its history, and due to its hidden position, it has been preserved almost intact throughout the centuries. The residence, whose first construction dates back to the 15th century, is one of the most beautiful examples of habitation and defence architecture from

the Renaissance period present today in Romania In the early 1990s, the Ministry of Culture started the restoration process. •

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The Digital Chronicles (@CronicariDigitali) project is created by Zaga Brand Agency and the National Heritage Institute. The project aims to bring the values ​​and traditions of Romania to the millennials generation through social media.

2,646likes

220 LIKES

410 likes

OCTOBER 12, 2018

OCTOBER 19, 2018

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

radu.nita Castelul din Criş se află la aproximativ 30 km de Sighișoara şi a aparținut familiei Bethlen încă de la ..

wtmlc Once upon an autumn afternoon .

mariuscalinro Hello there, little guy.

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National Heritage Goes Digital: Bethlen Castle Cris


HERITAGE

1,964 likes OCTOBER 20, 2018

bogdan.buzulescu Castelul Bethlen din CriČ™ #mures #cronicaridigitali #romania #transilvania #countryside #creatorswillcreate #ig_europe #living_ europe #ig_romania #ig_countryside #ig_captures #romaniapitoreasca #igworldclub .. W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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COVER STORY

Celebrating

Women’s Day

with Entrepreneurship lessons-to-learn In The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2018, Romania was ranking 9th among the countries with the highest percentage of businesses owned by women. The results of the study have shown that, of all businesses in Romania, 28.9 percent are owned by women. Sounds optimistic? We talked with eight women entrepreneurs about the local business environment. •

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Celebrating Women's Day with Entrepreneurship lessons-to-learn


COVER STORY

Anamaria Georgescu owner Masa Casa business: horeca

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

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hallenge yourself but do the work you care about, in that way you will be successful.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? No, but I was always motivated by getting things done, this was my main drive and I believe this is a feature that kicked off my entrepreneurial endeavour. I come from a corporate background, and one day I passed by this lovely place that had a rental sign on the window - that was

the moment that sparked the idea to kick start a restaurant that was a novelty in Romania - a ketogenic diet restaurant.

How do you maintain a good work life balance? Prioritising and playing to your strengths are two of the key things that help me maintain a healthy work life balance; there will always be a hundred things to be done, but if you focus on those that are on your strengths and dispatch the remaining ones to people that exhibit strengths for those, everyone will be more happy. Valuing the expertise and the time of the people around you will also lead to a better balanced work-life ratio. •

Alina Iancu

founder Crame Romania business: wine consultancy

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

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o what you love! But be realistic, know your strengths and weaknesses.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? I started working like an entrepreneur 18th years ago, two years after I arrived in Bucharest to study. It’s my way, I don’t know any other. And today I still

have that job in the shoe industry (shoes accessories like heels and soles) mixed with my wine projects. Not easy at all, but it’s what I chose.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business? My evolution, everything I have learned in this time, but also the appreciation and support of the people. I met different kinds of people in different businesses. It’s been a big gain. •

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COVER STORY

Andreea Chirica Illustrator

business: graphic design Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

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y advice is to not abandon ideas and to try make them happen. To not give up. I know people with a lot of good ideas that get discouraged even before starting to implement them. And to try to remember that it takes time for your work to pay up.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business? Being a very small business (just me and my online shop) you really get to know your customers. I also enjoy the fact that I can

plan my days as I want and also that, fortunately, most of my commissions (at least the editorial ones) were about subjects or themes that I enjoy or that I consider to be very important, from poetry and humour to feminism and social injustice.

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman? I will speak from my experience as an illustrator, I don't know how is about other businesses: You need to be consistent. It sounds boring, but you need to become a brand, to be really hard working, flexible and really present in social media (wanted or not). It takes as much effort to make your work known as the work itself. •

Maria Dermengiu Creator & Founder Marie Nouvelle Design business: fashion design

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

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o not quit, persevere, learn more skills, adapt and have real, genuine interest towards people, towards your clients. Never forget you create, you bring something in the world not for yourself but for others.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business? Independence through making my own 16

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vision come to life. The most rewarding thing for an entrepreneur I believe is the satisfaction from getting results. When you create something and people respond to it, then you feel it was all worthwhile.

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman? My evolution, everything I have learned in this time, but also the appreciation and support of the people. I met different kinds of people in different businesses. It’s been a big gain. •


COVER STORY

Nadire Omer

design jeweller Lady Magpie business: fashion accessories

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

I

’d say it’s very important to research your market and your competition thoroughly before starting a business. Also, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary resources.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business? First of all, I enjoy the freedom of doing what I like, on my own. Then, as a designer, it was very useful for me to see that people liked my jewellery, that my pieces made people happy. It was my motivation to continue. But I believe that the most re-

warding part is the journey itself, the business development process, which includes self-development and self-discovery, the interaction with other people, colleagues, collaborators or clients. Obviously, the financial aspect is also very important.

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman? I believe a healthy mix includes emotional balance and thorough self-knowledge. Also, having a vision, being solution-oriented, having knowledge of business development, legal and fiscal aspect and Excel. And last but not least, being able to find funding for your ideas, working with others and building a team. •

Irina Wagner co-owner Wagner

business: pottery / ceramics design Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

S

tudy the market carefully, offer and do something that you are very good at and have enthusiasm. Also, in that sense, make a business plan, find out about credit opportunities and which contacts can help, if needed.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? No, but the idea did germinate early during the teenage years. I liked the idea of having a cool place with cool, artsy things. It has

been lost for a while, but upon reaching 30 years old, I had a choice between going back to a corporate job or developing something on my own. So I chose the second option. I also needed more freedom because I had a newborn baby and my entrepreneurial career gave me this flexibility.

How do you maintain a good work life balance? By rigorously delegating attributions, finding the right people in the right places. The primary quality of a manager is to delegate and to manage. Over time I gradually reduced my time spent in the company to have more time for me and my family. • W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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COVER STORY

Corina Bernschutz co-owner Bernschutz&Co Tea business: horeca / food

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

C

hoose the field and business category carefully, taking into account the potential of the market, but also the effort you are going to spend with a business. Also, pay attention to the resources such as money, time and people needed for the short, medium and long term. If you see yourself doing that business with enthusiasm and joy and after five years, go for it.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? No. It only started when what I did at work was no longer sufficient for my need to create, expand, build and express myself.

How do you maintain a good work life balance? Carefully, having in mind the decision that every important thing in my life (family, hobbies, friends) have to receive in a balanced way, my time, my attention and my affection. •

Irina Stancescu co-owner Pain Plaisir business: horeca / food

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

U

nderstand why you want to be an entrepreneur, it will prove to be a great source of strength and enthusiasm.

What have you found the most rewarding about setting up your business? There are a lot of rewarding aspects of the business, hard to choose. I would say that filling in the blank page with your actions, mind and passion - basically 18

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seeing it happen, from dream to reality and sharing it with other people.

What quality do you think you need to be a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman? Resilience and the belief that you will make it work, by deploying your best resources and capacities. •


POETRY

The Tailor’s Granddaughter February 15, 2019

I fall in love with people and buildings and books My Singer is old, but precise. I pedal and sew, with words concise Over their hearts and minds and looks. The needle runs a hundred miles deep in and out of their fabric - flesh, paper or stone; I only pedal slower when I hit a bone Or the fine print, or a brick. Now, my grandfather had this smooth tailor’s chalk And I have one piece with me all the time I mark the people and buildings and books for mine As soon as they open their mouth and talk. It’s so important, marking the right spot, Otherwise the fabric goes to waste. Tailoring hearts and minds can’t be done in haste; I look up close before i decide where to cut. When I book them for the first meeting, I tell them it’s going to last a day; I stretch their fabric until they choose to leave or stay; And for those who stay, I’ll do the fitting.

SUSHI

2

GO

For the best, freshest, tastiest Sushi in Bucharest, visit Sushi2Go in the Strip Mall on Iancu Nicolae, Pipera. Or visit:

www.livrare-sushi.ro to see the full menu and call 0770 902 782 for delivery. Minimum order 100 lei, further conditions apply. Mention this OZB advert when you order either in person or over the phone and you will get a free soup/drink/Kapa Maki.

Yoi shokuyoku Dana Tudose-Tianu

is a skilled interviewer, New Yorktrained family mediator, an expert communicator and leadership trainer. She is a Romanian-American with 20 years of professional experience - 10 in Romania and 10 in the U.S.. Dana is the founder, moderator and co-producer of the online English-language talkshow and interview series, Coffee and Stories.

She is also the founder of the mediation services platform, Casa Tianu. Dana is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has completed executive education studies in global leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as two years of legal studies at Concord Law School. She lives in Bucharest with her two children, Sophie and George. The Tailor's Granddaugther

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TRADITION

Fragmente 204,467 views

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Published on 17 Feb 2019

Traditional Romanian Food Underscored with Equally Traditional Music

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Cooking Up With Music


TRADITION

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usician Bogdan Simion and chef Mihai Toader have launched a Youtube channel, Fragmente (Fragments, in English), to present some glimpses of Romania which are not usually shown: a join venture of traditional music and food, discovered and documented in an attempt of slow rural tourism. But there is more. The video content presented online goes also in a pop-up dinner somewhere in Bucharest, where Mihai cooks the recipes and Bogdan sings. OZB wanted to find out what’s exactly on this plate. By Oana Vasiliu

Discovering Romania through fragments How did you come up with the idea of mixing music with food? Chef Mihai Toader: It all started with my curiosity of finding out traditional Romanian recipes, to seek inspiration for me and for the menus I was about to create. It was more a field-research project that I had in mind for some time, and then, talking with Bogdan, I discovered that he was already doing it - finding old, traditional Romanian music in rural communities and then presenting the “research” in a performance known as Samanul Mut (Silence Shaman, in English). And this is how the project came alive.

How do you pick the places for this project? Musician Bogdan Simion: It’s more a negotiation between us. I propose some places, then Mihai, and both bring arguments. I personally want to “discover” some well-known counties - like Iasi and Cluj, Mihai still wants to seek for small communities, not necessarily very well known. But the last episode of this season will be in Gorj county, north Oltenia.

MT: Being also an independent project, we have the liberty to choose whatever place we want. And we also want to present places that aren’t from the same geographical area.

What’s the feedback so far? MT: Although we are not trending on Youtube with the chapters presented there, it is quite a good feedback. People have started to know about us and the best barometer is the pop-up dinner event, which goes sold out in only one day after the official announcement.

Are the people from these communities willing to share their personal heritage with you?

at first, it’s a bit difficult to make them comfortable with us, especially because it’s in the course of history. The traditional communities are conservative, and this is how it should be remain. But once they get to know us, they are surely giving us stories, jokes, and those glimpses of their life which we need for our project. It’s also a great challenge for us because we spend quite a lot of time with them, getting emotionally attached by their life’s stories. We can’t really help everybody, but what we do is to present their stories and once you are on the road, maybe you can stop by, eat something fresh&bio cooked by them and listen the community’s well known fiddler for a small amount of money. And this is actually the true help you can give to these people.

BS: It’s like in any relationship: W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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TRADITION

The music chapter

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ogdan Simion is that one-of-akind musicians very passionate about traditions and sounds, being also the youngest cobza player from Romania. Besides his solo music projects, he is well known for the performance Samanul Mut and his concerts with Romanian pop-singer Loredana. Information about his concerts and performances are available on his Instagram account, @simionbogdanmihai.

How did you start your career as a traditional music seeker? It’s a very long story, but it all started from my passion for literature when I was an adolescent. That “once upon a time”, which is the base of all great stories across the world, led me to some fascinating worlds where all types of musicians and minstrels were included. And then, I started to ask myself if all these musicians from the books

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I was reading exist in reality. Moreover, I was curious if those musicians were also in Romania and asking which types of instruments were they playing at. This is how I discovered cobza, a multi-stringed instrument of the lute family of folk origin, common for this part of the world. What happened next was a true searching of this musical instrument, which lasted for over a year and appeared in my life out of a blue: we were zapping the tv channels and I saw some old recording from the national tv station with a very young musician playing cobza, together with his name and the county of origin. Long story short, after phone-calling institutions and family members from that county, I finally took it. The real driver of this searching was the negative responses I got for everyone I was asking about the cobza. And this is how I discovered a lot of other traditional stories.

So you started to play cobza. How did you learn to play it if there weren’t actually cobza players to learn from?

I started to learn by myself, I was feeling very confident about my technique and I was under the impression that I was playing great, due to the fact that the technique was “stolen” from Tudor Gheorghe. A year later, I met the first real cobza-player and I realised that I didn’t basically know anything. So I started over the whole learning process - actually the “stealing” technique process.

In the era of the internet, do you think that oral traditions will survive? Sure, this is how the traditions survived thousands of years before the internet. The only difference is that there are less and less people to share the passion for folklore and traditions. But we still have them. Of course, nowadays we can’t actually find out what is the real definition of “traditional”, “archaic” or “ancestral”. I don’t particularly use anymore these words and instead I am using “true” and “false” or “alive” and “dead”. I do think that alive


TRADITION

and truth will remain relevant, regardless the era or the changes. This is my definition of authenticity - true with itself.

How would you explain to a foreigner the traditional Romanian music? The traditional Romanian music is a good counterpart of any other music of oral traditions from the world, which says something about the people from a certain area and period. This type of music is the most sincere testimony of people who are living in a community.

The food chapter

paying attention at the platting, at the textures, offering a gastronomic experience, not only food.

traditional flea markets vs supermarkets. What’s your opinion on the matter?

How do you describe the traditional Romanian cuisine to a foreigner?

This is a real problem we, as chefs, have. The small entrepreneurs in agriculture business does not understand our restaurant business therefore they can’t provide the ingredients for the menu on a regular basis, making it very difficult for us to sustain them. You try to do a seasonal menu, which stays for three months ideally, but you don’t have the basic seasoned ingredients for it. Furthermore, most of the supermarkets have implemented some traditional Romanian food - like cheese for example, and you can buy quality from your local store. But we all agree that further steps should be considered by both sides of this food chain business. •

To resume it in only one word, our traditional cuisine is simple. It’s simple because is based on the taste of the ingredient. Fortunately, here in Romania we have plenty of places where food grows organic and it’s not just a supermarket label or marketing. Unfortunately, there are not too many people left to take care of this part of the food chain - which is agriculture.

It’s a huge debate these days between local stores/

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hef Mihai Toader started his career as a chef at Master Chef TV-show, where he went to the finals. This was how he started to work in a restaurant, with professional tools, understanding what does it mean the organisation of a professional kitchen. Currently, his signature dishes can be found in Bucharest, at Conac Vivolis and in Sibiu, at Kombinat Gastro-Brewery. He also teaches gastronomy at Horeca School, one of the most appreciated culinary schools from Romania.

Why focusing on the traditional Romanian food? I wasn’t necessarily looking for Romanian recipes, but for Romanian techniques to cook food. Then, I was curious to find out more about tastes to bring them to a more modernist page. That was also the driver for research which is currently transformed into Fragmente - both Youtube series and pop-up dinner. To resume, first it was the curiosity, now is the magic.

Can we speak about a food culture in Romania? It’s in its very early beginnings the Romanian food culture. There are more and more chefs preoccupied by reinterpreting the Romanian cuisine, but starting from the bottom, doing their researches, talking with people, find information in old books. It’s about offering experiences once the client stepped to your restaurant: W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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PHOTO ESSAY

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Still Undiscovered Romanian Paradise: Siriu Region


Still

undiscovered

Romanian paradise: Siriu region It was 2015 when the entire Romania was talking about photographer Auras Mihaiu, who was awarded with Romania National Award and represented our country in Sony World Photography Awards 2015 with an amazing picture shoot in Siriu region (Buzau county), presenting a glimpse of traditional Romanian life: a morning scene in a sheepfold. Since then, it seems nothing changed.

The young photographer still lives in his hometown, Nehoiu, and amazes the internet with his photo shoots of the region. Sometimes is Nehoiu, sometimes is Siriu lake and region, sometimes are the not-so-known lakes hidden in the mountains.

For more photographic stories of this region and maybe a guided tour, follow on Instagram @siriu.online and @aurasmihaiu

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PHOTO ESSAY

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PHOTO ESSAY

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TECHNOLOGY

with affiliate studio Framebreed producing Nickelodeon’s favourite yellow square “Spongebob SquarePants” among many others. Added to that the studio also produces commercials with many currently airing around the world for clients that include Coca Cola, Vodafone, Lidl and KFC.

Locally Produced , Internationally Enjoyed by Douglas Williams

Not many of us here in Bucharest relaxing in front of an HBO or Netflix series are aware that crucial components of programmes being watched are actually created right here in the Romanian capital.

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tudio Set, a major full house production studio located near Piata Romana, produced chunks of the hit Netflix series “Hackerville”

“There was a time,” says Andy “Sinboy” Luke, “when Studio Set would be seeking out and pitching to studios and agencies but now they are approaching us.” Andy is a designer, artist and animator who has been with the studio since its inception more that 10 years ago. Back then there were but three people involved but now it has grown to an impressive operation across three floors with a team of more than 60. Lending 3D expertise Framebreed joined forces with Studio Set and Framebreed has within it Loo Loo Kids who are producing some of the highest quality kids animation in the world Locally Produced, Internationally Enjoyed

and chalking up some incredible figures in the process: 57 million views for their Twinkle Twinkle animation! Loo Loo Kids provides the perfect solution to parents worried about babysitting by ipad as the content is extremely high quality, safe and with wholesome, positive messages somewhat at odds with a lot of the material out there. “It’s the same with many industries - Romania offers a highly educated and skilled workforce in combination with competitive prices,” says Andy. “We have world class talent but we’re in Romania so costs are lower than in California for example - we offer a value solution.” The current Romanian renaissance in film production can be dated back to the US Civil War movie “Cold Mountain”, according to Andy a punk rocker of dual Spanish and British citizen but Bucharestian for the past 20 years or more. The 2003 epic was shot largely in Romania with it’s thrilling climax taking place in the spectacular gorge beneath Magura and above Zarnesti. Studio Set is not even the only or even the largest of its kind, says Andy, “this industry is flourishing here in Bucharest and in Romania and it can only be good thing, providing high quality, skilled work and training for Romanians.” • W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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ECO

The Land Where the Buffalo Roam

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by Douglas Williams

bout an hour’s drive south east of Brasov, off of road 10 heading south east towards Buzau lies a charmingly quaint and impeccably kept corner of Romania known as Vama Buzaului. It’s a meandering village that follows along the Buzau River where the civic pride is as apparent 30

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as the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Beyond the beautiful village lies a patchwork of fields, rare and valuable beech forests and with the dramatic Ciucas Mountains on the horizon an all contribute to Vama Buzaului makes for a perfect base from which to comfortably relax at night after enjoying the rural idyll, participating in a number of well organised activities amidst the splendour during the day. Hiking, horse-riding and mountain-bike riding. www.mountainleader.ro

The Land Where the Buffalo Roam


ECO

Arabella McIntyreBrown’s bilingual book for children, Dalia and her Pet Detectives has a hooded crow as one of the central characters.

Rivers of Black Crossing Dusk Skies by Arabella McIntyre-Brown

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or city dwellers, one of the magnificent natural spectacles in winter is the streaming of crows across the urban sunset, as hundreds, even thousands of shrieking birds fly to their night-time roost. If you wonder why, and whether it’s an ill omen, you’re not alone. In fact, the noisy mobsters are mostly jackdaws, with some rooks, some crows. This roosting behaviour is a winter thing; they go back to the family homestead when it’s time for love; corvids mate for life and have their young at home for up to five years. Two-year olds leave home to find mates, and like rural Romanians, the boys bring back a wife, add another nest to the homestead. They protect each other: go

Books In the company of crows & ravens – John Marzluff Corvus: A life with birds – Esther Woolfson Crow Country – Mark Cocker Bird brains – Candace Savage Dozens of videos on YouTube, just search for corvids

near the young or the vulnerable and you’ll be mobbed by watchful guardians. Roosting in the city in winter has several benefits: cities are 5-10 degrees warmer than open countryside; city lights give them protection and make it easier to forage. There’s safety in numbers against predators such as large owls and hawks; their greatest predator, humans, don’t shoot them in the city, whereas farmers frequently take pot-shots at them. In fact, corvids eat almost anything, but more than 80% of their food is plant material. They’re almost vegan. They will go for squashed or rotting roadkill, but they find it easier to glean grain from crop fields, and best of all, they raid rubbish dumps and snaffle discarded food on the street. Another reason for becoming urban dwellers. Ask the foxes. You can spot the three different birds quite easily. Rooks and crows are about the same size, but rooks are shaggier and all black, except for a long, triangular, pale beak. Hooded crows have pale grey sleeveless jackets with a high collar; black heads, wings and legs. Their calls are similar, a deep rasping caw from a 80-Gauloises-a-day habit. Jackdaws make louder, high-pitched ‘ciac-ciac’ calls – they’re the sopranos in the corvid chorus. If you’re Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), Cioara Rook (Corvus frugilegus), Cioara de câmp Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), Ceuca/Stancuta

close enough, jackdaws have tell-tale pale grey or blue eyes; they're much smaller and wear mid-grey collars and aprons. In one house, I was surrounded by jackdaws living in the eaves; five or six pairs around my flat. I got to know them well, loving to watch them and take endless photos. They’re funny, jackdaws, sociable, cheeky, clever. I fed them from my window: one greedy git would stuff two grapes in his beak and spear a bit of bread too; he’d struggle to get off the ground with his prizes. Some would leap, catlike, to grab a fatball on a string, or they’d perch on the branch and pull the fatball up so they could stuff their faces. The greenfinches were furious. Same with the peanut feeder (peanuts are corvid crack): bluetits and nuthatches didn’t get a sniff once the jackdaws had a foothold. If you believe that corvids are bad luck, symbols of war and death, ditch your superstitions. Corvids love to play – with each other, with toys (they love shiny objects), with other animals. Crows are tail-pullers. They’ll sneak up and yank the tails of cats, dogs, foxes, wolves, eagles, gulls – whoever’s not paying attention. Search on YouTube for vids of corvids skateboarding down a snowy roof; lying on their backs and rolling down a snowy slope; grabbing a leafy twig by one foot and dangling upside down. Joyful birds. •

Magpie (Pica pica), Cotofana Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), Alunar/Nucsoara Jay (Garrulus glandarius), Gaita

The corvid family are all passeriform (perching) songbirds. The 8th most intelligent animal in the world, they are second only to parrots among birds, with long memories, face recognition, the ability to make and use tools, and count to 9. They have a wide vocabulary of calls and some can be trained to mimic human speech.

Rivers of Black Crossing Dusk Skies

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ART

The Museum for Recent Arts (MARe) by Giles Eldridge

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ARe is a major new museum in Bucharest and at just a few months old, it has already proved itself to be a remarkable, unique, controversial, problematic yet ultimately intriguing and engaging institution that should be visited by anyone with even the slightest interest 32

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in art or architecture. Designed by YTAA architects it is a contemporary museum of galleries, café, auditorium and library. Now, it is true to say that right from the start MARe has attracted some criticism, but that should be expected if one seemingly sets out to be explicitly provocative. Demolishing a 1939 Mediterranean revival style building, previously occupied by a very high ranking Communist of the post war Dej era, only to put in its place a “Ghost image” of the house is an intriguing idea and must be a first in the world for a contemporary art museum yet I am clueless as to the reasons. Likewise, The Museum for Recent Arts (MARe)

the exhibition spaces are a very curious series of black boxes and quirky, awkward spaces instead of the traditional modern art White Cube. In an apparent attempt to move away from the anodyne yet loaded traditional modernist space the team took off in the opposite direction. Some might see all this as a negative start but for me this is what art is all about; experiencing, thinking, talking, arguing etc. It’s all a good thing. If you look closely at any museum there are usually a multitude of issues, from Nazi looted art to dodgy sponsorship deals etc. The main exhibition is a collection formed by Lebanese art collector, Roger Akoury, an entrepreneur previously involved with A+D Pharma and now Cam-


ART

bridge School. Over several years, under the guidance of Romanian art historian and critic Erwin Kessler and other art professionals in Bucharest he has amassed over 550 works, from the 60s to the present day. Around a third of this will be on display at the museum at any one time. Alongside this there will be temporary exhibitions of Romanian art and an international programme. The basic curatorial premise of the collection takes as its starting point 1965, when Ceaușescu decreed that art in Romania should be freed from the Soviet style socialist realism espoused by Stalin (picture strong men and even stronger looking women in the wheat fields surrounded by electricity pylons). Almost like an instruction to Romanian artists the upshot was a distinctive artistic aesthetic, different from most other Communist countries of the time. In the MARe collection we see abstractions, humour and intellect alongside resonances and references to Western art. So, at a time when the CIA was still funding abstract painters in the US to demonstrate political and cultural freedom, Romania was letting their artists be a bit freer than those in the studios of Moscow, albeit for different reasons. This was of course a relative freedom. Essentially Ceaușescu wanted artists to be different from Moscow not similar to the US. The artists, of course cared nothing of what the big man told them to do they just wanted to do whatever they could get away with and develop their own language and discourse. The collection also includes plenty of contemporary art, so that seen as a whole it is a very convincing, impressive and coherent survey of Romanian art under the heading of recent art. The emergence of the Museum for Recent Art is hugely significant in the cultural history of Romania. It is the first private museum of its kind to house a collection of Romanian art with an international exhibition

programme – it will showcase three international artists each year. The first selection could not be better; Jeff Wall, Martin Creed and Thomas Ruff, all artists of considerable standing. The significance of this programme cannot be overstated, it benefits the collection and recontextualises the former; it’s win win. Presently on display are 4 video works employing humour, repulsion, iconoclasm and up-beat brio of the UK artist-performer and thinker, Martin Creed. Whatever you might say about MARe, it isn’t dull and it is going to do some things that no one else seems capable of. Under the current political regime, Bucharest is a broken city and fading badly so maybe it is going to take places like MARe to move things on a bit. The museum should be seen in this context and therefore must be visited and talked about and used and if necessary argued about; its for the good of all. •

Situated at Blvd. Primărverii 15. Open every day except Tues. 11am – 7pm Access from the street to the café and garden terrace is free One ticket price for all exhibitions - 15 Lei Guided tours available TEL. 0744 763 858 W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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Contact Damian Galivn | damian.galvin@whitemountain.ro | 0727 606 074


COMMUNITY

Meet the Nod Makerspace people: Ruxandra Creosteanu, Co-CEO of Nod Makerspace on the sharing economy in the summer of 2015. Ruxandra and her Babele co-founder were the first non-makers members of Nod, aka ”the boring ones”, with only their computers, getting inspiration from the creative people working with their hands in the wood & metal workshops, or in the open makerspace doing amazing stuff.

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uxandra is a member of Nod Makerspace since it's very beginning in 2015 after getting in touch with the co-founders, Florin Cobuz and Tamina Lolev. At that time, they organised gatherings on the topic of collaborative economy. They started with collaborative pizza parties and discussions

Ruxandra decided to join the Nod team as co-CEO in September 2019, because the team needed a person with rich experience in management. She studied in the top 3 business schools in France, worked as sustainability consultant at Deloitte, financial analyst at Axa Investment Managers in London and as supermarket manager at Carrefour Romania. Ruxandra is passionate about the new paradigm of collaborative management, concepts she implements at Nod Makerspace. It’s a hard process towards a flat organization, but luckily Nod is already strongly creative and open towards new things. The new organization Meet the Nod Makerspace people: Ruxandra Creosteanu

style she has brought to Nod is based on self-management where members of the team have the autonomy to make decisions on their own, wholeness and evolutionary purpose. The organization is seen as a living organism, and the CEO is there to listen to the direction that the organization wants to take, not to impose their own strategy and vision. Ruxandra came back to work in Romania to make a real difference, because she’s passionate about social business practices and sharing economy. She is fascinated by creative industries and what Nod makerspace has created. She keeps everything functional and organised in order for Nod to thrive and have a continuous impact on the community it serves. • *OZB will present some of the creative entrepreneurs that are currently working in the Nod hub in coming issues. see www.nodmakerspace.ro for more information W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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RESTAURANTS

Bistro Ateneu 3 Episcopiei Street, opened daily 18.00 - 23.00

Fine-dining / modern Romanian cuisine / exquisite

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odern Romanian cuisine with a seasonal menu, offering ocal products with a twist. That’s the promise Bistro Ateneu makes to guests. Chef Alexandru Dumitru is re-interpreting the Romanian

culinary traditions, using local products and collaborating with local producers to ensure maximum freshness of the dishes. Furthermore, the Bistro is quite cozy, with only 25 seats available. The menu is surprising and it’s based on the principles of fine dining, and if you really want to discover the real bonne bouche of the restaurant, we encourage you to take the test menu and complete the experience with pairing wines. This is a must check out. •

Paninaro 3 Luterana Street, opened Tue-The-Sun 09.00 - 17.00

Italian tastes with Romanian flavour / healthy fast-food

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ack in the 1980s Paninaro was a serious youth scene in northern Italy becoming a full-fledged subculture that spread like wildfire across northern Italian cities including Milan and Turin. The name of the social group

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New Restaurants: Bistro Ateneu & Paninaro

underlines the fact that its members welcomed a globalised way of life and hence their particular brand of fastfood sandwich came to symbolize this. Now, this Italian heritage can be found in Bucharest with sincere, heartfelt local food that has a distinctive Italian twist. What’s more, the place offers mamma’s homemade cookies - literally cooked by the owner’s mother. We strongly recommend the Hot Cat, a reinterpretation of what we traditionally know as cabbage with sausages. •


RESTAURANTS

Enjoy a Tank Beer at Draft Pub the neighbour you never knew you needed There’s a new location in town! Grab your friends and enjoy a fresh unpasteurized tank beer at Draft Pub in North Bucharest.

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raft Pub was designed to be a friendly neighbour where you can enjoy a good laugh with friends and family, while drinking a cold fresh beer. With a capacity of almost 150 people and an extension plan already put in motion, it fits as the last puzzle piece for every occasion you might have, from hanging out at the end of the day, to celebrating with loved ones. Built in a warm and vibrant style, with a modern approach, Draft Pub recreates perfectly the easy-going mood

that you seek when living the busy and crowded urban life of Bucharest. The only thing left to complete this picture is the unique, fresh taste of tank beer, brought to you directly from the brewery. Tank beer is the latest addition to the beer market in Romania, as it adds a bit of specialness to the drinking experience. This new premium unpasteurized draught beer brings a modern approach to the beer industry while communicating authentic origins. The chatter, laughter and the sound of clinked pints create the perfect soundtrack for some well spent hours Enjoy a Tank Beer at Draft Pub

alongside friends, neighbours and family in your new favourite pub, Draft Pub. So, grab a beer and join the ‘cheers-ing’! •

For more details and reservations, contact Draft Pub at following: Facebook: Draft Pub (@tankeriadraft) Instagram: draftpubtank Phone: +40 725 277 277 Address: Soseaua Gheorghe Ionescu Sisesti 23-25, Bucharest Romania W W W.O Z B . R O M A R C H 2 0 1 9

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SIGN OFF

Spring, Claude Monet

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Spring is in the Air - Martisor , , Musings

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By David Mclean Shoup

pring is upon us, and the first of March was ripe with flower toting couples out and about in the Romanian capital this year, reigning in the charming Mărțișor. The jury is still out as to whether today’s Mărțișor traditions originate with the Roman or Thracian New Year’s Eve. Either way, as a first time Mărțișor expat dating into a

Romanian family, the stakes were high for impressing the familial ladies. Gunning for good karma, I took the rare step of not bargaining for the requisite bouqets of flowers from my go-to florarie stand opposite the Bucharest Mall. And while my Romanian is still squarely in the A1 language prison, it appeared that between flowers and red and white threaded ties on Heidi chocolate boxes, I passed the family test with a brilliantly phrased “La Mulți Ani Primavara!” The jewel of Romania is its great outdoors, flush with natural beauty, the many parks of Bucharest included. However, following a humiliating chase out of Văcărești Park recently by a hungry pack of dogs, tail firmly between my legs, I felt it best to celebrate the Romanian spring with a trip out to Snagov Lake, home of the island monastery in which, legend holds, the torso of Dracula

inspiration Vlad Țepeș is buried. Google Maps is filled with a comically bizarre plethora of reviews largely revolving around the legendary priest who presides over Snagov Monastery, and it seemed the ideal weekend to follow up on my good karma with a Mărțișor visit. The island, lake, and surrounding forests are picturesque. Within a mere forty five minute drive of Piața Unirii, Snagov makes for the ideal daytrip getaway to escape the bustle of Bucharest. And while you’re there, set aside the bad rap from Google Maps reviews and say hi to the Priest of Snagov Monastery. As last month’s “Sign Off” aptly pointed out in regards to Bucharest restaurants, good first and last impressions are often “in short supply.” You may well find this too to be the case at the Snagov Monastery, but look deeper and ask the right questions. In Romania, there’s always more to the story.•

A company dedicated to assisting foreigners to settle in Romania. We can help with visas, permits, company set-ups, car registration, insurance, orientation tours and basically anything that a newcomer to Romania might need. +40 729 166916 www.moorcroft.ro dean@moorcroft.ro

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Spring is in the Air - Martisor Musings


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