The most valuable moment of my Masters…


I worked on my masters in Romania. One day I hopped into a taxi cab and chatted up the driver. Romania is at a tipping point currently between between a freer society and reverting back into a more communist/socialist style of government. (go ahead and argue with me that socialism and communism are on different ends of the scale… I wipe the floor with you). Here was our conversation…

“Where is Romania headed?”

“I don’t know, I’m scared.”

“Do you have a family?”

“yes, one son who is 23.”

“What does he do?”

“He just graduated from college. He would like to return to communism.”

“Wow. Why?”

“Because apartments are too expensive.”

“So he’s willing to give up freedom of speech, choice, travel, and expression, all to save about $300 dollars per month.”

“Yes. And so are many of our youth.”

The drivers tone fell off as he gazed out the window of his independently owned taxi cab. He was in his thirties when Ceausescu was overthrown and hung. People were finally able to voice descent. The lesson of 22 years prior was already being ignored by today’s college graduates.

The ride ended and I exited the taxi… happy to pay my mortgage when I got home.




2 thoughts on “The most valuable moment of my Masters…

  1. I will not debate you about the socialism thing….it USED to be different- it’s not anymore. This is a really powerful story. I spend last semester in a class about Iran, There was me, one other white guy, and the rest of the class was filled with college aged Iranian guys, whose families all lived back in Iran. The Professor was from Iran, and he can’t go back into the country because he has done too much anti-government stuff here, (He wouldn’t tell us what), but he kept warning these boys (I’m old- they’re boys) about what was happening in their country,and they would laugh. I would come home and have nightmares, and they thought that the way in life in Iran was totally normal and safe, and there would be nothing but “good fortune” (That’s the phrase they used) on them, They just couldn’t see it. scary,.

  2. The difference was in degrees however, not direction. I think generally speaking people get confused because the Germans and Russians fought against each other that the systems of government were opposites. I have met a lot of REALLY conservative older people in Romania and also REALLY conservative Eastern European immigrants… Obama has pushed them further to the right.

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