Updated: Apr 23, 2020
People & Places – Tell me your story of the city!
Hello there, brave visitor of Bucharest. Since you freshly experienced the marvels of the city, we would love to know more about your experience here.
Nicki from Bangkok, Thailand
1. Where are you from and what brought you to Bucharest?
I live in Bangkok. It must have been passion and courage, or otherwise some kind of magic ;) It was Fatih Akins movie “Im Juli” that first draw my attention. Then I read one book written by a Thai who travelled there, it wasn’t precise but interesting enough that made Romania the place I must visit before I die. I always had the names Bucharest, Peles Castle, Brasov, Sighisoara in my mind. So that had nothing to do with the price or being exotic like some might say. I made the last minute decision, landed alone with no plan, no anticipation, but I believed Bucharest has lots to tell.
2. What do people in your country think about Romanians or Bucharest?
Almost nothing, Its not a top destination for the Thais. Even my friends and colleagues who travel and work in international scenes have no idea. Some are confused with Budapest. Some associate with vampires. Some hear of Transylvania but dont know its in Romania. One person who used to work in Bucharest ensured its very safe, I was skeptic at first but now I see it's true.
I myself also had very vague pictures of Bucharest. I followed some pages a few days before my flight and had to admit nothing looked inviting at all. But I didnt judge anything, gotta see it on my own.
3. What are the best 3 things you did in Bucharest?
Maybe something simple I hardly do at home:
The walking tours (thanks Emma!)
watching non-stop music videos on a Romanian channel
car experience in Bucharest – then I realised Bangkok isn’t that bad ;)
4. Name the best thing you ate or drank in Bucharest.
a latte at Origo (best coffee I had so far)
some creative, personalised cocktails – also at Origo
house made orange and lemon juice at the place I stayed.
5. Describe the locals in 5 words!
Kind, creative, open-minded, helpful and optimistic.
I really respect the last aspect. Most of the people I've talked to are living positive attitudes and looking forward that Bucharest will make its way up again. Its impressive to see how the local creatives coming up with the ideas to re-create this place. My perception of Bucharest was changed when one guide said, in fact, Bucharest could just have been as beautiful as other European capitals. Then I looked at the town, those buildings and the architecture with a different view and kinda got what she meant. Bucharest is beautiful in its own way. Even now.
6. How does the Romanian language sound to you? What about the Romanian music?
Its a mix of everything, a bit of Italian, then Russian, then not really.
The first and only song sung in Romanian I know (and can even sing along) was Dragostea Din Tei. Was extremely popular when I was 16. I was glad to hear it again in Bucharest.
7. Tell me one word in Romanian you learned or wish you have learned.
Transfăgărășan (I need a high focus when saying this….and still say it wrong until now.)
8. What is the first thing that shocked you when you landed in Romania?
Empty capital. (Don’t forget Im from Asia.)
9. What is the funniest memory you have here?
That late evening at the cemetery when a Mercedes stopped just right next to me, one women came out, reached some plastic bags to me (instead of to the other two Romanian girls!). I stood still, rolling eyes with a lil' panic. Another new thing learned and that was kind of her.
(*this refers to a local custom of giving food as alms for the souls of the people who have passed)
10, Name one thing worth buying in Bucharest rather than your country!
Red wine. I was looking for Țuică but couldn’t find.
11. If you would give a nickname to this city what would it be? If it were to be an animal, which one would you pick?
It would still be Bucharest. I like that name. <3
I cant relate it to any animal, but….I compared it with the taste of “Forest Fruits Coffee Lemonade” at Dianei Nr. 4.
12. Is there one thing you wish you visited or would return to see or revisit?
Romanian Design Week and Street Art Festival
13. What is the best picture you took in the city? Why did you pick this one?
I see its lights and I still love its dark.
That's when I saw the vibes and lives here. I landed on Christmas, found myself in a very quiet town in the first days, laughed at myself “what the h... am I doing here”.
Then it came this day when I felt another character of Bucharest. Without romantic promenade, well-known landmarks or panoramic landscapes, Bucharest is very characteristically lovely and friendly for me, not less than other top destinations in the world. You just need some time here.
14. What’s your next destination?
Back to Bangkok, 12hrs-stop in Doha.
15. What advice would you give to someone about to travel to Bucharest?
Im glad youre travelling to Bucharest. Be open, be curious, take a walk, take your time, and you will find its charm. Oh and follow Bucharestvibes and visit Origo!
Thank you for sharing your experience and dope pictures, and we hope to see you back around! :)