Joyce Easton is a physical therapist who came to Romania with her husband, who works for Petrom company.
When she first came to Romania in 2006 she didn’t find the country attractive. Her children were very small and when they visited Bucharest’s Old Town they discovered it looked like a construction site. Her husband works for the Petrom company and she had to come to Romania quite frequently. When her older daughter went to college, the family decided they could move to Romania, with their younger, 15-year-old daughter having to change school. How did they find the idea of moving to Romania?
Joyce Easton: “We weren’t too worried because we’d visited many times before, so it was a new experience and I think that over the years things had begun to develop a lot, so we were quite excited. We weren’t worried about coming because we knew where we were coming to, and perhaps for my daughter, a new school maybe was the challenge and I worked as a physiotherapist in Scotland so I wasn’t going to be working so that was a bit difficult for me as well.”
But Joyce has adapted and shared with us what she did to occupy her time:
Joyce Easton: “ I have a little dog, when I was by the park, so I enjoy walking him in the park, I have tried to get involved with a few charities, I haven’t recently but before Christmas I was doing volunteering one or two days a week for Casa Sperantei and working with a physiotherapist there, and I tried to be involved a little in the school, if there’s anything happening was the school, my Romanian license..[laughs] I know many words but making sentences of them was a little bit more of a challenge, but my daughter Ioana is trying very hard and I am going to continue until I leave Romania”.
We asked Joyce about her favourite activity in Romania:
Joyce Easton: “Mmm, eating, I love all the restaurants, a big variety, and I also like doing and finding out about the local culture, so I like to go to the markets and once a week to do some shopping for vegetables and things, and also I like to do some cultural things, obviously if there’s an opera, because it’s very affordable here, and in the UK it’s very expensive, and some music things that again, I find Romanians are very cultured people”.
Next Joyce will tell us what she would recommend to a potential visitor to Romania:
Joyce Easton: “I think the countryside is beautiful I haven’t traveled very far north but I’ve been to other places Sinaia, Sibiu, we’ve been skiing in Poiana Brasov, and it’s very different to the city, so it’s a beautiful countryside. There are things that people don’t known if they don’t come to Romania, like the very thriving wine industry which we had an interest in before, so we like to eat out and as I said the culture and historical buildings are great to visit and ballet, opera, music and all things I was interested at home but it was quite expensive, so there’s lots to do for someone visiting.”
Joyce’s daughter has adapted to living in Romania and has found the right activities to dedicate her time to:
Joyce Easton: “She loves the shops, she likes fashion. It’s similar but there’s slightly different things because there’s many developing Romanian designers, things are a little bit more affordable, so she’s quite interested in looking at different small boutique shops that designers are trying to do. And she also enjoys going out with her friends. I think it’s a safe environment for a teenager, I feel, compared to back in the UK, so they have quite a lot of freedom. So she, at 15, 16 is beginning to maybe go out in the evening with her friends until a little bit later, and things. The old city, I think, is a great environment, you see an old lady with her dog sitting having a coffee, there will be young people out, teenagers, families. There never seems to be any trouble. I tend not to go in the city much after 1 or 2 in the morning, but I don’t feel threatened in any way, I use the underground, you know, I am happy to walk around on my own, whereas (I’m from Scotland) I wouldn’t want to be out in the city after maybe ten or eleven o’clock”.
Joyce also referred to several other differences between the Romanian and Scottish cultures.
Joyce Easton: “As an expat I don’t feel threatened at all and I think the other thing when we visited, when the children were younger, at the beginning, simple things like they seem to have quite a lot of respect for older people, there seems to be that culture, people would get up and give up their seat on the underground, which never happened at home.”
Is she were to mention something that she dislikes in Romania, Joyce would say car parking and driving which are real challenges.