Metro Ride in Bucharest

Are you an expat? Or new to Bucharest? Looking for cheapest / efficient way to go around the city? Or maybe you are keen to try the subway? Hello there! I am here for you to share my experience in taking the subway in Bucharest for the first time.

Now don’t go judge-y on me now on why it took me 8 months to try the metro. It has been a super hectic first half of the year for us and now I finally got the time to explore around the city with Einar. Unfortunately on where we live, we don’t have the nearest metro so its either we take the bus – which I haven’t figured out how to take and where it goes, or we Uber our way to the nearest metro station. (I will soon figure out the easiest way for my own journey)

ANYWAY, this is the app that I use to locate where, when and how I get to point A and B. It’s offline app as well and its quite handy as it is in English 🙂

We started at Aurel Vlaicu Metro Station, next to Promenada Mall. You can purchase metro cards in the station but they don’t really speak in English there (at least during that time) and so our only option for that day was to purchase a one time ticket.

METRO TICKET PRICES:
1-trip card – 2.50 lei
2-trip card – 5 lei
1 day card – 8 lei
10 trip card – 20 lei

Unlimited weekly pass – 25 lei
Unlimited monthly pass – 70 lei
Unlimited student monthly pass (for students in Romanian Universities) – 35 lei
Free of charge for senior citizens over 70 years old

The metro is about 40 years old and even though there is no official rule prohibiting photography in the metro, security still yells and asks you not to take photos! But then I still did.

The metro looks run-down and old and I think it could use a good renovation or upgrades like some platform doors – in my own opinion. I’ve found out that there are several incidents happened since 1983 up to the present in some parts of the metro station in the city including serious flood, broken pipes that lead to fire, software failures, suicides and also due to lack of security one woman got arrested for pushing someone in front of the train in 2017.

But then again, if you travel smart, efficient and with the right weather / timing, taking the metro should be the best way to take you to the city especially during the weekend if driving isn’t an option because to be really honest, finding a parking spot when going somewhere in the city is a serious pain.

Happy weekend and let me know whats your Bucharest Metro stories or any advice here is so welcome!

The Job Interview (The Waiting, Preparation and Outcome)

It’s been about ten months now since the last time I had a job and as much as I am loving the non-working lifestyle, I have actually preferred going to work in the last two years.

You see, I’ve not been working since I got pregnant in 2010 and 2012 and it was only two years ago that I have been active again working full-time.

My last job in Malaysia was one of my favorite jobs I’ve had. (Of course when I was single, being a flight attendant was my first and only dream in life.) Anyway, fast forward to current situation in Romania, it took me about 4 months to finally get a job interview.

As a foreigner in a country that English is not mainly spoken, it is a bit of a challenge to find a job that you want or at least get an interview. But then again, its all about the persistence and the right mindset to get where you want to be.

In the last spring, while I was walking in Baneasa Shopping City, I saw that Victoria’s Secret is soon to be opening its first ever branch in Romania. I got so excited, because VS is life and I’ve been a crazy fan of the brand since I was in high school! After the second time I passed the location, I noticed the email address for job openings and to be really honest, I was in doubt that they would even consider me, because my Romanian language level is only great for my Uber drivers. LOL! (Hey, dont judge me. I’m trilingual) Haha!

THE WAITING

Anyway, after a few weeks I finally got the guts to just send an email, nail my cover letter, sell all my abilities and everything I can give, hoping that they would at least want to meet me. (That’s the spirit, people!) But then of course, I lost hope after one month, and then forgot about it in second month, don’t even ask about the third month and fourth month came and I got an email invitation for an interview as a Senior Sales Assistant.

THE PREPARATION

Four days before the interview, it took me almost the whole day to finally sink in that I will be having an interview with the most favorite brand of my life.

Third day was all about stalking who is going to interview me, the company and what they are.

Second day was planning what I want to wear, how I want to look and go to the shop and buy the winning outfit that would make me feel 101% confident me.

A day before the interview, I started reading about the company I’ll be working with, the back stories, practice the questions, review the CV and do it all in front of the mirror. It may sound silly to even practice but everything is all about knowing and owning what you’re going to do.

On the day of the interview, I woke up early, showered, neatly did my hair, I also did a clean makeup look, had my breakfast and lots of water. Lots of water helps you mentally. I swear.

OUTCOME

I FINALLY GOT THE FREAKING JOB and cherry on top – they even gave me the absolute dream job I wanted to be part with – which is in the Visual Merchandising Team.

(Back story – I have always been an OCD freak at home with everything has to be in place and in order, organised and perfect. And having the job to actually do things like how its supposed to be in my little world at the back of my head is such a dream! I mean, couple of months ago, I’ve also started taking online courses about interior designing and anything similar and so this job for me, is like hitting a jackpot!)

CONCLUSION:

There is nothing in this world that you couldn’t have with the right mindset and motivation. Everything is possible if you stop comparing yourself with other people and listening to everyone’s opinion. Know yourself and know what you want. Work hard for it, add extra effort to everything that you do, be patient and sooner or a little later, you will definitely get what you want.

(For example / reality check: Even influencers or bloggers do lot of work than you can imagine. Brands and products just don’t approach or hire you because you’re pretty (unless you are a real Hollywood star – which by the way is also not an easy job to get in), everything requires you to become a great hustler! Hustle your way in, do all the hard work and everything will pay off!

MOVING TO BUCHAREST.

Hello my friends!

It’s been six months now since I moved here in Bucharest and I can say, I think I have finally adjusted and understood the way of living here.

Eight months ago when my husband told me his work is relocating us in Romania, I was literally like, “Where is that again?” and so I have to google and reach out to some friends who might have been to the country and unfortunately, all I got were – Draculas and gypsies.

It was winter when we first we fly to Bucharest from Malaysia to do some apartment hunting. It was literally damn cold and everywhere in the city was snowing.

Apartment Hunting – through my husbands company, we used Tudor Real Estate Company to help us with our search. Our agent, Cristina was very helpful and friendly. She drove us around the city and giving us loads of information while taking us from one apartment to the other.

If you’ve never been to Romania and you’re planning to move here, most expats live in Pipera, Herastrau or Bucharest city centre.

International schools like the American International School, British School and at least 8 other International schools are around Voluntari.

Pipera is a district of Voluntari city. About half an hour away from the city and it may seems far (or near or very far depends on the traffic) from the city centre but it has a lot to offer. It is close to some parks like Herastrau or King Mihai Park, IKEA, Baneasa Shopping City, Country Clubs, Grocery Stores and Airport.

Fast forward to July, the weather in Bucharest is now blazing hot and humid – the hottest so far since I was here was around 38 degrees and humid – no air – nada! LOL! It drove me crazy as we just recently discovered that our AC even though it was new, it was not working. We didn’t really bothered checking it prior to moving as it was in the middle of winter and couldn’t care less about the AC or being cold. The point is, now that we have found out about the AC is not working, we couldn’t find any one who can come and fix it just like any other normal country. Unfortunately to us, it took us about at least 3 fights with our landlord, several arguments and cancellations, a couple more of that of no show from these AC technicians and finally, seven weeks later, (as of right now while doing this blog) they are finally fixing our ACs

To be really honest, efficiency is still way behind in this country. For example, if you are planning to buy a car or check out a car on a weekend, don’t expect a lot of cheerful sales man welcoming you in the stores. Also some advice from the locals, don’t ever get in trouble because filing something, reporting or whatever that has relation to police or any government or formal settlement, expect tons and tons of paperworks and court stuff.

Back to positive side. If you’ve got kids and wants to do fun stuff with them – there’s Therme, Edenland Park, Kiddo Play Academy, Antipa Museum, or you could walk around the city or get out of the city and travel to Brasov or Constanta. There’s tons of things to do with kids, do let me know too if you know some!

If you don’t have any kids or if you like to get pampered in a reasonable price, I can recommend you to my personal favourite places to go:

Unfortunately, I only go in Pipera area as thats where I live and I haven’t explored the city that much yet.

For beauty salon related stuff, I like to go to Anastasia Beverly Hills in Baneasa. For massage and spa, I only (so far) go to Bali Spa Centre.

Some other places I’ve been that you’ve probably have read already –

Palace of the Parliament – I’ve never been inside but you need to bring a national ID for them to let you in and you need to book your ticket at least 1 day.

Romanian Athenaeum, King Mihai Park, Arcul de Triumf, Revolution Square, Herastrau Lake, Piata Unirii, Water Fountain and Lights Show in Piata Unirii, Caru cu Bere and so many more..

There are tons of things that you can do and to enjoy Bucharest and its all a matter of getting out of the house and joining the community.

For me, I was able to do a lot of things here in Bucharest by joining some clubs like the International Womens Association. This community is the best by far in Bucharest. Its a perfect platform to socialise , take part in different activities and make the most out of Romania.

On the last note, just a friendly reminder to all you my friends, please be cautious wherever you go. Its basically applicable not only in Romania but every where in the world. But yeah since I’m talking here about Romania, when you come here please be very very aware of your things especially your phone and wallet. There’s tons of petty crimes in here and I am not an exception to my little reminder. I got my first hand lesson when I first visited Romania in November and I lost my phone. Good side, thanks to Apple security system, its all just a piece of metal now to those who took it.

Since you made it until the botton of my long post, you’re now my friend and I would love to hear any of your comments, suggestions, or say hi to me. 🙂 You can also follow me on any of my social medias – Instagram @win.larsen Twitter @winlarsen and Facebook @itswinlarsen

xx, Win

Constanța.

Sunny days in Romania is almost here and this beautiful country has so many places to offer when it comes to sightseeings, culture and adventures.

Ovid’s Square

Our first road trip is Constanța – the oldest continuously inhabited city, located in the Northern Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea Coast.

The House with Lions (Casa cu Lei)

The pre-Romantic and Genovese architectural styles of the city is definitely worth to visit and explore.

Behind us is the Constanța Casino.

Fact: This famous historic monument is on the boardwalk at 2 Elisabeta Boulevard along the Black Sea. It was built three times. The first structure in 1880 designed to be a club and community centre for elite and upper class then became Romania’s Monte Carlo. The casino operated for 38 years before it got interrupted by the two world wars, attacked and bombed by Bulgarian and German troops in World War I and II and at that time it acted as the wartime hospital. In 1960 when it was handed over to the National Office of Tourism and the last major repairs took place in 1986-1988 and the building is currently abandoned.

Apart from the beautiful tourist destination in the old city, we stayed in Mamaia for a relaxing sun time.

It felt so amazing to know that we have this place to unwind and take a break from the busy times in the city.

Bucharest Fashion Week 2019 – Spring Edition

Spring has officially arrived in Romania and the biggest fashion week of the country has started showing off !

The 3-day fashion show was uniquely presented by local designers and models. Featuring the creations of Loulou, Emina, Mily Mia

Stunning collections from Onur Osman, Atelierele Ilbah, Marvin Nonis, Laura Olteanu.


It was a great season and very interesting collection for spring.

© Win Larsen