Our driver from airport to the hotel laments how during the reign of the Ceausescu, everyone had money but nothing to buy, now there are a lot to buy, but no money to buy those with. He adds wistfully that it was better when Romania built tractors and people had jobs. Now Romanians sew clothing that they can’t afford themselves and import shoes from poorer countries.
Later on, our tour guide, Lily tells us how Ceausescu ordered tanks to ride over peaceful demonstrators and shows us cemeteries filled with “children”, people under 21, who died during the uprising. Her brother, a protester, had accused their parents of being an accomplice to the dictator by staying silent and complacent. Then she tells us how hard life is: the rent takes away more than half of 150 euros average salary, and food is expensive. The number one export of the country is educated people. Romanian couples who live abroad separately leave their children to be cared for by grandparents in Romania. She sighs, children of the communist leaders were the ones with money and contact who became successful capitalists after the fall of the dictator. People may have won the war, but they seem to have lost the peace.