By Dean Edgars
Well by the the time you read this, you will probably be a few kilos heavier, having enjoyed the very best food and drink over the Christmas period, and maybe even looking forward to being back at work. I truly hope that you had a great time with friends and family.
As I am writing this, the sun is shining, there is a slight chill in the air but no snow yet! This is the time of year when some of us decide to make New Year resolutions. The most popular seem to be going to the gym and/or staying off the booze for month. I don’t often make them as they tend to last a couple of weeks at best. But this year I will make one and stick to it. A couple of years ago I had an accident and ended up dislocating and breaking my shoulder and having a plate fitted (treated in a state hospital, excellent treatment, see below). Two years later, after having the plate removed last April, my shoulder is still giving me grief, partly due to my laziness and not exercising it. So, as I am not getting any younger, this has to change. I will be exercising everyday.
The Romanian State health service has many detractors, but having had two major operations here in the last 11 years, I am not one them. The surgeon, the anaesthetist, the nurses and the porters were all incredible. The downside were the facilities, all of which had seen better days; the beds were not good, the food just about edible (food parcels are essential), wards were crowded and the post operative care was perfunctory at best. The one aspect that I didn’t get involved in though, was “spaga”, the giving of bribes to get something done. All of my Romanian friends and colleagues kept telling me that I had to pay the surgeon €300, the anaesthetist €200 etc. etc. So there I was, wandering around the hospital, pockets loaded with cash, hunting down the men and women who treated me. Upon finding them, thanking them once again for their care and skill, I hand over an envelope. Not one of those professionals took my money. I know that it goes on, there are articles in the press sometimes. But I think that the practise is slowly but surely vanishing. Fortunately for me, I was a lucky one.
I wish everyone a healthy and successful 2018, It will be another difficult time for Romania with more bizarre laws being issued from the ruling party. So I wish us all good luck and the strength to fight it and if you make any resolutions, I hope that you stick to them!
Dean Edgar has been living the expat dream here in Romania for 11 years. He is General Manager of Moorcroft Services, a company dedicated to assisting foreigners to settle in Romania. They can help with visas, permits, company set-ups, car registration, house hunting, insurance, orientation tours and basically anything that a newcomer to Romania might need see www.moorcroft.ro for further details.