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The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 Paperback – December 1, 2010


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The Complete Insider's Guide to Romania: 2011 + The Rough Guide to Romania + Romania - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456410768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456410766
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Although I was born and raised in America I now live deep within the heart of Transylvania in Romania.

Over my lifetime I've probably read the fabled level of 10,000 books and have been writing in various formats for over 20 years although I only got into the book writing business in 2010.

It's been a great ride so far!

Customer Reviews

It was very helpful (traveling tips).
Amazon Customer
Now, with a good understanding of how westerners live and socialize, I can see how confusing Romania can be for them.
Adrian G.
A good read whether you're going to Romania or not.
Rita S. Reames

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Adrian G. on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book is not just about Romania but about the Romanian people and their culture. It is indeed, an "insider's" view, at it looks to me that the author was quite successful in understanding what Romania is all about.

I've left Romania for Canada more than fifteen years ago and I wish I had a similar book about Canada and Canadians. Now, with a good understanding of how westerners live and socialize, I can see how confusing Romania can be for them. As I was reading this guide and its various amusing chapters about how a foreigner would perceive various Romanian customs, I had many moments where I would chuckle and think "OMG, this is so true, I've never seen it that way!". I can tell that the author had many patient guides himself, guides that introduced him to all that's good and bad about Romania, from the sweet taste and fragrance of the wild strawberries, the welcoming people and sights taken from fairy tales, to the mind boggling bureaucracy and the scary night traffic on country roads.

As a Romanian, I would have very little to add to this book and I would recommend this book to all that want to not just visit Romania but to also understand the people and enrich their experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rita S. Reames on December 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This guy is an amazing writer. Written with a sense of humor, this book will reveal all the stuff you don't get from regular guide books. If you want to understand Romania from an insider's view read this! Full of interesting information and entertainingly done. A good read whether you're going to Romania or not.
Well worth the price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Viorel Anghel on August 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a Romanian, I can afirm this is a good and HONEST guide. The author made efforts to really understand Romania, with good and bad and to accurately describe it. Even the few mistakes I have spotted are harmless.

Highly recommended if
- you are a Romanian - it won't hurt to understand your country
- you are a Romanian in exile - it won't hurt to understand what you left behind
- you came to live here - this is your best starting guide
- you travel in Romania and would like to "see" deeper than the usual turist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Church on August 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you live in Romania, or will be visiting for more than a few days, this is the book to have. It is a walk through the country and its culture, by a guy who knows the country -- and loves it. That last part is important, because a lot of people (especially Romanians) like to focus on the bad bits, which range from stray dogs to a dysfunctional government. Sam knows about those things, and can write about them, but his emphasis is always on the things that make the country so remarkable: its natural beauty, its distinctive culture, and especially the many warm and hospitable people who live there.

One reviewer expressed her concern that this isn't a standard traveler's guide, with street maps and hotel recommendations. That is absolutely true, and one of those can be pretty handy. But I own a bunch of those, and while I certainly do use them, Sam's book is the one I use when I am trying to understand Romania.

Another reviewer suggested that the book has a bias against missionaries. I'm not so sure; I am a missionary in Romania myself, and get along with the author pretty well. (We live in the same town, and know each other socially). If I had to guess, I would say that Sam has a bias against the stereotypical rude foreigner, who travels through a country without paying attention to the customs, and the feelings, of the local population. He wrote the book to help keep that from happening, and I for one am grateful that he did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Claudiu on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
The author is a talented writer who has lived in Romania for several years and shares his experiences in this book. If you are travelling to Romania for business or pleasure pick this up before you go. It will describe how to deal with the culture shock from the perspective of a westerner who has learned the culture and the language.

Forget about your typical crappy lonelyplanet guides and pick up this book, written by a romanianized American who lives, eats, dates and writes in Romania. You will not regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VHS on January 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
First, let it be said that if you are looking for a polished guide book with references, maps, and specific recommendations for your quick stop in the country, then, as the author himself notes, you should perhaps choose another title.

However, if you are planning on a longer stay in Romania or the region, this book is an excellent look into the culture. It reads rather like a blog--emoticons, occasional typos, and all--but the way in which the information is divided and presented (concise, anecdotal) makes it exactly the sort of blog you would wish to consult when learning about or visiting Romania. I'm sure the fact that the book is occasionally politically incorrect will put off some people, but don't let that prevent you from enjoying the book as a whole. (As someone who works in a Roma community in neighboring Bulgaria, I admit that I cringed when reading the "Gypsy" section, which is based purely on stereotypes. Sure, it's funny and not totally inaccurate, but I would strongly recommend supplementing your knowledge of Roma culture elsewhere if you'd like a more in-depth understanding.)

All in all, the book provides a handy look into the country, and is a smooth read that can be read in one sitting or in theme-specific chunks. Again, living in nearby Bulgaria, I found many parts of this insightful to the region as a whole, and was interested to learn of some similar or shared traditions with my adopted country. (Some of these included holidays like Martisor/Baba Marta, foods like mici/kebabcheta and ciftele/kyufteti, shared words--Slavic, Turkic, or otherwise--and even commonly held beliefs; the chapter titled "Moving Air: Bringer of Sickness" made me guffaw, as it perfectly reflects the mindset where I live as well.
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