Today an interview with Raluca Gavris, Spotter for our newly launched Bucharest cityblog!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
It’s a little bit weird to speak about me while trying to be objective, but I’ll do my best. I’ll skip the usual stuff and I will concentrate on my preferences. Well, here’s lot to tell. :)
First of all I consider myself (and I am considered) to be the person which makes some weird choices in life. For example I have chosen to live in Bucharest instead of my hometown – considered by many the most beautiful in Romania. Also, I chose to stay and live here in Romania when almost everybody else under 35 dreams to emigrate somewhere in Europe in search for a better life. That’s because I’m optimistic and I still believe Romania has great chances of improvement in the next few years.
For now I just want to enjoy myself and live new experiences while I’m still capable of doing this. So everything that crosses my path – new people, new opportunities – is welcomed. My favourite thing to do is reading and watching movies. Also, I write a lot, but I never show anyone my work. Maybe because I’m so pretentious that I’m afraid to be too criticized:).
I love: stability, pop science, all sorts of humour sites or pamphlets, socializing and testing my English and French with native speakers, English football and the heroes from movies.
I hate: waking up early, narrow minded people, routine, hospitals.
How do you like being a Spotter?
Being a Spotter it’s really nice, that’s because I love the “job description”. I enjoy doing this and being recognized for doing this. For example I have accounts on many travel sites and I have the chance to meet people which are visiting Bucharest as often as I like. Lots of them are telling me they previously have read my Spotter articles on the site because they didn’t knew where to go in Bucharest and I gave them ideas. Or when people add me on Facebook saying that they found me as a Spotter, they love my articles, they’re planning coming to Bucharest and they’d love to meet me in person. I feel pleased and helpful – and I love it.
Why Bucharest? Well, I was asked this question ever since I left my hometown for Bucharest. And the answer is every time the same: Bucharest is alive in the true sense of the word. The city holds one 10th of Romania’s population; that means it’s crowded and noisy, but very colorful. Many people from all over the country are gathered here, sharing the dream of having a better life: studies, a better job, living fast and benefit from the many opportunities Bucharest can offer. So, if you decide to pass by, I strongly suggest you visit the Old City Center, recently rehabilitated by the City Hall, enter the small pubs, each with a different theme, and pay a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, the world’s largest civilian administrative building.
I don’t usually recommend people to visit the neighborhoods built during the communist period of Romania; although they might seem interesting, they are actually very large and they don’t offer much diversity.
Which prejudices about Bucharest are true? Which ones are not?
Bucharest reveals itself to the untrained eye as a chaotic city of contrasts. Many consider it to be tiresome. The huge difference between the architectural styles or periods, between close buildings is really shocking and would outrage any western landscapist.
An often met prejudice about Bucharest concerns the criminality; many people think thefts are common here. Actually, the criminality rate in the city is under the European average.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Bucharest at this moment?
If you are looking for accommodation, try renting a place in the City Center. It’s important while you are visiting Bucharest for a few days to be able to go out and come home later in the night by foot because in Bucharest, after 11 pm, public transportation is not available during the night, until 5 am. So, if you want to make the best of your time here, I suggest you to rent a room or an apartment in a building of the first part of the 20th century; this way you will be close to the main attractions of the city and you will also enjoy that “belle époque” charm Bucharest still keeps.
Check out all Raluca Gavris’ articles and the other interviews with our Spotters.