Romanians Work Jobs They Hate So They Can Buy Properties Without Enjoying Them

Not getting hired, in Romania, is rather a socio-cultural stigma. It works as a rather interesting system.

Romanians have lost almost all properties during communism. To compensate, the new generations wanted their own homes, their own places. Trouble was, their own homes, was in the same cultural and economic environment. The new apartments built after the revolution could not match up in quantity what communism has achieved through cheap labor force, debt reduction, and population starving.

Therefore, the road to owning their own houses that was most accessed by young people starting their careers was through loans, which have especially accelerated during the last decade. To get a loan, in most cases you had to be hired. It was easier to get a loan as an individual than as a business.

Another thing you might find surprising, but which I think had a great contribution to all this is that Ceauşescu [en, wiki] wanted for people to listen very easily to their neighbors, to report to the Securitate [en, wiki], so he created all the apartment buildings with thick walls. What does every adolescent want? To listen to music louder. Guess what. In Romania, you can’t do that. Because you’re bothering the neighbors and they may call the police.  At least, if they have their own home, at least there must be their rules and nobody dares bother them!

Therefore, the one coping mechanism that every adolescent could use would become (at least, until the development of headsets market) unavailable. Think of other loud things you would like to do in privacy. Those are also limited, because… of course, the neighbors might hear you.

In effect, what is the favorite coping mechanism of young professionals in Romania? They get a vacation. Usually in another country, and not only because the Romanian tourism sucks and it’s often more expensive than a foreign one, but also to prove something as an individual: “Ha, ha, I’ve been to the Canary Islands”, to other Romanians who don’t even know where The Canary Islands are.

Now, all these, for Romanians, are redundant, but they are very specific factors that were especially here, and from a historical perspective, explain a lot from what we currently see in the brave new Romanian world. They might turn out to be extremely useful to those who don’t understand the underlying mechanisms of society and especially to those who consider investing in Romania.

I could throw some Romanian (research) numbers to prove my point, but there would be so many links I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s like that joke: “After long and expensive research, the Romanian researchers have come to the conclusion the largest concentration of vitamins is to be found in pharmacies and naturist shops.”, although that joke might become a bitter joke considering this [en, blog].


Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, 2010-present

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