Probably the most fortunate people in the world

Brasov. July 2009

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Why people living in Brasov are probably the most fortunate people in the world

All right, I’m writing this while lounging on a beanie bag in a wooden attic, closer to the woods than to civilisation. The turntable is spinning some really good Romanian piano jazz and I’m thinking of how privileged I was to be born and raised in Brasov, Romania, such an incredible place by any means.

I’m not going to do a review of Brasov right now, not going to praise it as the most beautiful city in Romania and definitely not going to be a hater and rant about how it totally lacks cultural or artistic events, creative industries, and top universities. But let me just say this: people living in Brasov get “free access” to an essential value that we somehow forget to treasure, and that is quality of life.

I’ll try not to make this sound melodramatic or spiritual, but in Brasov time has a very special flow, allowing you to simply do more of what you like. The city is small enough for a 15 minutes drive from one end to the other. The lack of temptations means you get to experience a sort of balanced interaction with the environment. Time just seems to pass at a much slower pace. You can simply do more things in one day here than you  ever could in a metropolis. So if you plan on doing some pretty extraordinary things and you place a special value on how you’re spending your precious time, then Brasov might be the place to start.

Living here also means access to clean air and fresh water, overall nice and gentle weather all year round. In 36 years I simply can’t remember a killer hot summer, miserable never ending rains or a terrible blizzard.

But last and most important, people living in Brasov are really really close to the mountain. Imagine a 25 minute walk up the Tampa mountain, a 30 minute bicycle ride to Poiana Brasov, and from Poiana Brasov just a 60 minutes slow walk to the Postavaru Peak. How about that?

What’s both sad and unfathomable is that some of the people of Brasov simply don’t treasure and can’t really benefit from this proximity to the mountain. I guess if you were born at the base of the mountain you might not realize how lucky you are. I mean, hey, life does not revolve around the TV set, in bars and pubs. So get out of your fake comfort zone and go on a hike in the middle of nature.

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