Is Bucharest a grey city of gypsies and prostitutes? Perhaps, but it must be relativized.
First of all, I must say that I was more bothered by gypsies in France than here. Concerning this point, I would say that this kind of confusion concerning Romania is pretty common nowadays.
As regards to the Romanian women, it’s true that they are quite beautiful and everyone should recognise that they represent the main reason for many tourist to visit this country. Even more, their assumed fashion style doesn’t necessarily mean that they are depraved persons. In my opinion, there aren’t more hookers here than in Western Europe, but I believe that it is just less taboo.
Indeed, you don’t have to hide over here when you use your cell phone in the subway or when you put on a skirt. I can ensure you that it’s way more dangerous in France. But despite all this, the prejudices are rooted in the mentalities and they are conveyed through ignorance, while Romanian are often nicer than French.
Like all capitals, Bucharest has flaws and qualities.
Regarding to the city, the architectural contrast make that the communist buildings seems to be atypical. Bucharest takes you back through the past, with his communist “blocs”, a reminding of a painful era. But these things are quickly forgotten by the beauty of some facades and of the sumptuous religious monuments.
The problem of Bucharest is that it does not know its potential. Although often under renovation, the authorities of this city don’t seem to be interested in the beautiful old buildings, which are too often left abandoned.
I lived here since a few months now, and I saw the city transform itself, turning from a freezing cold winter to a dawn of spring. This allowed me to see the various aspects of the town according to the seasons. During the winter, the Romanian people are going into the parks to sledding and the lakes are freezing, and all this seems quite atypical for us, French people, because this experience seems pretty funny. After that comes the time of the spring and the city wakes up to let flourish a multitude of small coffee shops with terraces.
For a foreign, living in Bucharest is also interesting because it is surely cheaper than in the Western Europe whether for eating at a restaurant, repairing a pair of shoes, getting a haircut or taking public transportation.
From a gastronomic point of view, you can find all types of food in Bucharest. But the charm of the Romanian cuisine lies in the fact that it has a great flavour and it tastes like a family cooking. I have tried many times to cook Romanian but it wasn’t a success most of the time! The Romanian mothers have their little secrets. However, the walks through the markets were enough to suffice me.
This traditional so proper to Romania is due to the fact that Romanians are predominantly religious and they are celebrating many different events. You should therefore expect to receive decorated eggs homemade at Easter or a red and white bracelet to celebrate spring. In December, you might walk through the Christmas market, watch the Romanian folk dancers savouring traditional donuts with a glass of mulled wine…