Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am in love with Japan

Otilia Negulescu is a TFT ambassador for Romania. I wanted to interview her already 2-3 months ago. We had finally time to do it this Sunday evening. We talked about Otilia’s
travel experiences, her country, what she likes…I wish you pleasant reading.

Otilia, you are a member of TFT since August 2008 and you really like the idea of TFT. How did you find this web page?

In august last year, I decided to travel in Malta and it was a great opportunity for me to find out more about this little country! So I started to surf on the internet searching things about Malta and one day I just found this site! I liked the idea at the beginning and I wanted to find some members in Malta, to contact them and to meet them in my travel there!

Did TFT help you travel to Malta?

At that time actually I couldn't find any member in Malta to meet, even if I wrote them messages.... Maybe they were not so active... I know there were more than 5 members like in last summer! And staring that time I became a promoter of this site! I just spoke with everybody I knew about this and tried to bring new members in TFT community.

You prepared the first TFT meeting. It was in Romania. Could you describe the atmosphere on it?

Yes, nice to remember this! It was in last October! I choose a club in the old part of Bucharest and the name of this place was ‘‘Amsterdam’’. I loved the coincidence of the name with the nationality of the site's founder - Marco! Some TFT members from Bucharest came and we where together for few hours... Had something to eat and to drink... And because it was Halloween then, the atmosphere in the club and in the city was very nice and people were everywhere... And we had warm weather too!

What about your country? What teasers/curiosities are there to attract visitors to Romania?

There are many interesting things for tourists in Romania. It depends on what they are looking for - natural beauties (mountains, sea, rivers, hills, forests...) or human like castles, villages. Romania is a beautiful country! There are many historical places like Peles Castle in Sinaia, Rasnov Fortress close to Brasov, Bran Castle, Suceava Stronghold, Sighisoara Old City, Sibiu, Timisoara, The Old Danube Bridge ''Anghel Saligny'' ... and many others. Also old and wonderful Monasteries like Curtea de Arges, Cozia, Voronet, Varatec, Sucevita, Moldovita, Putna, Neamt, Agapia, Caldarusani.

I think many of us (in the first moment) just think Romania = Dracula :) Can you tell us something about this story? Are there some things about Dracula in Romania?

I think Romania is linked to Dracula name just by the movie and the legend ... Historically considering, Bran Castle was used by Dracula Voivode - from where is the name of Dracula, the vampire - (Vlad the Impaler) as fortified citadel on the fight with Turks after he conquered Brasov (Corona, Kronstadt) in 1460. So, there is no vampire, I'm sorry... Just a cruel voivode in Middle Edge...

I am sure you love your country. Can you imagine living somewhere else? Where?

Of course I love my country!! But if I could choose to live somewhere else, I would love to live in a warmer place like Mediterranean countries ... I like the sun and warm weather very much for all the year.. Coldness I prefer just for short time!

But Romania is quite in the South of Europe, isn’t it?

Yes, but we have 4 seasons, you know... and very cold some winters.

Otilia, I am curious about Romanian language. It belongs to roman language family. Does it mean you can easily use/learn French and Italian or Spanish?

Yes, you're right. There are many similar words with Italian language and learning some other roman language is easy, but it depends of the person... There are people who can learn foreign languages easily or the hard way...
For example, in Italian is ''Buona sera'' in Romanian is ''Buna seara''!!

Thanks for example ...When tourists visit Romania, can they simply use English or French or are there difficulties in using foreign languages in Romania?

Yes, there are many people who know English, at least basics... And French, most of older people from the cities... So, it's not necessary to know Romanian, but I have to tell you, it's a beautiful language.... And if you can learn it until you can read Caragiale, it's really worth it!!

Caragiale? I have never heard about…

Caragiale is often considered the voice of Romanian literature and his native country's best playwright, He reflected the language, people, and concerns of Romania in his work. Caragiale was best known for his eight plays--most of which were social comedies--though he also had an extensive body of fiction, dramatic criticism, other works of nonfiction, and one novella to his name.'' He wrote: "A Stormy Night", "A Lost Letter", "Mr. Leonida Faces the Reaction", "Carnival Adventures" and other beautiful and juicy things.

Thanks for a new information. Let’s get back to you. What does traveling mean for you?

See other places, meet other people, find out about history of those countries, and taste from the local traditional food and drinks...

Do you have some destinations you would prefer to visit?

Yes, I have. I want to visit Japan someday...and other oriental countries. And also this year I intent to visit Istanbul!

Is there something special about Japan for you?

Yes, everything! The civilization, people, the nature there, the language... the art, the technology... I'm just in love with this country, if I can say this....

Can you recall some interesting story or a bizarre situation during some of your travels?

Yes... 2 years ago I was in Italy for 1 week... I had accommodation on Ischia Island and for 1 day I made a travel by bus on Amalfi Coast. On this travel I had a nice guide, which was literate - art University in Napoli - and after few glasses of Limon cello, he started to sing ''Torno a Sorrento'' - which is an opera song.... And we were in Sorrento then!! He was impressive...

I can imagine it :). I know you are a former doctor. Is it useful to have such knowledge in your journeys?

I did this university for myself, but I didn't practice like a doctor.... So, I know what to do in case of emergency, but if you travel in Romania you just call 911...

I hope it will be not necessary. Let ´s go to the most important things in your life. Which are they?

Ohm... Just live my life how I want...

Sometimes is life too hard. What things do make you happy?

Eating chocolate, ''arguing'' with my son, kissing my lover and seeing the sunshine...

So I wish you a lot of sunshine in your life. Thank you very much for the time you spent with me and I am happy we had such a great Ambassador in Romania.

Thank you Ivana for your kindness! You and every TFT member are more than welcome to visit Romania!


Marco van de Kamp said...

He Ivana, what a great post. Thank you for doing the interview with Otilia. I just heard yesterday from Otilia that she as the romanian tft ambassador is going to meet the TFT ambassador from Slovakia (Heee Ivana...) thats good news I hope you girls will meet up.

lawrence saliba said...

I learned that there are contenders who want to know more about Malta. I recommend you to visit www.cultel.com

You can download for free ebooks, and the interactive dvd just hits the bull.

You could watch a virtual tour of the city, then upload mp3 files on your mobile so that when you visit the city you listen to your mobile and roam around as if you were a local.

highly recommendable

www.cultel.com explains it all.

Anonymous said...

good blog

Melly Lifshitz said...

I can't help but comment though this post is old already. Enjoying the photos posted above. Just reminiscing how Japan looks like before the earthquake and tsunami.