(Romania) What is Gypsy and Who is Gypsy?

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[15/05/01~13 (D+1351)]
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As approaching to the immigration, I could see trucks were waiting the line. I could feel the border that I was excited.

 

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Selfie at the border!
According to the sign board, the car’s speed limit at the highway is 130 km/h. (81.25 mi/h) Quite fast..

 

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Two dogs were at the field. It would be not bad if they were together.

 

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The weather was cloudy. Although Romania was known as not rich country, the hotel was expensive to me. I had to sleep at my tent again. I should forget about Ukraine where I could sleep at the hotel every day.

 

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I felt comfortable to see lots of green.

 

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Before the sunset, I was looking around to find a place to sleep. I was denied over two times. And then I found a church. I asked the people to set up my tent at the yard of the church. Then a pastor invited me at his house.

They offered me the dinner and we could talk about their culture and my trip. They warned me to be careful about Gypsy. They told me that they usually didn’t stop at gypsy’s town when they drove.

 

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His wife used to live in Spain for some years that we could have chat in Spanish. The dog at the left of the picture was a street dog, but he lived at their house. They fed him as well. What the funny thing was he got scared too much that even he run away when we closed to him.

 

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I bought sim card at a small city. It was around $8.

 

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I had been nervous since I entered to Romania because of Gypsy. When I stopped at a big grocery, a sidewalk was too high that I could not close to the grocery. So I just left my bicycle a bit far from the shop. Then a security guy came to me and lifted my bicycle to sidewalk. Thank to him I could leave my bicycle at the in front of the big market. Maybe he helped me because it was dangerous to leave my bicycle at the middle of the road. I became more nervous after this thing.

 

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Romanian houses were very unique that it was fun to see many different kinds of houses. The balcony was at the inside. It would be so good to drink coffee there when it rains.

 

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Some local people got water from a well. I was wondering that they wanted to save money as getting water from the well or they didn’t have tap water.

 

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It started raining since afternoon. I wore $1 household rubber glove, but my hands got sweaty. So I wore black glove at the inside of yellow glove. After that, it was fine. I was wondering where I could sleep at this raining day.

 

The video at that time….

 

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I was invited at the local people again. They let me sleep at the inside of house. After I took the shower, their son and daughter visited their parents. They told me that usually they slept at their parents’ house at the weekend. I appreciated that old married couple invited me even when they had family meeting.

 

I tried to have meal in a local restaurant. Feel how Romanian restaurant looks like! It seemed that local people enjoyed this kind of music which was at the video.

 

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Today I also saw many interesting houses. The highway passed many small cities. Around the sunset, I could not find proper house to ask for the night. It was getting dark that I didn’t have the choice. So, I turned to the right to a small village. But I didn’t feel good at that place, so I got out of there quickly.
Then it got totally dark. I was arguing with myself about ‘why do you cycle in the night’
When I was in Ukraine, the dollar was too strong that I could feel so relax because I could sleep at the hotel every night. Now I was back to the normal life.
The next city was about 7 km (4.5 mi). I was denied over two times to get permit for my tent. I was looking around the town slowly in the dark. Suddenly one guy stopped me. I got scared. ‘Why do you call me?’, I thought.

 

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I was careful and tried to figure out what this guy was. He asked me about ‘what you are doing and you need helping’. I told him I am looking for the place to put my tent. He told me ‘I am not from here but I just visit my friend. I have grandparents near. I will call them to ask’ Finally they invited me. Actually he told me he saw me just at the small village before. He said that village where I run away from as entering was very dangerous that if I set up my tent there, my bicycle would be disappeared at the next day. I felt lucky that my common sense worked fine.

Chicken was from his grandparent’s yard. It was interesting that the way they dried corn was the same as I saw in Africa.

 

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Thank to his grandparents, I could sleep safely last night. His grandma gave me some food. At the beginning I tried to not get it, but she kept insisting. So I said ‘thank you’ and took it.
There was one weird thing at the last night. Many houses didn’t turn on the light. At the beginning I was confused that the town was blackout. But actually a few houses had light. He told me because many people worked at the other countries and they bought houses at the hometown. They only used those houses for the vacation.

 

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I was so scared at the last night. But I was not scared anymore in the morning although I was at the same street. The reason was there was the sun. The sun kicked out my fear usually. When the sun disappeared, then my fear appeared.

 

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His grandma gave me much food like pizza, eggs, huge cheese, and smoked pig’s skin.

 

Breakfast with the food she prepared for me.

 

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I felt I missed something. Yeah! Coffee! I thought Romania was expensive because I just came from Ukraine which was the cheapest place in the world to buy things at that moment.

 

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I found very interesting well beside of the highway.

 

I did with the curiosity, but it was very hard to do it. It needed much strength.

 

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I didn’t cycle on the sidewalk on the bridge. But if I did, I must fall down because there was a big whole. I saw quite often this problem on bridges.

 

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I had an ice cream at the gas station. One of common thing in Romania was that coffee vendor was popular. So I could find it everywhere. It was around 50 cents for one coffee.

 

I tried again local food.

 

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I succeeded at this time, but the problem was the white sauce. It was garlic sauce. I had a stomach pain after eating this until late night. Lol
Other local people told me that usually it is for meat.

 

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It looked like this town was very popular for wine. I wish I could have it. But no drinking while driving!

 

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It was spring that I could see and feel canola flower.

 

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There were too many street dogs. I saw much more street dogs than Gypsy on the street. This dog was all skin and bone that I fed some bread.

 

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I was cycling around small city before the night. When I passed the people gathering, they called me and asked me what I am looking for. I thought it was chance for me. I told them my traveling story for the night. They were excited to host me then. Their house was quite big that it was three storied building and separated by two houses. The right one was my host’s house and the left one was his brother’s house. The first floor of the left house was a grocery store. The first floor of the right house was for living room and kitchen. (Actually the kitchen on the second floor was much nicer and classic, but she told me she likes cooking here.)
While I talked with them, I suddenly got shocked. They told me “We are Gypsy.” I thought ‘how come Gypsy could have a normal house?’ I started being confused.
I had seen Gypsy in Eastern Europe time to time. One time I shouted at one family, because they begged with threatening. According to my experience and news, Gypsy were just thief and beggar.
But now I got confused that actually Gypsy could be very normal and even have a modern house.

 

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They told me they could speak Romanian and Gypsy language. I was surprised that actually there was language for Gypsy. I realized that they kept talking in Gypsy language, not Romanian. It was just chaos. .

 

What is Gypsy??

Gypsy originates from the northwestern regions of the India. Since tenth century, people were separated and migrated to Persia, Egypt, and Mongol. (The reason they separated was mystery still.)

Now I understand that why Gypsy’s looking and their music is very similar to India.

 

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They gave me one room and I slept at sofa-bed. They were so friendly kind that I slept until 9 am, which was not usual.

 

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When I prepared leaving, they suggested going to the center together because they wanted to show me their city. I didn’t have time for it, but I could not deny since they were so friendly.

While walking to the center, I could hear more about Gypsy. They told me they were teenager. Usually Gypsy quit the school around 16 years old and get married. But one of them told me she loved school that she didn’t quit. Usually there were some Gypsy at the elementary school, but there were only few Gypsy now at her high school.
She told me her friend didn’t do bully her, but actually very kind to her. The problem was adult. Many adult were the racist that they hate Gypsy in a society.

 

I researched about Gypsy and I realized that people are so racist at Gypsy all over the world. The biggest reason Gypsy got the tag as harmful to people is Gypsy’s begging and robbing. (Hitler killed less or more than 700,000 Gypsy.)

I had thought as well that I must be careful when I met Gypsy before coming to Romania. But since I met those friends, my mind was changed. I realized that Gypsy could have a normal family and modern house. Gypsy could be a doctor, teacher, or office worker as well.
Many Gypsy are thief. But not all of them are thief. So it is wrong to think that all Gypsy are thief and beggar. The way we think about Gypsy is the thing which the press tells us on the media. Like this. “All Mexican and Colombian do drugs and all Muslim are terrorist.” It is just fallacy of hasty generalization.
Thank to meeting them, I could learn about other side of Gypsy.

 

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We hang out on the center together.

 

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When I got back, their family asked me to have lunch together. It looked similar to Korean food, but tasty was different.
My Gypsy friend asked me to stay one more night, but I could not do it because I already booked through booking.com

 

There was one more thing they told me. They said usually Gypsy live in the same town. It meant the place around their house was the Gypsy street. But actually it looked so normal. I didn’t feel any danger.

She told me that “The time is changed. These days many Gypsy live normal way like us, not as thief.”

 

The video I took with them

 

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After 1 pm I started cycling.

 

40,000 km

Finally I cycled over 40,000 km (25,000 mi ).

 

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Tonight I was invited at a very small village. The toilet was far from the house and it looked like they didn’t have washroom. They gave me hot water at a big basin. It reminded me of Africa. I was very skilled at taking bath with one bucket in Africa.
They were very kind as well to me. One of them could speak little English. I asked them they were Gypsy. Suddenly she made a face and answered “We are not Gypsy”. I started more confused. Then who is Gypsy?? How can I figure out who is Gypsy in Romania? Yeah.. maybe it doesn’t matter who is Gypsy or not.

 

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At the next day I got so scared on the highway. It looked like it was two lanes with wide shoulder. But then cars drove on four lanes actually. Suddenly there was no any space at the shoulder that I felt too danger.

Another thing was the guy on the picture tried to stop me. I was scared of him that I run to the middle of the road and cycled faster. After I was far from him, I looked back to check who he was. I zoomed in my camera to check him.

When I looked back after a few minutes, he disappeared. Then suddenly he got off from the car at the front. ‘How come was he suddenly in front of me? Did he hitchhike for a few meters?’ He called me again and I run away again from him. There was a police car, so I stopped. And he totally disappeared.
I had no idea what was going on.

 

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There were many factories as closing to the capital.

 

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After I got to the capital, I had beer. The bottle of the beer at the left was weird.

 

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Romanian money. There were more than this one, but I had only this kind.

 

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I could not find cheap street food that I just ate hamburger at the McDonald.

 

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There were a few bicycle paths on the capital. It was much better than cycling on the road with cars.

 

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It was the old town. Actually there were not many things to see in the capital.

 

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Interesting!

 

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It was the center of the capital. Some building looked the old.

 

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The most famous place was Palace of Parliament to a traveler. The Palace is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function. (It was really big, but my picture looked small.
http://touristinromania.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/casa-poporului-tuneluri-si-catacombe.jpghttp://touristinromania.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/casa-poporului-tuneluri-si-catacombe.jpg
Here is the large size of the picture for the Palace.)

Ceausescu, a dictator from 1974 to 1989, was building this huge palace. It was said that he was inspired by People’s Culture Palace which he saw in North Korea. He was killed in 1989 after the revolution, so actually he never used the Palace.

 

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Me and Palace of Parliament

 

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Some street dog had the tag on ear. Maybe it meant neutering dog. The dog was quite big that maybe he didn’t have any problem to find the food.

 

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They let me set up my tent at their yard.

 

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They let me take shower and fed me as well. There was another toilet at the outside, so it was comfortable to sleep.

 

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There were endless of street dog. But it was no problem usually to me that they didn’t attack me.

 

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I remembered one funny thing. I had a chance to talk on a phone with local Romanian people. She could not speak English and I could not speak local language. But we could have communication. The reason was I spoke in Espanol and she could understand it.
I though only Italian, Espana, and French were similar. But here Romanian was also similar to them!

 

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I met other cyclist at the border. But he was supposed to sleep near the border. So it was very short meeting.
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I learned one new thing about Gypsy. So I felt it was worth to visit. Also I would remember Romania as funny country, because my bad Spanish was useful.

 

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===================================================================
Route
Days in Romania = 13 Days
Distance of cycling in Romania = 614.43 km (384.01 mi)
Cities I stayed in Romania = 7 Cities
Maritei, Soci, Sascut-Sat, Ramnicu Sarat, Limpezis, Burcharest, Calugareni
Expenditure in Romania = 447$ (1219.15 Lei+Birthday gift for mom 136$)
($1=3.9 Lei)

 

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Quiz..
How many am I there?

 

Vlog of cycling in Romania!

 


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16 CommentsLeave a comment

    • With the program, Photoshop :)
      I put the tripod and took the photo for six times. Then I combined with Photoshop :)

  • Hello, this is the first time I read your blog and see your vlog…
    I found you on Youtube because it was a post related to my country.
    You are pretty amazing…
    I love South Korea and your culture(mostly because of Kdramas discovered in the last 2 years) and if you would have known you are cycling so close to me, I live in a city that was on your route… I would loved to meet you and why not, have you as my guest.
    You are very brave to do this.
    As I said it is my first time when I see your blog and I cannot help and ask, maybe you answered in one of your other articles, but I will ask because I did not read all of them, just this one, who is taking your photos and videos? Are you traveling alone or with someone else?

    Right now here is late but tommorow I will explain you a little the differences between gypsies and romanians.
    I am really dissapointed because I did not know that a pretty korean girl is traveling so close to me.
    I hope you are right now somewhere safe.

    Take care of yourself!
    Michaela

    • Hello Michaela,
      Thank you for your comment. Korean drama is very romantic all the time. haha. I am taking my photos and videos by myself with tripod or leave my camera on the road. Thanks,
      Jin

  • 진짜 대단하시네요! 루마니아 사람으로서도 자전거로 할 수 없을 듯해요. 대박 !

    저는 한국에 3 년 동안 살았던 루마니아 여자입니다.

    앞으로도 파이팅 !

    마리아 드림

    • 와!!!! 한국말을 정말 잘 하시네요!! 정말 멋져요!!
      응원 감사합니다.^^
      앞으로도 파이팅!

  • I started to read your blog on Crazyguyonabike when I found the photo of your surly posted with the fully loaded touring bikes section. I’ve read everything up to Latvia, and I had to find your site here to jump ahead to see where you are now. You make me so interested in your adventures. Sometimes I get caught up in your story and read for hours. Your photographs show with such detail where you go and what you do.

    I also have a surly and did a couple of shorter trips this last summer. You encourage me to take the plunge and ride for a long time where ever I happen to want to go like you do.

    Thanks so much for sharing your adventure!

    Andrew

    • Hello Andrew,
      Thank you for reading my posting. I am happy that there is something I could share with you. Surly is really strong bicycle that I like it :) I think I can finish this long trip with surly. I hope you have many good trips with surly!
      Happy rides,
      Jin

  • I haven’t seen your website in a little while. Excellent work! Very nice to see the videos and that you are not camera shy. Congratulations on the 40,000 km of cycling and the good quality of your site.

    • Hello Glen!! :)
      I am trying to upload more videos, but it looks like people are not much interested about it. I should find what people like :)
      Thank you for your word!! :)
      Jin

  • Great stories, I love reading you! I have cycled 1,000km so far in Malaysia and Thailand and always finding a place to sleep at night is my worry, I can see by reading you that things don’t change. Is this where you are heading? People in Malaysia are so generous! You will love it.

    • Hello Amelie,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. To me, it is the same that always I am so nervous to find a place to stay. I saw that actually many male cyclists are not nervous as much as I am to find a place to say. To travel with a bicycle as a male is much privileged. It is much better to get less help and find a place to stay by myself. Anyway I am born as female and I have to take care of myself much. However, it will not stop me to love adventure life. I am trying to enjoy this earth although it is hard. :)
      Be safe! Take care,
      Jin

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