Do keep in mind what I make note of in my disclaimer, views expressed in my blog are mine alone and not anyone elses.
At the E.U. conference many of us identified ourselves and one another by the country in which we are working. I found myself identifying with, and really proud of, Romania and tried to figure out how I’d characterize Romania’s role in the E.U. I settled on: that scrappy kid from the outskirts of the neighborhood that, despite a little hesitation, you let into your club because he is from the neighborhood and you do want him on your team.
He’s not one of the dignified and slightly stuff initial members of the club. He is without some of the polished manners or big bank accounts of some. Perhaps a little disorganized, sometimes untrustworthy, but he’s the kid that makes you smile because he brings some drama and excitement to your club. He’s a kid with some problems but he has such great potential you are simultaneously a little exasperated that he sometimes flaunts the rules and secretly pleased and proud that he’s flexing his muscles. He may not be one of the original, core members, but he has strength and potential that can’t be ignored even when you try to.
One of the things I mentioned in my Fulbright application was how much I admired the resiliency of the Romanian people. Because of their geographic location they’ve been ruled by various entities throughout their history. They endured decades of brutal communist rule and came out the other side. The road to democracy has been bumpy, but they persevere. Living here hasn’t lessened that admiration.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the scrappy kid.