OZB Magazine October 2019

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October 2019 | N° 23 | FREE COPY



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GAME SET & MATCH Romania's Ace



Join Metamorphosis at TEDxBucharest The Change Accelerator







Modern Day Saint, Claire Melinte


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Made in Romania

Douglas Williams - Publisher


t the beginning of this millennium there was a UK clothing brand called French Connection which some branding genius abbreviated to “FCUK” and this brand became fashionable and very successful. It was around the time of something referred to as “Cool Britannia” and the logo, with all its punk insouciance, was often featured on a frayed Union Jack. Wearers thought that some of the perceived “coolness” of “brand UK” would rub off on them. Since then the fortunes of both the brand and the country have gone south. French Connection is now referred to as the “struggling fashion chain”, stores are closing, profits are wafer thin and it’s up for sale. Maybe their logo should be changed to the past tense, keeping up with the times.

I mention this because I’ve had a run of “Made in Romania” moments lately. A fancy and eye-wateringly “piperat” Mammut quilted coat - made in Romania. Some serious, chunky, blue mountaineering boots at Decathlon Made in Romania. A rather nifty linen Massimo Dutti jacket - Made in Romania (from eco-friendly linen no less) and some understated but very cool shoes and more chunky mountain boots by S-Karp, a Romanian brand through and through. You see, by way of an explanation/ excuse dear reader, I have two daughters and am subsequently regularly dragged round malls and shops, what to do? Anyhoo, Romania makes cool stuff these days is what I’m saying - world class cool. Dacia cars are finding favour in more and more corners of the planet and Pegas bikes rock, the Gerovital skincare brand is loved worldwide, Dentestet is dentistry of the very highest standard. As yet, the most excellent Romanian wine and beer brands haven’t made a meaningful impact internationally but it can only be a matter of time. If only Simona Halep 4

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would publically drink a delicious Ursus or Avincis… not gonna happen, ok, shame...

O zi bună! #MadeInRomania





Made in Romania is good, I’ll be keeping my eyes open and I suggest you do too. These things, these products, are going out into the world working as positive ambassadors for this wonderful country and her terrific people. I for one hope there will be many more.

I hope you enjoy our October issue.



There are many more Romanian brands bursting forth and if you are one of them, get in touch, we’d like to write about you. Of course, if you’d like to be a commercial partner contact me through the messenger button on our Facebook page, help us celebrate the best of modern Romania together.

On a very different and altogether more negative note, in the middle of September a grisly murder came to light that has left Romania, once more, shocked and reeling. Raducu G., 50, a forester in north east Romania, was brutally murdered while going about his work and, at the time of writing, all fingers point towards illegal loggers as the culprits. Much is made of the burning Amazon along with tracts of tropical Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia, but there are grave crimes against the environment taking place all the time right here in Romania. Myopic greed is denying Romanian children the birthright that previous generations enjoyed. Timber thieves in general and these murdering ones in particular must be tracked down and brought to justice. Romania’s forests are precious and must be protected.




Commercial Director Visual Communication by



OZB is distributed to over 80 carefully selected (and growing) points around Bucharest including cafes, bars, restaurants. AI – Sushi, Shift, Alt Shift, La Samuelle, Beautyfood, Grano, Il Locale, French Bakery, Simbio, Mikkeler, Fabrica de Bere Buna, Green Hours, Atelierul de Tarte, Fitto Cafe Floreasca, Frudisiac, Lente, Rue du Pain, Narcoffee, Beans&Dots, Bike Boutique and More, BOB Coffee, M60, Orygyns Speciality Coffee, Two Minutes, Urbarn, Joseph by Joseph Hadad, The Artist Restaurant, Bite, Ivan Pescar, Jai Bistrot, Social 1, Switch.Eat, Distrikt 42, 14th Lane, Raionul de Peste, Stadio, Voila, Paine si Vin, Animaletto, Pizza Bar, World Class Gym, Starbucks

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Contents October Events


Ana Maria Lucaciu - Choreographer & Dance Performer

Kiwi trees, tornadoes and 20°C in December: How global warming is affecting Romania.


Do you know the ABCs of EU Law?


Romania Rises Above the Net


TEDxBucharest 2019


Conquer the World With Your Smile


A Romanian Changing Perceptions of Women Lawyers in the UK


Folkloric Fashion



Photo Essay : Andrei Birsan

Healthy Romania: Making the Most of “De Post”


A Brit with a Romanian heart



A place full of history in the heart of Bucharest

Who are the Young Romanian Leaders in Energy?


Best wine tasting destinations near Bucharest


How to Produce More Tennis Stars? Get Everyone up and at it!



To Build A Home


Massive Rise in Residential Developments in 2019

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October Events October’s here, and with crunchy leaves underfoot and Halloween on the rise, OZB’s David Shoup brings you the scoop on an eclectic array of this month’s Romanian happenings.

Festivals & Events • FOCUS on Goethe! Haus Party October 4th @8pm Goethe-Institut Bucuresti

Get your Goethe on at this promotional dance party for former, current and even prospective German learners from the Goethe Institute and beyond. Surely Faust didn’t bump to Haus, but creative imaginations fly when you learn a new language, and German is no exception. Du hast mich? Reservations required, see the FOCUS on Goethe page on Facebook for more information.

• Follow in the Footsteps of Prince Charles in Transylvania

October 5th and 6th Viscri

Take advantage of Free Worlding Romania’s guided tours of the UNESCO Heritage site in Viscri, one of seven specially designated Saxon fortified church villages in Transylvania. Made particularly famous after an estate here was purchased by the Prince of Wales, Viscri is a Saxon town frozen in time. This unique tour includes horseback riding, Price: 650 Lei, call Florin at 0764.044.737 for tickets


• Bucharest Auto and Accessories Show 2019

October 10-20th RomExpo B2 Pavilion

Want to see the latest car models debuting around Europe this year? Check out the eleven day long car lover’s paradise, now in its 17th year. This year’s exposition will have a dedicated area just for electric and hybrid models. Check out our OZB summer edition to read more on the latest government buyback program that will help those new electrics or hybrids make less of a dent to your pocket book. Tickets at Sab.Ro

• 10 Years of Watergate Records

October 12th @11pm KMIN, Splaiul Unirii 160

One of Berlin’s most renowned Techno Clubs, Watergate is celebrating the 10 years anniversary of it’s Record Label, Watergate Records by kicking off a European Tour. We are happy to invite you to dance to the likes of Matthias Meyer, Braunbeck, Mihai Popoviciu, and Dobrikan.

• IAA Global Conference Bucharest 2019

October 17th @9am-4pm Bucharest National Opera

Entrepreneurs, marketers and advertisers of all levels need luck no further than the IAA

conference this month for a place to hear inspiring success stories and meet other industry professionals. The International Advertising Association has been one of the world’s premier marketing networks since 1938, reaching 56 countries, including Romania. This month they will fill out the national opera house for a motivational conference featuring such global players as the Egyptian-Canadian industrial designer Karim Rashid and French advertising legend Jacques Seguela. Tickets at Creativity4Better.com

• Bărbați pe Mătăsari

October 19th @11am-11pm Mătăsari Street, Bucharest, Romania

This delightful urban festival seeks to reshape the perceptions of the lovely backstreets near Piata Iancului. Men on Matasari is intended to be an extension of the Matasari Women’s Festival, an autumn edition, in which Matasari street hosts artists and craftsmen, businesses run by men who understand the city and make it a friendlier place.

• Halloween La Castel November 1st @10pm Le Chateau

Don your best costume on this year’s Day of the Dead (Halloween falls on a Thursday this year) and dance the night away at this classy venue with music from DJ Bogdan Constantinov. Table bookings are possible in advance. More information available via the WhatsApp Concierge Service or on Facebook at #WeGrowTogether

Music • Red Bull SoundClash: Subcarpați vs. Vița de Vie October 9th @7pm The Multipurpose Room Bucharest

Two of Romania’s biggest music acts will come together for this unique battle of the bands this month, bringing underground folk and alternative rock head to head in a clash of creative performance. The showdown will consist of four rounds, from a standard three piece set, famous covers, the bands’ re-styled own covers, and surprise cameo performances. Price: 55-99 Ron, tickets at Redbull.Ro/ Soundclash

• Golan Live October 9th Expired Club

Coming from different musical backgrounds, the five current members of GOLAN have cultivated a recognizable sound of their own. By mixing a vast array of instruments, both live and in the recording studio, the group, formed in 2014, has had one of the fastest ascents on the Romanian electronic music scene. Quick to establish band status, they have been largely credited for bringing a whole new vibe to their niche, heightened by their intense and remarkable live shows. In addition to their growing fan base at home, this live show at Expired will draw fans from the broader European indie base. Price: 49 Ron (60 at the door). Tickets at iabilet.ro

• Hooverphonic Live at the Hard Rock Cafe

October 10th Hard Rock Cafe

This veteran Belgian band has released ten albums since 1995, evolving from trip hop, to alternative rock, indie pop and more. Hooverphonic is on the road promoting their latest album, “Looking for Stars,” the debut album for new lead singer Luka Cruysberghs. The band's songs have been included on the soundtracks of many films such as CSI, La Femme Nikita, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Permanent Midnight, The Interview, Stealing Beauty or Third Watch. Standing room only, so buy your tickets in advance. Price: 89-140 Ron, tickets at iabilet.ro

• Föllakzoid at Control

October 16th Control Club

Föllakzoid, one of the most interesting South American bands of the last decade, are playing at Control, for the first time in Romania, on October 16th, following the release in August of their 4th LP. More info and tickets at www.facebook.com/ FOLLAKZOID

• Innervisions Bucharest

October 19th @10pm RomExpo Pavilion

Innervisions touches down this October for its first ever showcase event in Bucharest. Set in the sprawling circular Central Pavilion of Romexpo, the impressive and historic venue will

Red Bull Soundclash 2019

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October Events be transformed for one night only. Produced in partnership with The Mission who are committed to delivering top quality experiences for the local scene, this event is definitely not to be missed. Label bosses and masterful selectors Dixon and me lead the lineup and are joined by fellow Germans and bass music legends Modeselektor who will be performing their very special live show. The label's rising star Trikk will also be bringing his unique perspective on house music to the stage. Price: 60 Ron, tickets at bilete.ro/innervisions

in Bucharest, head to the Arnele Romane on Halloween Eve Eve to see the Finnish band Apocalyptica play this Metallica “classical” set from their 1996 album. You can take the title literally; they really will be playing “Nothing Else Matters” on four cellos. Price: 109-150 RON, purchase tickets at iabilet.ro

• DE STAAT at Control

Mojo will be hosting Romania's original British comedy night. A show full of 'Comedy Store' Headliners and 'Live at the Apollo' appearances, our 10 year anniversary show promises to be one of the greatest yet! Featuring a closing act by Nathan Caton, opening act by Geoff Boyz, middle act by Anna Clifford, and MC Geoff Whiting Price: 50 Ron, reserve at 0737-220-220

October 26th Control

Club Control will be rocked by De Staat, a band combining alternative with electronic and experimental rock. Their explosive live shows opened for some of the most famous bands like Muse and the line-ups of big international festivals like Glastonbury, Sziget and Lowlands Price: 60 Ron, tickets at iabilet.ro

• Apocalyptica Plays Metallica on 4 Cellos October 29th @7pm Arnele Romane

This won’t be one to miss. For metalheads still reeling from Metallica’s summer concert


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• Arts and Theater

Comedy Night at Mojo October 12th @ 8 p.m Mojo

• Tara Surasului (The Land of Smiles)

October 26th @630pm Ion Dacian National Opera and Musical Theater

This celebrated Viennese Operetta, a love story about the clashing worlds between an Austrian woman and a smitten Chinese ambassador, by Franz Lehar was first performed 90 years ago, but the story’s relevance in a globalized world will be brought to light again under the artistic direction of Anda Tabacaru Hogea. Starring

Alfredo Pascu and Doina Scripcaru as the romantically drawn but culturally distant lovers. Tickets available at TicketStore.Ro

• Aida de Giusspe Verdi

Bucharest National Opera November 1st @630pm

Witness this legendary Italian opera on the Romanian stage to open the month of November. Starring Lăcrimioara Cristescu in the titular role and directed by Plamen Kartalov, fresh from his direction of Mama Mia! last summer Tickets at tickets.operanb.ro


Kiwi trees, tornadoes and 20°C in December: How global warming is affecting Romania. by Alison Mutler


hen I moved to Romania, just like any other foreign journalist, I began learning about local customs, sometimes more edifying than the daily political story! I’m from a country with a temperate climate (there isn’t a big difference between the seasons and they still say that it “rains all the time” in England). I was hit by the hot summer weather, which was hard for me to bear, back then but also now. The technical term for this state of affairs is “thermal discomfort.” How the Romanian language loves technical terms for things. I complained to everyone who would listen how I couldn’t bear the summer heat or “arșița”, as it’s called., and was assured that July, was the “month of the oven” followed a baking hot August. But there would soon to be relief ! After August 15, the evenings get cooler, people told me. And that’s how it was, for many years. I eagerly looked forward to the middle of the eighth month to get back into my “thermal comfort” zone. In the meantime, the planet, or rather the climate, began to get out of synch. In recent years, they say that winter is like autumn, autumn is like summer but with cooler evenings, spring is like a kind of summer, while summer is a mega summer that goes on into November. Global warming is one of the “hot” topics at all international summits (see the recent G7 at Biarritz) and it’s a major policy issue for all governments in Europe and beyond. In Europe, pupils and highschool students play truant so they can join climate change protests against the government accusing authorities of not doing enough to “save the planet.” The

best-known climate change activist is a 16-year-old Swedish teenager called Greta Thunberg who in her efforts to halt global warning, staged the first ever school strike over the climate. We’re not talking about a “niche topic” or something that’s just for the scientists. There was a huge scandal a few weeks back in Britain about Prince Harry and his family after they travelled on three private planes in a short space of time. Harry is a global environmental activist and was sharply rebuked and accused of being a hypocrite. It was calculated that his “carbon footprint” for just two of those flights was six times the average annual for a British citizen. You hear the phrase “carbon footprint” everywhere in England but when I asked people how you say it in Romanian, nobody could tell me. What is means, according to a specialised site is “The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which represent atmospheric gases and emit infrared radiation. The existence of a balance between infrared radiation which is absorbed and the emissions is an element of major importance for the climate and global environment.” The process of the uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases is the fundamental cause of the controversial greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, which generates the phenomenon of global warming. (Www.carbonexpert.ro) These realities aren’t a major issue in Romania. Romania has the lowest rate for recycling of domestic waste in the EU,

behind Bulgaria. The bloc has set a rate of 50% for every country by 2020, which is an impossible target in the current conditions, where the rate is 14% (7% from domestic waste and 7% from compost) just 1% more than what it was in 2010. Romania is currently risking a fine of 300,000 euros a day for violating this rule, which could get even higher. www.profit.ro Things are slowly beginning to change. Recycling bins have appeared in many towns and villages and there are hypermarkets which no longer sell non-biodegradable plastic (considered a very toxic material, particularly for the oceans). Young people who are the most affected by global warming get information about climate change from their own sources not from the mainstream Romanian media. Living in a warmer world has all the ingredients to bring bigger and more intense storms and even tornadoes. The climatologist Roxana Bojariu of the Romanian National Weather Authority told me that we should expect much longer summers and we already have “very big climatic changes in a short time.” She says we don’t need to merely adapt, but to live better.” She adds that although there is a lack of a public awareness campaign, scientists are well-informed. The Research Institute in Dabuleni, southern Romania, studies growing plants in Romania’s sandy soil. Researchers say that local farmers have begun to grow sweet potatoes and kiwi as well as the region’s famous melons to adapt to the new warmer temperatures. Romania has a ministry for the environment and climate change, and has all the tools it needs, but schools still don’t teach climate change except as an optional subject. The climate is gradually changing, which means a new approach in various sectors and industries, not just headlines like: “It will be 20C in December.” Romania needs to educate its children because they are going to be the ones living on a scorching hot planet. • Alison Mutler is an experienced British journalist based in Bucharest and has covered Romania, Moldova and occasionally Bulgaria and Hungary for almost 30 years. She first reported from Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova before communism ended, and was In Romania, working for British television station ITV during the 1989 anti-communist revolt. She recently left the Associated Press after 25 years. Her Twitter handle is @AlisoNJMutler This story was first published by our friends at universul.net on September 22, 2019. W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9

Kiwi trees, tornadoes and 20°C in December: How global warming is affecting Romania.


Join Metamorphosis at TEDxBucharest 2019 - the change accelerator Part of TED global community & fueled by ideas worth spreading, TEDxBucharest has an 11 year history in the capital of Romania. Each year, this revolutionary community welcomes on stage spectacular individuals with never-before heard ideas. Designed to inspire and empower, TEDxBucharest is a multidisciplinary conference with 18-min long carefully curated talks, immersive experiences & networking opportunities. TEDxBucharest takes place on the 16th & 17th of November 2019, hosted at the New Aula of Politehnica University of Bucharest. This year’s theme is Metamorphosis - a call to action to embrace the continuous transformation of the world & enjoy your own process of evolution.

24 speakers are sharing the stage, bringing new perspectives on hot topics like face reading, advertising, content creation, technology & ethics, sustainability, coaching, women leadership, contemporary dance, art, architecture and many more.

You are invited to join Metamorphosis, allowing ideas to sink in and evolve in an audience of 1000 + change-seekers.

Christophe is a bionics expert who decided to embrace a disability & change the way people see it. As an amputee since 13 years old, he wanted his prosthetic leg to become more than a “tool” & viewed it as an opportunity to display his differences proudly.

Tech & tech ethics enthusiast, human rights activist, AI aficionada & now a postdoctoral researcher in the philosophy of tech. Find out more about how technologies co-shape human values or just get inspired by this renaissance woman.

His name might sound familiar to you, as he is the CEO & co-founder of EFdeN, co-founder & strategist for energiaTa, has been featured in Forbes 30under30 and nominated among 100 Future Energy Leaders of World Energy Council.


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OCTOBER 2019 TEDxBucharest 2019

Get to know the speakers & join the community! Secure your 2 day pass on www.tedxbucharest.ro


Jeff Eggers served in the White House for six years, most recently as President Obama’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. He retired from the Navy after a 20-year career as a U.S. Navy SEAL & currently leads research on organizational performance & leadership and explores the behavioral science of policy decision-making.

After a modeling agency suddenly dropped her for not being “thin enough”, Tijana co-founded Female Narratives with associate model Franziska Klein, a creative agency that operates to connect brands to real female freelancers & real stories. Tijana collaborates with clients like Squarespace, North Face, Bumble, W Hotels and loads of female-led ethical brands.

Since 2013, he has been devoted to mastering the art of facial muscles and how they correlate with emotional responses and behaviors. His fascination with straightforward communication drove him to create Face Keys Romania and Face Keys method that correlates the facial features with personality traits. Member of the European Academy of Hypnosis and explorer of anthropology and arts.

Creator of the only ads you would play on repeat & the mind behind Sector 7, he is well-aware of his audience’s deepest desires. As a self-taught professional, who blames YouTube for educating him, Alex is not that much into “best practices” and “watch outs”, constantly pushing the boundaries of his advertising campaigns.

Mariana - the architect with a strong passion for the fabrication process, use of materials in unusual contexts and experimentation. She will share her experience from her projects while designing solar cars, fully self-sustaining houses or parametric design processes in the Netherlands.

Dex crafted the voices of some of the worlds’ most influential leaders, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt or Elon Musk. As an immigrant & the son of a refugee, Dex shifted his goal. He moved to London, became the Director of Brunswick Group & started working on issues around global connectivity and emerging technologies.

Check the website www.tedxbucharest.ro for more information about tickets, speakers & their expertise, venue & remember to join Metamorphosis on the 16th & 17th of November at New Aula of Politehnica University. W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9


Dana Denis-Smith

A Romanian Changing Perceptions of Women Lawyers in the UK by Dana Tudose Tianu Romanians worlds over have emigrated and became successful abroad. But fewer on this list are those who have made such a strong impact on their adopted country’s society, mentality and culture at the national level.Dana Denis Smith belongs to the latter category. 12

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orn Dana Armean, in Agnita, Sibiu County, Dana Denis-Smith moved to England in 1995, right after graduating high school. An ex-lawyer working in the City of London, she is the founder of Obelisk Support and of the First 100 Years project, which builds awareness about the impact and contribution of women in the legal profession in the United Kingdom. In 2010, she was selected as one of the 35 most inspirational business women under the age of 35 in the UK Just last year, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Law awarded by the University of Worcester and was named Legal Personality of the Year by Lexis Nexis. What she has accomplished between 2010 and today is extraordinary and worth sharing.

Could you tell us the story of how you moved

OCTOBER 2019 A Romanian Changing Perceptions of Women Lawyers in the UK

to England and ended up becoming one of the country’s most respected women in business, entrepreneurship and law? I went to England right after finishing high school, in 1995. I was a journalist and I was also a student at the “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu. I left with a Reuters scholarship for journalism and ended up doing undergraduate studies in international history at the London School of Economics. I decided not to go back to journalism and so, on September 11, 2001, I started law school, part-time, because I was already working at the Economist Group in London. In 2005, after I finished law school, I began working as a trainee lawyer at Linklaters in the City. But I realized, early on, that I wasn’t meant to practice as a full-time


corporate lawyer. My entrepreneurial personality, combined with my need for freedom of expression, which comes from my journalistic background, led me to take the leap and start my first company, a political risk consulting firm, called Marker Global, in 2008.

had been outsourcing in India or the Philippines. They would still save costs and have top British lawyers, whom clients may have even worked with in the past, do the work for them as freelancers. Socially, I felt it was a waste of precious resources for ex-City women lawyers to have to give up or change their careers once they became mothers.

What made you change industries in 2010, from political risk assessment to a platform that pools together hundreds of freelance lawyers, looking for flexible work?

How did clients first respond to your new entrepreneurial idea? How did you change perception and biases?

The idea for Obelisk Support was born in India, in March 2010. At that time, many businesses were developing offshore outsourcing centers. Obelisk was resolving a social need, as well as building on a market trend. I realized that many women lawyers working in the City gave up their time-demanding careers once they became mothers. So, on the one hand, Obelisk provided the opportunity for professional reintegration for those women who needed to cut back on their work hours, on their city commute, and increase the time they spent with their family. On the other hand, we were asking big clients (Fortune 500 Companies) to start bringing back home the work they

Initially, market response was negative. Companies claimed they couldn’t give us work because of data confidentiality. Sending out work that freelance lawyers would do in their own home, rather than an office, was an issue at the time. The first 6-7 months, I mostly got “no” for an answer. But with each “no”, we did more research, learning what were the intellectual and perception-related obstacles that kept clients from giving us work. We resolved them, one by one. We were four people working at Obelisk in the beginning. Now the platform has hundreds of freelance lawyers and top clients who put their trust in us.

To change the future, first celebrate the past.

In 2013, you came up with another idea, again with a big social impact – the First 100 Years project. How did that take shape? In November 2013, I discovered a photograph of the partners of City law firm Herbert Smith, dating from 1982. In the middle of the group of 50 or so men, there was only one woman. That photograph made me wonder when exactly women had begun having the right to practice as lawyers in the UK, and, to my surprise, it was 1919, following an Act of Parliament. I started the First 100 Years in 2013, as a history project, creating a visual history of women’s path in law, and educating the current generation of women lawyers about their predecessors, who fought for their right to practice. We have a digital museum, guided walks and several events.

You can find out more information about Obelisk Support and First 100 years at: www.obelisksupport.com www.first100years.org.uk

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Andrei Bîrsan F

ounder of the “My beloved Bucharest (Bucureștiul meu drag)” Association.

“I had the chance to start photographing Bucharest during the demolition period. The photos taken then and now tell the story of the city, as well as ours, as it was, as we lived it through the years. Today, I like to photograph the city’s inhabitants more, and capture the life of the city in vivid colors. The city without people is just scenery. I founded ”Bucurestiul meu drag” Association and the Visual Memory Center of Bucharest (www. bucurestiulmeudrag.ro) as a family album. As we all have a family photo album at home, Bucharest needed one, too.”

You can follow Andrei’s work and photos of Bucharest on his Facebook page, @Bucurestiulmeudrag

Calea Victoriei


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OCTOBER 2019 Photo Essay : Andrei Birsan


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OCTOBER 2019 Centrul Vechi, Lipscani (The Old Town, Lipscani)

Piața Revoluției

(Revolution Square)


PHOTO ESSAY Piața Presei Libere (Free Press Square)

Centrul Vechi, Lipscani (The Old Town, Lipscani)

Parcul Titan și Mall-ul Park-Lake Titan Park & ParkLake Shopping Mall

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A Brit With a Romanian Heart

problems include alcoholism, domestic violence, teenage pregnancies and delinquent behavior. The children in the village face several problems. Many parents move abroad looking for jobs, often leaving their children with elderly grandparents. Many parents are illiterate so are unable to help their children with their homework. There are families with 7,8 or even 13 children and the elder children are kept home from school to help with the little ones, or to go to work in the fields. Schools in rural areas also face real problems with funding, equipment and attracting qualified teachers.” Two out of three children in rural Romania abandon school. Two out of three – that’s a huge amount, and it’s mostly down to poverty.

When did you first come to Romania and what were you doing before you became a Claire Bignal Melinte has been part of the Asociatia Bunul helping children and disabled Samaritean? by Dana Tudose Tianu

adults in Nicoresti for 14 years.


laire Melinte, the President of Asociatia Bunul Samaritean, was born in the UK and stepped foot in Nicoresti, Galati County, for the first time, in 2005. Married to Romanian Ionel Melinte for a decade now, they have six children: two biological and four adopted. We are used to thinking of expats living in Romania in the context of building businesses or working for multinationals in C-suite positions. It’s hard to imagine the story of a foreigner who falls in love with Romania, moves to an underprivileged, remote rural area, like Nicoresti, and completely dedicates her life, day after day, to working and helping disabled adults and poor children. I interviewed Claire for our OZB readers and we hope her story will inspire others, foreigners and Romanians, to contribute to or at least find out more about the lives of young people living in the rural areas of Romania whose only chance out of poverty is through education. Before the interview, I received a presentation about what drives the work of Asociatia Bunul Samaritean. In it, the demographic, social and economic problems of Nicoresti have been succinctly captured. “Nicoresti is a poor area. There are still homes without electricity and horse and carts are common means of transportation. Unemployment is very high and common 18

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I first came to Romania in 2005, originally for a 6-week volunteering stint, for another charity in our village called Tanner Romania Mission. I loved my time there, I really loved the village, and I came back the next year, this time for a six-month stint, and I met the founder of Asociatia Bunul Samaritean, who asked me if I would volunteer for him. I said I would come to Asociatia Bunul Samaritean for a year – that was in 2007, and 12 years later I am still there and my life has changed completely.

OCTOBER 2019 A Brit with a Romanian heart

What circumstances in your life led to the path you took, of working with disabled and deprived children?

I remember, after the Romanian revolution, being very affected by all the stories I heard about all the abandoned, neglected and abused children in orphanages, in Romania. I really wanted to come here then, but I was only 13, and, obviously, I couldn’t. Eventually, I grew up and finished University, I got a job, but I never stopped thinking about those children. One day, I wanted to know what happened to them, so I googled it. And now, here I am, looking after some of these special-needs adults, who were the abandoned and abused children of those times.

What are the most important projects that you run now, with the organization, and who are your main partners? Who helps you provide resources for the children and adults?

Our most important project is our care home for adults with severe disabilities – Casa Bridget. It was founded in 2003 and it has an annual budget of 150,000 Euro. We have 13 full-time and 1 part-time staff working at Casa Bridget. Most of the residents, we’ve saved from orphanages. They are the reason we started, and they are what motivates us to keep going every day. The second one is our Day Center,

which we set up in 2007, to break the poverty trap that so many children are stuck in, especially in rural Romania. We had 300 children come through our doors. Three hundred children that, because of us, had food, had showers, help with their homework, somewhere safe to play. We teach them all different skills that maybe they wouldn’t learn at home. Our third most important project is our battle to fight school abandonment. Two out of three children in rural Romania abandon school. Two out of three – that’s a huge amount, and it’s mostly down to poverty. We try to change that in our community. We offer teenagers financial support with their transport, uniforms and books. These teenagers come and volunteer with us in return and they love to help around. We also give them monthly counselling. We also run parenting courses in the village, to help parents understand the difference education can make in the lives of their children. We get most of our financial support from abroad – from Ireland, Italy, England, America. Here in Romania, we are slowly building up support from local businesses,

but, being in a rural area, it’s hard, because there’s not a lot of big businesses around.

Can you describe to me how a regular week looks like for you?

It’s really hard to describe a “typical” week. No two days are the same. My husband and I run the charity together and we also live on the site, with our children. Unfortunately, I spend much more time than I’d like to, on admin work. Most days I’m at the computer, but I like to break it up by spending time with the residents and the Day Center children. But I’ll give you an example of what I did last week. It was the last week of the school vacation. We organized a clean-up in our local park and went with our day center kids, some of the residents and some volunteers, we fixed the picnic tables and chairs, we painted all the playground equipment, we picked litter. That was a really nice morning, seeing everyone come together for the community. We also took the children to a local adventure park which offered us free passes for the children. It was nice to see them forgetting about all the problems

they are facing in their lives, for a few hours. We also visited a family in the village that we are doing some house repairs for. This family is 25 km away from the closest local town. Their house is falling down. The father is elderly and the mother is unable to find work close to home. They have five children.

What are the main issues you’re facing right now with your organization? What kind of resources you wish you had?

The main thing we need is always money. We have huge expenses every month and it’s a constant battle to raise as much as we need. We are still trying to find sponsors for all the teenagers who need sponsoring to go to school. Any firm can sponsor us for free, by directing 20% of their taxes to us. Another problem we have is finding qualified and educated staff. Being from a rural area, most youngsters they get an education and end up leaving, and people from the nearest big city don’t want to travel two hours to our location to come to work. • W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9



both the business world and media seem to focus on groups that are grooming either entrepreneurs, like Junior Chamber International and AIESEC, or young global policy leaders, like the Global Shapers.

Who are the Young Romanian Leaders in Energy? by Dana Tudose-Tianu


s 19 million people living in Romania wake up every morning, there’s a steep electricity bill to be paid for the “routine” activities we think unimportant in the big picture of a better (and smarter) management of our energy resources. Our breakfast coffee, brewed the classical way, uses up the same amount of natural gas as needed to supply electricity to the entire country for an hour.

Not too many people put the spotlight on young leaders in energy. Meeting some of them in Bucharest and learning about their accomplishments was very encouraging and it made me ponder on how important it is to show the accomplishments of young people who follow vocational careers in fields which seem a little too technical to make the subject of popular interest, such as the energy field. In fact, as anyone would agree, nothing impacts more the moment-to-moment quality of our lives, than energy. So one would agree that the specialists and leaders in this field should be able to have a more transparent and frequent conversation with the public. Thus, I was happy to be invited, on a warm Saturday in July, to attend a presentation and walk-through of a Solar House built by EFdeN, one of the two main organizations for young leaders in

An early shower to start the day amounts to over one billion liters of water or, specifically, the volume of Herăstrău lake. In Bucharest, more than one million employees travel, on average, 11 kilometers at 14 km/h every day, in order to reach the office. All those who choose to drive a car to and from work, rather than use public transportation, bike or walk, are accountable for 800.000 liters of fuel and at least 500 tons of carbon dioxide. Per day. And if all of the 7,5 million households in the country would have and turn on air conditioning on a hot summer day, they would be responsible for the entire national electricity demand during the course of 2 hours. Note: Information provided by George Constantin, Head of Communications, Future Energy Leaders Romania When we think of young leaders, 20

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Who are the Young Romanian Leaders in Energy?

energy in Romania. EFdeN (officially called Solar Decathlon Association Bucharest) and Future Energy Leaders Romania work together to create positive change in the field of energy in Romania, by running projects that bring awareness, educate and shift people’s perception about what sustainable and renewable energy means. EFdeN is a student-founded NGO known for winning 4thplace at the Solar Decathlon Competition in Dubai, in 2018, and for building modular, energy efficient solar house prototypes. Future Energy Leaders (FEL) Romania was founded in 2011, and its main objectives include educating and training young people in energy to develop the skills needed for the 4th industrial revolution, increasing their degree of employability and grooming them to take on decision-making positions in the industry. FEL Romania's mission is to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and reduce the negative impact that energy has on the environment. Mihai Toader-Pasti, President of


Belgian Chocolates With Love Messages. available in Park Lake Mall, Bucharest facebook.com/timcudragoste

FEL Romania, co-founder and general manager of EFdeN and EnergiaTa, is one of 100 young people selected this year to be a part of FEL100, a global network of young professionals in energy. Back to the sunny afternoon in late July, when I visited the Solar House, I can’t say how impressed I was to be given the tour by a student at the Faculty of Installations’ Engineering, the campus of which hosts the EFdeN Solar House. Our group of about 30 learned about its architecture, functionality, interior design, mechanical and electrical systems and sustainability, in a way that I was actually able to understand. ☺ The afternoon, organized by FEL Romania and EFdeN, included a wonderful conversation among young and senior energy leaders, gathered in the Solar House’s living room. The projects and accomplishments of the two organizations deserve more spotlight, and OZB extends them the promise of continued curiosity and dialogue. •

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To Build A Home by Simon Quysner


he centre of Bucharest is full of derelict and empty shells of buildings. The aftermath of communism writ large across far too many city streets. We chose not to buy one of those. Bucharest is also full of interwar properties in need of love and care to bring them into the 21st century. To breathe new life into their high ceilings and parquet floors, their wrought iron front doors and crystal or mirror panelled interior doors. Anyone who has been through a renovation will tell you the same story of hopes and dreams mixed in with never-ending compromise and occasional despair. Ours is no different, but we would do it again in an instant. Luckily, I’m pretty sure it won’t come to that. We are here to stay.

faith advances who then did little to no work before disappearing forever. Furniture manufacturers measured twice, but then lost our measurements. They built and delivered the cupboards anyway of course, but they didn’t fit. The kitchen was promised in time for Christmas (When 12 of our family had flown over from England for the holidays), but arrived at the end of January. They were not all cowboys, but it always seemed to be “for a few dollars more.'' We found it incredibly difficult to find furniture we liked in Romania, so we shipped it from England. The sideboard and dining set came from an antique shop in Marylebone and the desk has spent most of its life in the ministry of defense on Whitehall. The armchair was in my house in Dulwich, London, when I was a

The villa in which our ground floor apartment sits was built around 1928, a stone’s throw from Foisorul de Foc on the eastern edge of the city centre. Seismic risk was obviously a concern, and we had an initial survey done before we bought the property, but it wasn’t until we took everything back to bare brick that we were able to confirm the condition of the walls and ceilings. Yes, there was some reconsolidation to be done but it could have been a lot worse. Considering the not inconsiderable earthquakes of 1940, 1977 and 1986 the building has stood up incredibly well. Stories of communist seizures, restitution and and shared ownership are best saved for another day. Perhaps the biggest hurdle we faced was finding the right people to do the job. That Romania has a migration problem should not be news to anyone, but it is no overstatement to say that all the good people have gone. Even when we did find people to do specialised jobs, the going was never easy. Carpenters paid good 22

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OCTOBER 2019 To Build A Home

little boy. We couldn’t find the lightswitches or door handles we wanted, so they came from England too. The wallpaper is based on a 19th century design from a house on the site of the old Marshalsea Prison in Southwark and we love the way the repeating pattern in different colours ties the living areas together. And that John Lewis deliver. All told it was 14 months of riding the renovation rollercoaster. But it was worth every new grey hair, every leu, every sleepless night. Gone are the memories of dust and broken promises, replaced by the feeling of truly being at home for the first time in years. All that remains is to get some more artwork for the walls, but there’s no rush. The hard part is done and we have plenty of time. •


Massive Rise in Residential Developments in 2019 by Damian Galvin

Meanwhile, mass-market projects tend to be located at the city’s outskirts such as around the Centura (ring road) including new areas previously undeveloped or industrial areas such as West and South West Bucharest, which are aimed at clients with lower budgets Property prices continue to rise, but the pace is definitely slowing, as is demand, amidst rising interest rates. Economic growth, while it remains robust, has decelerated from the previous year.


y the end of 2019, property developers will have delivered 40% more new housing units than 2018, according to data from consultancy firm Imoteca. There will be 14,000 this year, compared to 8,500 in 2018, according to property developer data. There are currently more than 105 large and medium residential projects under construction in Bucharest and Ilfov, which are the areas with the most residential transactions in Romania, followed by smaller cities, according to Imoteca, who stated volume projects have reached almost the same share as massmarket projects, namely 45% compared to 50%, with the remaining 5% represented by luxury projects. Many new small and medium volume projects were created in Bucharest’s residential areas, close to public transport, and with accessible prices aimed at medium to high revenue clients.

In 2018, the national average selling price of apartments in Romania rose by 6.44% (3.32% inflation-adjusted) to €1,239/ sqm, from 2017, based on the figures from imobiliare.ro. However, this is a market slowdown over 2017 (10.9%) and in 2016 (10.4%). 2019 figures are yet to be published but from our experience, it will be less % rise than in 2018. I’m regularly asked “is 2019/ 2020 a

good time to buy new residential property, as the market seems overheated?” I divide my buyer's advice into 3 types

For a personal residence

Since it should be for the long term, greater than 10 years (otherwise it is often better to rent), the risk of any downturn is reduced as recovery cycles are usually less than 10 years. Since it may be your only purchase… · Avoid buying too early off-plan from unknown or unproven developers as some do not complete the build within budget due to lack of planning, rising borrowing costs, building errors, legal irregularities and so forth. · Make sure you are happy with the quality, as many new builds have unacceptably thin floors, walls, ceilings, doors, and substandard finishes. · Chose a location that suits your current and potential future location needs, avoiding run-down areas. This is not the purchase on which you should take risks, since it will be your prime property.

For investment purposes

Here the key is to retain for at least 20 years to ride out at least 2 cycles of falling/ rising markets to eliminate any risk of losses. In such investment instances… · Look for a property that gives between 5 to 6% rental return, meaning a year of gross rent income equals 6% of the sale value of the property. W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9

Massive Rise in Residential Developments in 2019



· Avoid residential property with higher than 7% yields as it often suggests under-priced buildings such as those with seismic risk or hard to sell property, which will later impact you when selling, or has unsustainable rent expectations that may result in long-vacant periods, since there is plenty of alternative property a tenant can choose from. · Location, Location, Location are the 3 keywords here. Avoid ‘bargain’ property in remote locations unless you want a risky portfolio. The safe zone is one in which your investment is always in demand, eg, near a Metro, University or business district.

· Do not over-invest on the interior. 10 to 15% of the new purchase price should be enough to equip a property well. · Invest in good quality, mediumrange fittings, not high specification budget brands as they do not age well.

For leisure purpose

This includes a weekend home, lakeside or mountain property. · Plan ahead for your future needs, e.g. what would suit your family for optimum use, rather than what suits you as a single person now. · Keep the investment to a bare minimum and avoid over equipping with

The Flavours


contents that will receive little use. · Consider your exit strategy well. Bargain property does not usually grow as fast as standard priced investments, and the same is true of remote locations or quirky or low-quality property. This advice is simplified for space reasons but a good real estate agent should be able to expand on this advice. • Damian Galvin runs White Mountain Property, which is in its 14th year on the Romanian sales, rental and property management market, with experience in Bucharest, Ilfov county, Brasov County and surrounding towns.

Fall At

Cobor Biodiversity Farm

We’re celebrating the fall at Cobor Biodiversity Farm with a great lunch! Location: Cobor Biodiverisity Farm, Cobor Village, Ticușu Vechi Commune, Brașov County – Romania, 507231 Lunch by Elena Daniela Graura, lady chef at Gourmet Tour

Programme Guest arrival: 11:00 AM Opening of the bar: 11:00 AM Farm tour, a walk through the area & stories: 11.30-13.00 Opening of the lunch: 13:00 PM Curving pumpkins workshop for kids&parents: 15.00-17.00 PM Price*: 120 RON/person or 25 EUR/person Price includes: local guide, entrance fee at the lunch, access to food and drinks and craft demonstrations. * Children up to 5 years old are free of charge. ** Children 6-14 years 60 RON/person or 12 EUR *** The transportation to the place of the event is the responsibility of each participant Details& reservations at phone number (04)0743259775 - Georgiana If you want to spend the whole weekend at Cobor Biodiversity Farm, please check our availability at reservation@cobor-farm.ro More details about Cobor Biodiversity Farm: www.cobor-farm.ro


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Ana Maria Lucaciu Choreographer & Dance Performer


na Maria Lucaciu is a choreographer and contemporary dance performer with history of making art in dancing shoes. Her ballet career began when enrolling at the National Ballet School of Canada, afterwards shaped by the decision of joining Canada’s National Ballet, followed by swinging on the dancefloor with the Royal Danish Ballet, Augsburg Ballet, The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company & Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York.

Holder of a BFA in dance from Empire State College, Ana Maria collaborates and performs with various artists and companies, she teaches ballet, contemporary and improvisation, sharing her knowledge with apprentices, novices, professionals all across the US, Europe and Asia. Metamorphosed by her unique experiences, Ana Maria will soon unravel herself on the TEDxBucharest stage in a moment that stands at the intersection of speech & performance. Join Ana Maria in her Metamorphosis on 16th & 17th of November, at Aula Politehnica Bucuresti, more information on www.tedxbucharest.ro. We asked, she answered. Get a sneak peak into her mind and soul by reading the short interview below. Full disclosure of her personality guaranteed at the event.

If you could have all the money in the world to invest in your business, how would you spend it? What top priorities would you have?

That’s so difficult to answer in short. I’d invest in anything science related and education for all, everywhere. With that comes the environment, health, getting rid of poverty and equal rights, you know, the fundamentals. These are all grand and they’d be top priority. Then I’d invest in giving possibilities to everyone to make art. And start a massive universal dance camp.

If you had to give away 5 years of your life, which years would you choose? From the past or the future? None. I’m greedy. I can’t even conceive of it. In 30 years, what will you be nostalgic for? Probably the mobility of my body. What would be the worst “buy one and get another one free” product for sale? Guns.

Have you ever mispronounced someone’s name? Tell us about the feeling. Yes and it feels like butchering an entire personality with it. The second try is even worse because your confidence falters. And the third too. Then you just look for ways to avoid saying the name. It’s a vicious cycle. If you could go back in time, how would you spend your first salary / income? The same way I did, which I actually don’t precisely remember. I might have bought a CD or two. U2 and the Goldberg Variations. How would you advertise yourself in only one sentence? Easy going, but don’t take advantage of it. What could, under no circumstances, be art? Nature.

If you could ask a pet one question, what would it be? “Who is a good boy?” does not count here. Would you rather run wild in the woods, or is this couch really the best thing ever? Any thoughts about the way our world could end? I think if we keep going the way we are, we’re getting there. It takes one thumb landing on the wrong button and pouf, gone. Photo credit - Clear & Sweet by Zoe Juniper Photo Juniper Shuey W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9 Ana Maria Lucaciu - Choreographer & Dance Performer



Do You Know the ABCs of EU Law? by Andreea Micu, Partner & Ramona Bădescu, Associate Stoica & Asociații – Attorneys at law


he legal framework of the European Union has become a daily part of our lives. Each year, the European Union’s institutions issue thousands of legislative acts which have a great impact on the Member States, but also on their citizens. We live in times in which a citizen of a Member State is not only subject to the rules of law issued by its origin country, but also to the rules of law enacted at the European level, becoming, somehow, “a citizen of two states situated at different levels”, similar to the organisation of a federal state. Consequently, it becomes vital that each person gets familiar with the rights and obligations arising from the European Union legal order as well as with the legal mechanisms that allow their enforcement. Let’s take a short ride into the “legal world” of the economic, political and social giant called European Union and get a glimpse of the legal instruments that, after all, ensure the functioning of the European Union. The European Union was created through several international agreements signed by the Member States, which are usually called founding treaties. These 26

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founding treaties (briefly the Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon) contain the basic provisions regarding the EU objectives and powers, the organisation and functioning of EU institutions and the principal economic rules governing the functioning of the European Union, such as the free movement of persons or the free movement of goods. You must know that the legal provisions of the treaties are directly applicable in the national legal order and they create direct rights and obligations for the Member States and for the citizens. However, the founding treaties set forth only the basic rules governing the EU (primary law) whereas the more complex and detailed legislation of each area reg-

by way of adopting a specific national law. That is why regulations are one of the most powerful legal instruments available for the European Union in order to reach its objectives. On the other hand, the EU regulations are also very important tools for each natural or legal person since they create rights that each person can exercise directly in front of national public authorities, including the domestic courts of law. The EU directive is also an important legislative instrument alongside the EU regulation. However, the aim of an EU directive is not the strict uniformization of the laws of the Member States, but their harmonisation. Consequently, the EU directive addresses only to Member

ulated by Union law is comprised in other legal sources such as regulations, directives, decisions, delegated acts and implementing acts, recommendations and opinions etc. (secondary legislation). The most important secondary legal sources for the natural and legal persons of each Member State are the regulations and directives. The EU regulation is addressed to all Member States, as well as to natural and legal persons. It is directly applicable in the national order of each Member State and it is binding in its entirety. Consequently, the EU regulations lay down the same law throughout the Union, regardless of international borders, and apply in all Member States, which are not entitled to ignore or modify their content. As well, the EU Regulations are characterised by direct applicability, which means that they create rights and obligations for each natural and legal person under the same circumstances a national legal provision does, without being necessary to be transposed into the national legal order

States and it is binding with respect to the intended result. It creates an obligation for the Member States to adopt legislative and administrative instruments within a specified time frame in order to attain the specific objective contained by the EU directive, but the State is free to choose its own legal paths/norms in view of reaching such objective. What happens, however, if a Member State does not transpose the provisions of the directive into its legal order or it transposes them incorrectly or incompletely? According to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), under particular conditions, a natural or legal person can directly rely on the rights set forth the by an EU Directive against national public authorities, including before domestic courts (“the vertical direct effect of the EU Directive”). The EU legal order benefits of autonomy, in relation to the national legal order of each Member State. In the interaction between the two types of legal


OCTOBER 2019 Do you know the ABCs of EU Law?


orders, the CJEU has established certain rules which aim to pursue the objectives of the European Union: the Union law is directly applicable to national law (direct applicability of union law to national laws), which means that the Union law grants rights and imposes obligations directly to the Member States and its natural and legal persons, without being necessary for the Member States to adopt legislative transposition instruments; the Union law supersedes all contrary national provisions (primacy of Union Law over national law), which means that in a conflict between a Union legal provision and a national one, the Union law will override the national law; the national law must be interpreted

in accordance with the union law, which means that each public authority with competence in applying the law must pay attention that any national legal disposition be interpreted in accordance with the Union law. Which are the instruments available for each natural or legal person in order to actually and effectively benefit of the rights set forth in the Union law? There are at least two instruments worth mentioning: the preliminary ruling and the liability of member States for infringement of the Union law. The preliminary ruling procedure is specific to court cases. This is a procedure by means of which a national court is able to request the CJEU to either indicate


the correct interpretation of a Union law provision or to examine the validity of the Union institutions’s legislative acts such as regulations or directives from the perspective of the founding treaties. The preliminary ruling procedure is important because it creates the premises for the CJEU to ensure a uniform interpretation of the Union law regarding the rights and obligations stemming from the Union law and it results in a binding ruling on the referring court and all other courts which judge the same case. As well, it also has a great influence on subsequent similar cases, as an indirect source of law or guidance for the interpretation of EU and national law. The procedure for engaging the liability of Member States for infringement of the Union law has been established through the case law of the CJEU and it grants the possibility to a natural or legal person to file an action before its national courts in order to request damages incurred as a result of the infringement of the Member State of any of its obligations under the Union law. To conclude, the EU legal order has very important legal tools that allow it to play a crucial role in our daily lives, which makes it more important for us to get acquainted with them so we can take our day-to-day legal decisions in a wise and efficient manner. •

Where young people find their calling

School, as we know it, was designed in 1893. Our school was born different. Acton Academy is one of the newest and most innovative (and downright coolest) school networks in the world.

www.actonbucharest.com Facebook: @ActonAcademyBucharest

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Romanian trained Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu wins the U.S. Open

Simon Halep beat legendary Serena Williams to win the Wimbledon Tournament this summer

Romania Rises Above the Net by David Shoup

A string of Romanian victories in women’s tennis has left fans and critics across the world asking the same question: what’s up with Romania?


he interest began with the rise of 27 year old Simona Halep of Constanta, who came far out of left field to take home the 2019 Wimbledon Championships in July, beating sports legend Serena Williams. “It’s unbelievable. Not just the victory but the way that she plays,” said Halep’s new coach Daniel Dobre, speaking to reporters at Wimbledon. “It wasn’t Serena playing bad, because Serena also played unbelievably. She (Halep) won the match by herself.” 28

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Could one of these youngsters be the next Simona Halep?

Speaking to WTA Tennis shortly after her win, Halep reflected on the challenge of competing at the highest level on a different surface than she’s accustomed to training on. “It was tough to believe because we don't even have a court, grass court, in Romania. That's something far. But I knew if we be patient and if we work hard, we get the feeling of the grass court.” Romanian players are letting results speak for themselves when it comes to the quality of coaching, training and the

OCTOBER 2019 Romania Rises Above the Net

individual athlete over the type of court they use. Not missing a beat, Canadian Bianca Andreescu went on to take the 2019 US open last month, also beating Serena Williams. Beginning the year with a placement of 152, nineteen year old Andreescu is now closing out the season as the 5th top ranked tennis player worldwide. Though born in Canada, Andreescu moved back to Romania, her parents home country, as a child. It was there in Pitesti that she first began playing tennis at the age of 7.


Alexandru Grigore has been the director of As Club Politehnica for seven years and says he has witnessed firsthand the rise in excitement generated for tennis in Romania’s capital since even before the Wimbledon win.

mentioned Filip Jianu and Ionel David Nicholas as future break out players to keep an eye out for in major tournaments down the road.

“The Wimbledon win was big, but we’ve been seeing more and more interest from young people in tennis since Simona reached the number one worldwide ranking last year,” Grigore said from his club’s ten court property on Strada Alexandru Ivasiuc. In winter time, bubble covers allow for five courts to remain operational through the snowy months.

“This year, some of our kids are in the top ten for the 12 and 14 year old leagues, boys and girls,” Grigore said proudly. Although the club’s primary goal is to help these young Romanians reach their full potential and become the next Halpes and Andreescus, the club also offers tennis practice and amateur fun for adult players, with more than 50 members ranging from retired pros down to newcomers to the sport.

Grigore’s As Club boasts budding competitors as young as four, with youth members (more than 75 of them in total) participating in up to ten regional and national tournaments each year. He

As with many areas for improvement in Romania, sports being relatively low on the lost, Grigore suggests that government funding would go a long way towards producing more Simona Haleps,

who, along with Ilie Nastase thirty years prior, bring positive attention and reputation to Romanian athletics. He points to Canada as a good model for developing regional camps that can foster local talent. “For younger players that are up in the top 10 or top 5 rankings, the national federation should have a tracking or funding program to help them out so they can have support for development, equipment, training and coaching,” Grigore said. “The main problem for good players in Romania is there is no strategy for them to climb up step by step to the ATA or WTA.” But Grigore closed with an optimistic note, predicting that with improved planning over the next decade, Romania will be well on its way to producing another top ranked global tennis champion. •

Hit Refresh


ominated last September by the Guardian newspaper as one of the “20 best yoga holidays worldwide” Akasha Wellness Retreat, in beautiful Transylvania, is ready to change your perception of yoga holidays. Writing about Akasha the Guardian said: “Forget Dracula; Transylvania is the perfect place to step off the world for a while and let nature, good food and gentle yoga get to work.” At Akasha, along with the very best yoga classes and superb nutrition, guests can enjoy local wine tasting, cooking demonstrations and amazing hiking in the hills near Bran. With three delicious vegan, gluten, sugar and dairy-free meals each day, you will forget about those sweets and calories you crave at home. Thirsty? The retreat’s only water source is the nearby spring so you don’t need to worry about filtering that water before drinking it. You can prepare detoxifying teas and add some ginger in before hitting the outdoor hot tub. •

Packages are all inclusive. See www.akasharetreat.com for more information and to book. You can call us at +40 727 86.04.39 at any time or simply ping us on Whatsapp

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Dr. Oana Taban, founder of Dent Estet

Dent Estet Lobby

Conquer the World

With Your Smile

A smile is the most powerful energy of life. This is why some people say it is the shortest way to happiness. Once you are confident in your smile, you have the power to change the world.


years ago dr. Oana Taban created DENT ESTET, a distinctive and unique place, that will help people enjoy beautiful smiles and will inspire them to spread happiness. But more than creating beautiful smiles, DENT ESTET’s vision is to bring excellency in dentistry closer to the Romanian patients and offer them the access to the highest standards of dental medicine and to the 30

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newest technologies and treatment options. DENT ESTET is the only clinic in Romania which provides exclusive dental treatments by age groups: adults, children and teenagers in dedicated clinics. Each patient benefits of a very personal approach, with multidisciplinary expertise and fully customized treatment solutions. Aiming to turning the vision for innovation into reality and to getting closer to the patients’ needs, based on the market demand, the group has expanded its network in other Romanian cities, currently reaching 10 clinics in three cities. Seven of the group clinics are in Bucharest (two for kids, one for teenagers, four for adults) and three others outside the capital: one clinic for children in Timisoara and two in Sibiu (one for adults and one for children). Being the largest medical team on the dental services market in Romania, DENT ESTET has 105 super specialized doctors, who treated over time more than 80,000 patients organized in three strong medical divisions: DE Implant Division, Esthetic Dentistry Division and Advanced Orthodontic Division.

OCTOBER 2019 Conquer the World With Your Smile

Since 2016, DENT ESTET is part of the MedLife group, a partnership that allowed the integration of the general medicine services for the existing patients, facilitating the access to complete solutions for their health needs. The first clinic opened after DENT ESTET joined MedLife is DENT ESTET Primaverii, the most emblematic clinic of the group and the largest fully digitized dental clinic in Romania. With ten diagnose and treatment rooms, the clinic is internationally recognized as a center of excellence in digital dentistry. Two clinics were recently opened in Sibiu, one for kids, the only one in the region that treats exclusively children and one for adults, the only 100% digitized dental clinic located in the heart of the country. Continuing the innovations for dental health, DENT ESTET launched this year a Masterplan of Digital Implantology, a unique service in Romania, through which patients benefit from modern treatment solutions and access, in the same clinic, to complete and personalized services before and


after surgery: leading edge of premium implant systems (Straumann® and Nobel Biocare®), fine art prosthetics, secure and performant internationally certified technologies and multidisciplinary medical approach for the treatment plans. Digitally integrated dentistry: unequaled precision and 100% success rate

computerized procedure that allows the visualization of the results event before the first treatment session. These high-end technologies have not only enhanced the quality of dental care but have also boosted the efficiency and predictability of the procedures, resulting in 100% functional outcomes and esthetic results. DENT ESTET 4Kids, the first dental clinic in Eastern Europe exclusively dedicated to children

Digital dentistry has clearly transformed the way dental care is provided to patients nowadays. All the benefits that such approach offers translate into immediate and precise results, a shorter treatment period and faster recovery post complex interventions. “Being a doctor myself and treating many patients it helped me envision the right place where the patient comes with confidence and leaves with the desired results. Our philosophy has always been centered around people, from growing and professionally developing the doctors with continuous support to their career, to the well-being of the patient. We believe that education remains the most important asset of evolution. That is why, we have dedicated teams for treating children, teenagers and adults and free educational dental workshops for children and adults. And by focusing exclusively on one age group of patients, the quality and results of the treatments are really outstanding.” says dr. Oana Taban, CEO & Founder of DENT ESTET. Most advanced digital technologies are currently at the patients’ fingertips: the tridimensional CT scan (CBCT) and the digital surgical guide for maximum accuracy in diagnose, the WaterLase® laser, which uses the laser and water energy for a different range of dental treatments without the sound of the dental drill, the 3 Shape Trios Real Colors digital oral scanner, an accurate and comfortable manner for taking dental imprints, or the Digital Smile Design technology, a

Always driven by patients’ needs, DENT ESTET brought to Romania the American model of pediatric dentistry, launching a premiere in Romania and Eastern Europe: the first dental clinic dedicated exclusively to children – DENT ESTET 4Kids.

Pediatric dentistry involves, first and foremost, a special training of the team, from nurses and doctors, to reception and the entire support staff, as well as specially designed equipment and personalized treatment techniques. Real solutions for approaching the children with a high level of anxiety, dedicated psychological counselor specialized in child psychology and parenting inspire security and confidence for both kids and their parents.

Given the increased interest of the patients towards specialized services, DENT ESTET 4Teens opened in 2012, being the first clinic in Europe specialized in treatments for teenagers. The clinic covers the full range of dental services, from therapy to orthodontic treatments. First visit protocol Doctors give major importance to the moment when the child visits for the first time the clinic. This is the reason why they follow a special protocol firstly introduced on the market in the DENT ESTET clinics and defined as “The accommodation visit”: dedicated time for the child and the parents to get to know the doctor and the clinic. In respect to anxious children, the role of the psychologist is to help them overcome the initial fear. As a longterm effect, the child will turn into a responsible adult, which will contribute to building a cooperative doctor-patient relationship. DENT ESTET is driven by the sharing culture, through which the medical teams share the expertise and the knowledge achieved, while the support teams contribute to the formation and maintenance of a longterm relationship between doctors and patients. If we all have the confidence to use passion in every aspect of our lives, we can create a world full of smiles. •

www.dentestet.ro www.de4kids.ro www.de4teens.ro www.dentalmanagers.ro

DENT ESTET 4Kids is the first and only dental clinic for children in Romania that owns an integrated AIC unit equipped accordingly to all demands and standards in hospitals. With a team of doctors certified in Europe and USA in pediatric dentistry, including 13 anesthesiologists, psychologists and specialized staff in communicating with children, all clinics offer pediatric dental services meeting all the requirements of western markets. W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9



Folkloric Fashion

“To be or not to be sustainable, that is the question” by Lidewij Edelkoort


idewij Edelkoort is one of the world's most famous fashion theorists. For more than 40 years, she has foreseen the trends in fashion and lifestyle. Her consultancy company, 'Trend Union', established in 1975 in Paris, offers bi-annual trend forecasting books for the fashion and design community, indicating what people want in terms of design, colors and lifestyle. In the seminar on trend of spring/ summer 2020, Edelkoort presented, in her characteristic approach, fashion phenomenon in the broader context of a world view. “Right now, xenophobia and racism are prevalent around the world. Democracy cannot withstand such a large number of autocrats backed by enormous armies. The news is rife with predictions of natural disasters and the fashion industry remains one of the greatest polluters in the world,” Li Edelkoort asserts. Is time for change, or at least, time for a counter-movement. According to the forecaster, folklore will make its entry into fashion. Lidewij Edelkoort sees folklore as a unifier that gives a sense of belonging in the face of rising threat of terrorism, higher than ever suicide rates, national discourse, and the risks of cultural appropriation. “We would benefit from immersing ourselves in folklore and realising that we have more in common with each other than we might think.” It is known that in different places 32

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across the world, clothes have similar designs, crafted techniques were alike, patterns sometimes make bridges across very different and far away cultures. Folkloric fashion will help us in thinking universally instead of nationalistically. She continued addressing the not so new state of fashion: “The fashion industry is blocked. There’s no time to think, only to produce and distribute. The result: old models are constantly being introduced as ‘new fashion’. We keep repeating the same items in which the differences are negligible. We continue to run around in the same circle without any innovation.” The trend forecaster considers the traditional textile ‘revival’ on the way to counterbalancing the fashion houses of speed and greed. The new trend in clothing in the future will come back to handmade, timeless garments constructed with cars. “People will once again craft garments with a soul,” says Edelkoort. This is very good news for Romania, a country where you can still find small ateliers, where old and young women together practice the ancient technique of weaving at the loom. For far too many years, artisans have been neglected, their handcrafts overlooked and under-priced. This might be one of the main country competitive advantages, in a world where all the repetitive and non-creative jobs will be overtaken by automation. According to Lidewij Edelkoort, in the future we will need less clothes and the ones we choose will be different. Clothes will tell a story and bring emotions. We will not just buy clothes, but we will collect them, handpicked one by one, with attention and intention. Still, in the Romanian market today one can find original pieces in very good condition, as well as a great variety of woven textiles like hemp, linen and wool, ready to have a new life in contemporary design. Romanian traditional attire is a great source of inspiration for folkloric trends in fashion already – the worldfamous collection La blouse Roumaine of Yves Saint Laurent in 1981, is just one example. Prestigious fashion houses and top designers (in many cases without giving credit to the source of inspiration), integrated in their collections, iconic items and definitory elements from our cultural clothing. The mix between old and new

OCTOBER 2019 Folkloric Fashion

is here to stay. Giving another life to a garment that incorporates a lot of handwork and emotions in a mechanical world is something that gives us not only peace, but also great style. •





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 NEW menu & 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

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Healthy Romania: Making the Most of “de Post” by Ilinca Maria Prundea


s a Romanian foodie, I’m proud of our country’s wide ranging traditional cuisine, from delicious pork meat rolls with rice and vegetables (“sarmale”) to freshly baked eggplant salad (“vinete”). Unfortunately, in my travels across Europe, I’ve found that the culinary stereotype that outsiders mark Romania with tends to gravitate closer to the former example of sarmale along with a host of other fatty meat dishes and carb heavy sides like “mamaliga” (polenta for our visiting readers). There’s certainly garnishings of truth to this quick judgement. During Christian holidays especially, Christmas and Easter being the creme de la creme standouts, we Dacian descended Romans - with our blend of slavic meat soups, German love for heavy carbs, and Italian-inspired flavorings and fusions - are guilty of binging pretty hard at the dinner table. But what short time visitors to Romania may not realize is that prior to the holiday inspired foodie indulgences, many Romanians engage in a period of vegan fasting, known locally as “Mancare De Post,” or fasting food. Don’t confuse the alliterative similarities to fast food though: the diet de post is healthy as can be. The aforementioned salata de vinete is just the


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tip of the iceberg lettuce. Fasole batuta is a delicious bean based creme enjoyed best with caramelized onions served on toast as a light lunch. Even a simple fruits and vegetables brunch spread of pickled peppers, local cucumbers, hummus, and Romanian tomatoes, which I’ve heard from many world travelers are amongst the juiciest in the world. Although the rationale for eating de post is one rooted in biblical references that have translated over the millenia into Romanian Orthodox cultural traditions, the notion of taking a break from meat for a week, even up to a month, is a great choice for your body and overall health. Lowering or cutting out pork from your diet does wonders for staving off high blood pressure, high cholesterol, various cancers, and diabetes, to name just a few common ailments. Unfortunately, while following the de post diet for several weeks is a great choice, following up with this healthy eating habit with a multi-day binge of fatty foods, red meat, and sweets during Christmas, New Years, Easter and other holiday gatherings essentially cancels out all of the good work you’ve done for your body. For older people especially, binge eating large quantities of fatty meats, particularly after a weeks-long vegan diet, can be seriously dangerous. Deaths amongst older Romanians often rise during holidays centered around huge meals, usually the results of overeating. It isn’t a simple problem, but there are simple solutions. For one, reducing red meat intake over the holidays is essential. The same goes for hard liquor consump-

OCTOBER 2019 Healthy Romania: Making the Most of “De Post”

tion, which can be harder to do during those dark winter months, but necessary for jumping into the springtime with a fresh start. Adopting a vegan de post diet full time is a big leap, but there are baby steps you can take the ease into a healthier diet. One example is to replace pork with chicken or other bird meat in traditional recipes. My aunt in Ploesti makes a tasty variation of sarmale with turkey and it offers a unique and mildly healthier option to the Christmas dinner table. A colleague recently adopted the de post diet full time and has replaced meat sarmale with a tofu variety that still offers the same great texture and flavor of the traditional food. Lastly, maintaining a consistent exercise routine during the winter months is a key way to avoid the excess weight that most of us will pick up on the dark road from fall to spring. Every society experiences tension between an older generation maintaining tradition and a younger generation attempting to bring about change. But when it comes to food, we can maintain all of our traditional meals and still do well by our bodies by offering small ingredient substitutes and keeping an eye on moderation and consistent cardio throughout those tempting holidays. •

Ilinca Maria Prundea is a fifth year medical student at Bucharest’s Carol Davila Medical University and has researched heart disease and colon surgery in Leipzig, Germany.


A Place Full of History in the Heart of Bucharest


ecker Brau is one of the oldest Gourmet Breweries in Romania. Located in the center of Bucharest, it’s the place where Ursus Tank beer flows over pints, grills are always full, and the good will is at home. The brewery was built in 1996 by the Beckers, Christian and Dagmar, within the premises of the former Rahova beer factory (Bragadiru). Original and traditional recipes were sought from the very beginning to give a special taste to our beer. The restaurant has a capacity of

450 seats both inside and outside, and it is the perfect choice for every occasion you might have. From celebrating with loved ones to chill moments by yourself, Becker Brau promises a memorable experience, whether day or night. Traditional dances and live music are just some of the surprises prepared especially for you through themed evenings dedicated to creating a complex and wholehearted experience for the people who step inside. One example would be the newly developed concept, ‘Joia la Berarie’ (Thursdays at the brewery), brought to life for those of us who do not want to wait until Friday night to have a good time. It is a statement not to limit ourselves within a timeline set up by the masses, which comes in the form of a high raised pit of Ursus la Tank, the freshest beer in town, enjoyed when surrounded by your favorite people at your favorite place. You will have the

chance to engage in challenging games that will take you into the depths of the fabrication process of tank beer, while dancing and laughing to the beats of each artist who performs on the stage. Whether is jazz music, soul or dance, you have the promise of a night full of smiles, laughs and good Ursus Tank beer. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Becker Brau is the place to be if you’re in search of a fresh cold beer, good traditional food and great atmosphere. •

For more details and reservations, contact Becker Brau at following: Facebook: Becker Brau Instagram: becker.brau Phone No: +40 736 007 005 Address: Calea Rahovei 157, Bucharest, Romania W W W.O Z B . R O O C TO B E R 2 0 1 9

A place full of history in the heart of Bucharest



Crama LacertA

Best Wine Tasting Destinations Near Bucharest by Dan Teodorescu


hen people think of regions around the world that are famous for their winemaking, the usual suspects that pop into everyone’s mind are classic European wine countries, such as France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as more faraway lands like South Africa or Argentina. However, those living in and around Bucharest don’t need to travel 36

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for thousands of miles to experience the pleasure of visiting wineries and tasting the fruits of their labor. Romania is one of the top wine-producing countries in the world and taking a day trip to any of these excellent wineries will definitely excite your taste buds and lift your spirit. Just make sure at least one of your companions is not as fond of wine and has a valid driver’s license.

Crama S.E.R.V.E. The Dealu Mare wine region is located at the exact same latitude as the Bordeaux region in France and Italy’s Tuscany region, so it’s no wonder that it produces a wide variety of excellent wines. Located near Ploiesti and only an hour’s drive away from Bucharest, S.E.R.V.E. winery takes full advantage of its ideal soil and climate, with the result being some of the best wine in Romania and pretty much anywhere else.

OCTOBER 2019 Best wine tasting destinations near Bucharest

The vineyard’s name is a Romanian acronym for “European-Romanian Society for Exceptional Wines” and their collection has a little something for everyone. With prices starting from as little as 6 euros, you’ll definitely be grabbing a few bottles of your favorites after the tasting, to enjoy at home.

Crama LacertA Also located in the Dealu Mare wine region, LacertA Winery is a wonderful blend of classic and modern. Even the manor at the center of the vineyard, Conacul Dorobantu, is a symbol of that, having been built in 1901 and renovated in 2005 based on the original architectural plans. The wine itself is a product of old traditions and state of the art technology, while also being kept in special oak barrels for extra flavor. LacertA is located about 100 km from Bucharest, making it suitable for day


trips, team buildings, parties, and other business or social events. Visitors can taste from 20 different types of wine and explore the winery, while the experts at the wine shop can help you discover your new favorite wine.

Domeniile Blaga You’ll find Domeniile Blaga vineyard just down the road from LacertA, so if you’re a fan of Dealu Mare wines you might as well spend a few days in the region and enjoy everything it can offer. Unlike some other names on our list, this one is relatively new, with the main wine cellar being built only a decade ago. Nowadays it stretches over 50 hectares and produces up to 200 tons of wine per year. Over the past few years, they received numerous awards for their red and white wine varieties and they’re all available, both for tasting and for taking home.

Avincis Winery & Vineyard Dragasani has been a famous wine region since ancient times and a taste of any of the Avincis wines will tell you exactly why. Visiting their winery and vineyard can take up to three hours from Bucharest, but it will definitely be worth your time. Visitors can not only experience a wide variety of locallymade red, white, and rosé wine but also enjoy the fascinating Vila Dobrușa estate. Wine tastings include a pick of three or five wines, along with a snack and a tour of the estate. Although a visit to Avincis makes for a fine day trip, you should book a stay in the area and enjoy a few days of exploring the entire Dragasani area.

Crama Rasova If you visited the Romanian seaside this summer by car, you may have noticed a futuristic-looking building on the right side of the road, right after passing the Cernavoda Bridge over the Danube. You’ll be happy to hear that it’s not some eccentric millionaire’s mansion, but the home of some of the finest wines in the region. You can get there in about an hour and a half, and you can be sure that the wines and the location will make it worth your time. The wine tasting tour is carefully planned to properly introduce visitors to the winemaking process, taking them through the entire journey. After seeing how the wine is made, you will be treated to up to six wine varieties, along with carefully chosen cheeses and fruit. The breathtaking views alone are worth the trip. •

S.E.R.V.E. Crama Rasova Avincis Winery & Vineyard

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Jogging scene from the film Forrest Gump (1994)

How to Produce More Tennis Stars? Get Everyone up and at it! by David McLean Shoup


ith the colors changing and crunchy leaves underfoot, there’s no question fall is well upon us. With the Christmas holidays just a few months down the road, now is the most common time for all of us still running on 2019’s new years workout pledges to begin to slip. Whether because Herastrau and Tineretului are getting a bit chilly for those morning jogs or the earlier sunsets are letting you down, one can always find an excuse to stop exercising as the colder seasons descend on us. But don’t give up! One of the benefits of Bucharest’s fast paced industrialization is that new gyms are always popping up around town,

many with monthly deals that make winter gym memberships accessible to an increasing swath of the population. Exclusive Fitness next to the Bucharest Mall in Vitan, with its constant stream of Turner Classic Movies motivating you to hit the treadmill while watching Forrest Gump run across America, will run you just over 100 Ron a month. Another good fall investment is a pair of winter running leggings, key to maintaining the outdoor city park cardio whilst avoiding major injuries that can come with the frigid temperatures. As this month’s edition of OZB explored, business is booming at tennis clubs across Romania, with plenty of good options worth checking out around Bucharest. Some of these, such as As Club in Politehnica, even hold court indoors during the winter, so don’t let the bitter chill outside keep you from playing. For outdoor wilderness exercise, downhill skiing is plentiful along the Carpathian ridge linking Wallachia to scenic Transylvania. For those on a budget, grab a pair of second hand cross country skis, ride over to Vacaresti after the first snowfall and strap in for a pristine ride through nature right in the heart of Romania’s capital. Dozens

of spots close to the city offer creative options for nordic skiers as well. “Getting up and at it” is about more than just routine exercising. Walking instead of driving or metro riding can be a pain, but it also unlocks new doors and allows us to reconnect with our city or town at a time when technology and social media isolates us from our neighbors, and tempting deals on Amazon can zap us into forgetting about the family run store down the block. Back home in the United States, an unlikely candidate has made recent headlines in his bid for the American Presidency next year. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang seeks to rewrite the rules about how the US measures its economy, moving beyond simple GDP to include such values as mental health, life expectancy, well being. By moving in this direction, governments and societies will be able to recognize how serious a problem we’ve gotten ourselves into in this age of automation, twitter cancel culture, and obesity (life expectancy in the US is actually lower than it was ten years ago!). For now, climbing out of the hole starts with the little things. Like climbing. •

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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How to Produce More Tennis Stars? Get Everyone up and at it!

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