The missionary adventures of the Stimpson family

The International Women of Romania

Every March 8 is International Women’s Day, and in Romania that means… grannies get helped off the trams.

One of my favorite things about Romania is when you get to see some young guy stop and give an old lady his seat, help her down from the tram, carry her groceries, cross the street, etc.

Almost every day, I’ll see young guys flexing their chivalry muscles for the older women in the city. It’s one of those really cool, old-fashioned kind of things that I wish would happen more often in America and more “prosperous” nations.

So it’s not unusual to see young guys go out of their way to give deference to older women, but International Women’s Day was a real treat. In the space of 45 minutes, I got to see 3 women helped off the trams, one carried in the arms of two young knights in shining armor, one woman helped across a puddle, five women who had doors held open for them obscenely long amounts of time, and countless others who were given free flowers from McDonald’s as well as some other business courting new customers.

Sometimes, Bucharest is a mystery to me. In the same city where random drunk men will grab at women’s bodies and whistle cat calls, where you can watch the guys undress the girls with their eyes, where women are encouraged to pursue “jobs” in massage parlors, prostitution, and web cam modeling, where sex trafficking is a very real issue… you’ll find guys holding doors for women, helping them across puddles, and giving up their seats on the bus.

People are complicated.

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3 responses

  1. Jennifer baiceanu

    I have been following you for a while and love to hear what you and your family are up to. I live in North Carolina but am married for 20 years to a Romanian and we are planning on moving to Romania within the next few years. Have you picked up the language well? How are the kids adjusting? I have three boys 14,13 and 5. We are coming for Christmas just for vacation but the big move is coming fast also.
    Thanks for posting

    October 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm

  2. Cool, I’m sure you’ll love it here in Romania! Like anywhere, there’s positives and negatives, but Romania is an amazing and beautiful country, and Romanians are some of the most big-hearted people I’ve ever met.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:24 am

  3. I forgot to answer your questions! Language-learning is going slow, since many people here speak English so well, but we’re progressing. The kids are adjusting well. Their main difficulty is not knowing Romanian, but other than that, Romania is just their home now.

    October 24, 2014 at 8:26 am

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