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

My California Dreams.

It all started when I was five years old. Back then, my Grandfather Pablo who used to be an American solider was my only inspiration in life. He would have regular American visitors and I would listen to their conversations without having a single clue what they’re talking about. I would sit next to him in the morning, watching CNN news and copy it on my own in front of the mirror. English wasn’t my language back then.

My Grandfather taught me a lot of things, we would watch TV together and sometimes, I would watch him read papers. He trained me since I was five to memorize all my important information, in case I get lost, I will know how to find my way home. He was my role model but he was gone too soon for me to understand all the important things he has done during his time and I still miss him.

Fast forward to adult life, I’ve heard so many stories about how difficult to get a US visa as a Philippines passport holder. I even heard a lot of stories people faking marriages and documents just to get to the promise land. So, I didn’t really push that dream – when the time comes, if it’s meant to be – I will get there.

2018.

My husband asked me to apply for my US visa so we can finally fly together in the US and show me where he spent most of his life.

A week after I applied, I got the most amazing news in my life when the US government gave me 10 years of visa. It was unbelievable and I thought of my Grandfather first.

Here’s my super memorable first California trip!

First stop: Oregon (Einar ordered a handmade personalised bike from a bike master from UK who is now living in Oregon)

The next day we started driving out to San Francisco with one stop over to Ashland to break the long drive.

S A N F R A N C I S C O

We went for a quick trip to Berkeley as well to visit Einar’s university and introduced me to his local pub in the neighbourhood and I finally found the most amazing Mexican michelada!

After three days, we started our journey again to Napa Valley!

N A P A V A L L E Y

Three amazing days, seven vineyards, forty two different wines! Epic!

L A S V E G A S, N E V A D A

Vegas got me and my money. Slot machines and all. LOL! But I would never say, never again. I will be back, dahling!

L O S A N G E L E S, C A

I can literally live here. Santa Monica got my heart!

As a woman who is highly obsessed about makeup, I have soooo many places I wanted to visit and so many people I want to meet – bloggers and etc. But a trip to Glossier certainly made it all up!

The famous Hollywood sign is definitely somewhere here! I swear.

The one who makes me the happiest and mostly loved! My man.

Oh yeah, here’s me being a super fan to Kelsey Wells. I loved here before, I even love her more after the killer workout session at Sweat, LA. She is a doll and an angel who has a really ripped body! Body goals!

Just to make the whole LA trip a lot more speacial, we were there as well on the biggest LA Pride Parade 2018! Amazing memories! So much love! x

L A K E T A H O E

The whole trip was super epic and since we are not yet ready to come soon and were supposed to be back in Oregon in two days, we decided to drive a little early in the morning and take a bit of a stop over in Lake Tahoe.

We literally drove out of LA, start driving and booked our hotel while on the way to Lake Tahoe.

Immediately fell in love with Lake Tahoe. It was gorgeous and will definitely come back again for the Peanut Butter Stout.

It was the most epic trip I’ve had. USA will always have a special place in my heart. I loved the country and the people. Thank you husband, thank you USA. Until next time!

xoxo, Win