And the name of this bootcamp is “Life in Bucharest, Romania as a non-native”.
What I’ve seriously underestimated was how challenging it would feel to deep dive into another country. And not just any country, a country that speaks a completely different language that I haven’t learned yet. And where some (or dare I say, a lot of) people don’t speak English.
Other than going to the Philippines once, where the majority of people do speak English, this is my first time in a country where I don’t speak the language.
Now, I’m not alone. Then again… My partner is having some foot issues at the moment. Thanks to drinking the safe tap water from The Netherlands that apparently came through LEAD PIPES. So he can’t walk.
We’re just three weeks into our stay and I’m already on my own to do groceries and getting supplements for him.
I’m a shy, introverted person. So that’s quite the task for me. Especially because I also get talked to in almost every street when I’m outside. These people talking to me are typically elderly people that are – I presume – homeless or poor. And I feel so impolite ignoring them because a) I can’t spare money at the moment and b) sorry sir/madam I have no idea what you’re saying. 😫
Now, the language barrier is obviously something I’m working on, but actually using the newly learned words and phrases takes a whole lot of courage as well. So yeah…
I walked into three or four different farmacies today to ask for the product that I needed, and the realization of how difficult life becomes when you can’t communicate with one another becomes pretty clear when I come in and ask “Do you speak English?” and the answer was “No”.
Anyway, I’m sure things will improve over time. It doesn’t stop me from being excited to check out this country, or at least Bucharest, for as long as I’m staying in Romania.
Maybe I’ll visit Bulgaria one day and put myself through this whole experience again. 🤔
You never get to experience new things if you stay in your comfort zone, after all! (But man it’s hard to leave that zone. XD)