My Computer in Romania

When you are in another country you expect television shows and advertisements to be in the language of that country, but when I first arrived I didn’t really expect my computer to convert itself to Romanian. For those of you who haven’t taken a laptop to a foreign country, let me explain.

When you get on to a search engine from a foreign IP address that search engine is in the language of that country. When I get onto Google, the options are in Romanian. Note that I can change to Hungarian (magyar) or German (Deutsch), the languages of two of the minority populations in Romania. Not helpful to me.

Google in Romania

Facebook makes me laugh. All the ads on Facebook are in Romanian. If the advertisers only knew how little I get out of these ads…


Travelocity asks Are you currently located outside the US? and wants to convert me to one of their country sites, though they don’t appear to have a Romanian site.

And then there are the things that just don’t work. Pandora does not work here. E-bay is less than fully functional.

This is the beginning of the message from Pandora:

Dear Pandora Visitor,

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We believe that you are in Romania

Deeply, deeply sorry? Really? It seems like a little too much sorrow for music.

There are days when I wish I could be more like my computer in its relationship to its new home… seamlessly adjusting itself to a new country and language when it can and calmly accepting and clearly sharing its inability to adjust when it cannot.


5 responses to “My Computer in Romania

  1. Since I set up my gmail account in england, it still redirects me through some site!

  2. And trying to find an (legal) online site to play movies/tv shows was tricky too…

  3. Google gives you the option in the lowest right-hand corner to go to the in English site. Also, you need an IP shield to play hulu/netflix. Hotspot is a good one. Not that I would ever engage in illegal shielding of my IP address . . .

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