I lived in Romania from 1977–78 and between 1992 and 1994 I traveled there from Moldova about a dozen times. The contrasts were great, but I loved both experiences.
I wasn’t in Bucharest. I taught English at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi. While there, Iasi seemed like a backwater, so far from Bucharest that the only foods that seemed to make it were cabbages and potatoes. But 15 years later, we drove to Iasi on Saturday mornings to buy the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, fruit juices, dairy products and prepared meats that never made it to the shops in Chisinau.
I loved living in both poorly understood countries. So when I meet a Romania (or a Moldovan), I ask why they left and where they lived. I want to hear more about how things have changed in the past 20 years.