- -  Day # 229  + +

EU > Romania > Bucharest

Spare time

Bucharest, RO (View on map)

Spare time is becoming a scarce commodity in current day Romania. The rapid economic growth requires people to choose: jump on board or miss the train. There is no time for bumming around, or maybe there is. Today, I am asking young Romanians what they do when all other obligations have been fulfilled.

Laura (23):

`Romanian art is not given a proper stage`
Adrian (22) is one of the many young recruits of the marketing and advertisement industry. He works for 6 hours every day, including every second Saturday and Sunday. `I spend most of my time sleeping and working`, he says. `And playing Mu Domination, an online game that`s similar to World of Warcraft. I play against people all around the world, some two hours on every day. Beside that, I enjoy playing basketball which I also do quite a lot. During my free weekends, I like to meet up with friends to have a coffee or go out.`

Adrian is clearly not the only Romanian who likes to play on-line shooting games. Oscar (20) has the very same hobby and Mihail (22) also uses his internet connection in a similar way: `My favourite game is Counterstrike which is just another 3D shooting game, but I prefer it over the others`, he says. `I also use the internet to communicate with my friends or to check out internet dating sites.`

Playing computer games don`t seem to be everlasting hobbies. Most men give it up at a certain age, but there is no specified maximum age or specified reason for quitting. Dan (25) gave up playing Real Time Strategy games like Age of the Empires, Kozakhs and Starcraft few years ago when he started to need glasses. He now has more time to spend on his other hobbies: chemistry and football. Travelling is another passion that Dan has recently developed. Many Romanians would follow him if they had a chance, but many suffer from lacking resources to pay for such an expensive hobby.

Ionel (25) spends about one evening hour on his favourite computer game Conquistador: `I also like football, but I play that professionally so I don`t consider it a hobby anymore. What I like to do most on a day off is to go fishing with two friends. We leave home at 4 in the morning and spend some 10 hours on the side of a lake. It`s a perfect way to relieve stress.`

Catalin (32) is another amateur fisherman but he also spends more time on another hobby that he has been able to transform into a profession: `I make sculptures and have little time for anything else. At the same time, I am happy to work in a field I love. Many young Romanians go to art academy, but few of them manage to make a living out of their art. They are usually forced to apply for jobs in adjacent domains, like advertisement and graphic design.`

Laura (23, photo) agrees that Romanians are much more artistic than what they are able to show. `It`s a shame that cultural events are suffering from the poor performances of our politicians. Many beautiful buildings and architectural treasures are left to their fate because they do not generate as much money as any other building that could be constructed at the same location. The upper class of Romanian society has got other stuff on their mind than art. They prefer to think about cars and houses. Which is a shame, because there are many talented young Romanians operating in many different fields. Writers, movie makers, architects, poets, everything.`

All else
`Football is by far the most popular sport in Romania`, says Andreu (22), who supports the capital`s team Steaua Bucuresti. For playing, he prefers rugby over football, but he admits that rugby is not a highly developed sport in Romania. `It`s probably ranked after handball and gymnastics, somewhere close to basketball. Beside playing his preferred sports in real-life, Andreu also likes to play them on the computer, with IA Sports and FIFA football as his favourites.

Radu (25) likes betting on football matches with his girlfriend. Most other Romanian girls have relatively quiet hobbies. They spend their time reading, listening to music, going to cinema. More hectic alternatives like shopping and clubbing are gaining ground. Some girls also become the subject of other people`s hobbies. The life of Sebastian (22) is all about women and cars, so he claims. `I invest all of my free hours in an old BMW which a friend and I are trying to refurbish and pimp. I barely do anything else actually. I don`t like games and I don`t watch TV. It`s only crimes you get to see, and I prefer to have as little exposure to that as strictly needed. My life is about cars and women and those two combined are largely enough to fill up any of the empty hours`, he says.

Enlarge photo | Link to this article