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An Expat Talks about Living in Constanta, Romania

Submitted by Gazzajam


The Black Sea in Constanta, Romania

One expat who relocated to Constanta for work has found that the city has a very small expat community. He has also had a hard time adjusting to the manners of the locals (or lack thereof).

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Constanta

How long have you lived there?

1 year

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

To be honest the ex-pat community in Constanta are not very obvious. I know a couple of people who I have net through work but otherwise there doesn't seem to be nay organised meetings. My company does provide some information on groups and meetings but they are all for Bucharest. The ex-pat support for Constanta has been negligible.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

I am not religious but I think that Romanians are open to people of different religions. Religion is important to them.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The oil industry is a big player in this town, as is the docks. There is a very large port in Constanta and the import and export of goods is big industry.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

The Romanians I work with are pleasant, well mannered individuals. Getting used to the different work ethic was difficult at first but after some cultural training and getting used to the way things work it is getting easier.

The majority of locals that I have met have been self centered. Manners are rare especially in public, unless you pay for them. I have found this probably one of the most frustrating things. I have been raised to be courteous and I find most Romanians that I don't know tend to be discourteous. Examples are driving, I have been told by my Romanian cultural advisor that many Romanians buy their driving licenses rather than sit the exam. This is evident after a drive through a town or city centre. Drivers pull out on you, rude, cut you up, also rude. Another example is smoking, I see a lot of families in restaurants with young children. The adults smoke, breathing cigarette smoke all over their children. I appreciate that they don't give a hoot about me and my meal but to submit their children to smoke is unacceptable. If you follow a Romanian through a door be careful of it hitting you in the face.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Think very carefully about the move. Ask your company to provide details of their ex-pat support program before you move. Come on a familiarisation visit before you come. Constanta is a lot better developed that I imagined but there is limited ex-pat activity. I spent 3 months before I came here trying to get detailed information on the town and not a lot of information is available.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Feb 3, 2013 05:03

You're maybe right, there are not lot of expat dedicated activities in Constanta but for a good reason: people living here are romanians, turks, russians, bulgarians, greeks, jewish, italians (not exactly in this order and might be more not mentioned here) and used to live together respecting each other customs and religion. It is a city where anyone can feel at home only integrating in local community, for Constanta habitants is not surprising someone is speaking a different language, they can see that daily for thousands of years. And honestly, living in lot of cities around the world (Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Venice, etc.) haven't seen lot of activities for expats only. As a personal opinion, when a person is choosing a place to live, even for a limited period, should integrate in local life, understanding local culture and making friends. Is what I did everywhere and it was great. True, not always people are nice, that's depending on friends someone makes. Expecting a special treatment (except normal procedures) just because a person is a foreigner, well...this is not the right way. Live and let others live!

AngieL
Apr 2, 2013 05:34

What? There are lots of activities for expats in nearly every country, even in Bucharest but not in Constanta. There are websites with helpful links as well BUT NOT for Constanta. What exactly is it what locals do here so we could join in? I would love to know.

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