If you live in an international town, you will notice some foreigners make the newspapers for the wrong reasons.

A former x-factor contestant, an American citizen, allegedly threatened his wife, broke a few tiles, then climbed on his roof in his dressing gown.  The police, gendarmes, and firemen responded.  There he allegedly threatened others, claiming he had weapons.  However, the only weapon he had on him was…

…a spoon.

Eventually, he was arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital.  The newspaper does not make it clear whether the former X-factor star merely said these threats, or sang them.

This isn’t the first incident with the alleged American, who a week previously had allegedly vandalized cars.  (See more in the Observator).

In another paper, we learn about his time on X-Factor.  Singing and playing guitar was his life.  Then he learned he had cancer.  Got a great mentor, and a promising future.  And three years later, well, things weren’t so great.

That said, to own a house in Cluj, the man must have a lot of money.


Many other ex-pats make the news for the wrong reasons.

A German citizen was recently stopped at the border and his car was searched.  Allegedly, they found a lot of counterfeit medicine in the boot.


Usually, they don’t search your cars at the border for very long.  They just make you wait for about an hour.

Another foreigner, a Bulgarian, was stopped by police who allegedly found over thirty thousand packets of cigarettes on him.  Smoking itself is not illegal in Romania, but he supposedly didn’t pay the right taxes on them.

His tax bill?  Seven hundred nineteen thousand two hundred thirteen lei.  That is more than a lei per cigarette.  Even with inflation, that can buy a lot of pretzels.

Cetățean bulgar, prins cu țigări de contrabandă în Dolj

There have also been reports of ex-pats on the other side of the country (near Iasi) hunting gophers on their lunch break.  Gophers, as we know, are endangered, so please don’t hunt them on your lunch break or at any other time.  Many times, your employer will provide meal tickets so you can at least buy pretzels, which are not endangered.

If you are going to be a smuggler, you risk facing the force of the law.  But please, for the love of your country and humanity, if you ever feel the urge to threaten others and climb onto the roof wielding a spoon, just don’t.

If you have money to break your tiles, then you probably have enough money to see a good shrink.

Happily, however, most of the foreigners we meet in Cluj are nothing like that.  They might be seeking planning permission to buy a pool, looking for a job, or trying to learn the language.  Unfortunately, newspapers don’t report much on normal people these days.

So, if you are a normal foreigner in Cluj, and have an interesting story to tell that isn’t an advert or a scandal, why not let us know?  Help provide good role models for other English speakers in Romania, so that Dogbert can see that not all potential business partners are in prison.

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