Making ends meet?
One day I came home from work, about a month after buying our apartment, and my wife said that our neighbor asked if we could give them some money so that they could buy an apartment for their daughter. Of course, even if I wanted to do such a thing, I couldn?t. We had a baby coming and not that much money left in the bank to supplement what my job wasn?t able to cover. Really, I was very shocked that someone would even ask such a thing of someone that wasn?t family. Even if I had the money, I really don?t think I would?there are people here and all over the world in much, much worse situations than our neighbor. I have some money in a charity fund to distribute in the future and it will go to orphan children.
It?s a shame that my friend and colleague have a good education and so does his wife. They recently had a baby. He has a job a senior programmer and maybe a slightly more average paid job than usual in his field and he can?t afford to pay the rent for an apartment with two rooms. His wife is taking only half her payment while she is on maternity leave with the baby. At least you can take two years leave by law here. In the U.S. your job is only protected for 3 months. You can?t form a middle class in Romania, the payments aren?t big enough; the economy isn?t generating enough productivity to raise payments enough and as soon as payments rise a little, inflation jumps even higher. More than half the population can?t make ends meet and a just earning enough to survive (if they are lucky). Only as small middle class exists and then there are the elite business owners who seem to have more money than they could ever spend in Romania, but they don?t pay their workers enough to have a decent home and enough for proper nutrition and basic clothing.
Our family, Ema, Maya and I, has decided that we will move to the United States as soon as Ema graduates from University with a Marketing & Exterior Commerce degree. This school, Spiru Haret, is her second university and second degree program. She started her studies at Bucharest University in the Mathematics program. After two years, she decided it wasn?t the right choice for her, but she couldn?t transfer any of her grades to the new school in a new field of study. At first, Ema didn?t want to even think about leave friends and family and the life she knows in Romania. But the more we talked and the more we examined the opportunities here compared to the opportunities for a better standard of living in America, the more it made sense to go to America. We especially want these opportunities for Maya. Also, there is a crowd of people every day at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest with all of them hoping to get a visa to leave Romania. Ema has almost a certain chance of going to live in America; those people standing in line at the Embassy would say she?s crazy to not take the opportunity.
It?s sad in a way, that our experiment in Romanian has failed and meets the same fate as many Romanians who don?t really want to leave there families, friends, culture and traditions, but don?t see a better future here. And it?s sad also that the best and brightest leave this country, because they are the only ones who can make the country better, but they have to be given the opportunities and environment for them to use and apply there talents and of course to see some reward for this, but currently, the system in Romania just doesn?t offer this meritocracy ? sadly, mostly just bureaucracy. So, things are stuck with so much potential energy, but very little action. There are so many things I like about Romania its people and traditions, the beautiful mountains and simpler pace of life. I wish we could stay here and see the negative things improve, especially the economic situation, but for now our plan is to live in American, but to come back and visit Romania often.