【Writing】Go to Romania! Then everything will be better!

※ A Narrative Essay: risk that you've taken.(They can be smell or big.)

When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me in 2008, I was very sad and not sure if I should stay in Berlin by myself. One day I read a book, A Bruxa de Portello by Paul Coelho, which was about a woman who went back her hometown Transylvania, a historical region in the central part of Romania, to find answers for her life and how to get the courage to face life again. Because my ex-boyfriend’s family came from Transylvania too, I heard a voice in my heart: “go to Romania! Then everything will be better!” The voice became my obsession and impelled me eventually to decide to travel along to Romania for month.

At that time Romania had just joined the EU and most people didn’t understand this pre-communist country. Some of my Taiwanese friends thought that I would be going to go to Russia. Most of my German friends believed that Romania was the most dangerous and backward country in Europe and there were many Roma and crimes there. Actually it was really difficult to find the travel information in Chinese. When I went to the Romania embassy in Berlin to apply for a visa, officials there looked at me like I had lost my mind. They said: “are you sure you want to go to Romania and not Rome? Girls will not be able to travel there by themselves!” Although I thought it might be a dangerous trip too, I still flew to Bucharest that summer.

As soon as I had arrived in Romania, I immediately understood what people worry about. Truly Romania wasn’t a perfect tourist region for travel in that time—today traveling in Romania is pretty convenient. Most Romanians couldn’t speak English and there wasn’t convenient transportation. However, every Romanian who I met was so kind to me and tried to help me using body language. Some of them invited me to their houses for dinner or overnight. Maybe it was because they were curious to see an Asian girl travelling alone in Romania, but the natives were just so hospitable. During my trip I traveled a lot by hitchhiking across the whole country. Sometimes I even got in a wagon and felt that I went back to the Middle Ages.

In my last few days in Romania, as I wandered among the street in Bistra, which is a small old Germanic city in north of Transylvania, I met a young boy who was only 18 years old but already played organ in the biggest church in Bistra. He and his family caught me and brought me to their house. This family showed the diverse history of Romania: Hungarian, the Habsburg and a brutal Communist party ruled here. I spent 3 days with them and exchanged a lot of stories about our experiences. After I cooked a Taiwanese dish for them, the boy’s father said: “ you know you could always come back here when you felt you lost.” While the grandmother hugged me and gave me their door key, I felt my broken heart was fixed.

Traveling in Romania was my first long trip without any partner. At that time it seemed like a bold decision with a lot of unknown risks, and my reason for traveling there, thinking back to it years later, was actually really ridiculous. However, this trip let me see different cultures and realize that I could have an amazing life by myself if I don’t always focus on someone or something. After this trip I have had more adventures in the world and all of them have become my own stories, even a career I didn't expect.

這次作文課的主題是關乎生命中的風險,不管大風險如結婚生子(?)還是小風險如把頭髮染成紅色,都可以。至於作文的形式定位在敘事文,老師要我們在四十分鐘內寫出一篇小短文,包括四個段落:第一段有事件背景(background information)和主題( main idea),第二段和第三段描述(detail),第四斷總結和延伸這件事情的重要性。