Just as in Belgrade, something that impressed me was the massive presence of exchange offices all around the city. I must believe they were there before the atm started working and still exist as, the cash machines work perfectly so I do not see the sense of so many exchange offices.
How to stand in line
When I first arrived in Timisoara I thought everyone was trying to cut in line everywhere I went. I told my Romanian teacher about this and she asked me where I was standing. I told her I was standing right behind the person in front of me just like we do here in the USA. She told me the people didn't know if I was in line. She said that in Romania lines are not straight but curve to the right and that I should stand behind the right shoulder of the person in front of me. She was right! I never had anyone cut in line again.
A Meeting Of Cultures...
Timisoara is a city where a lot of ethnic groups live together for hundreds of years already. There are Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Serbs and more. Timisoara is the only city in europe that has three state theaters in three languages, there are also a lot of kins of churches: Metropolin Cathedral, Orthdox Cathedral, Roman-Catolic Dome, Serbian Church, a Synagogue and even Mosque.
- Religious Travel
- Theater Travel
- Historical Travel
An important and sometimes disconcerting difference between Romanians and Americans is the perception of “private space”. Romanians often have a tendency to physically get a lot closer to strangers than Americans would. This behavior is especially true when queuing up on line to purchase something. Many, who still carry some of the old mentality formed by the lean-years of communism when scarcity of goods was norm, think nothing of cutting in front of the lines. When people cut in, I always point that out to them (nicely and smiling). They usually back down with a sheepish grin.
When talking face-to-face, many Romanians get way too close for comfort and often because of hygienic reasons; it’s very tough to remain polite. Still, smile and politely back up a little. They mean no harm and are truly UNAWARE.
While this behavior is not across the board, it is common. Romanians are genuinely nice and profoundly decent people but some of the idiosyncrasies can be tough on the uninitiated tourist. I hope this little tip will help you cope a little better and will allow you to enjoy wonderful Romania.