Why can't I find a Romanian to chat with?
My search for a Romanian to talk with has so far been fruitless. After reading a couple of books on Romania and watching a few hours of documentaries, I've hatched a theory about why they've been so reticent. Be warned, it's a bit farfetched.
Romanians have spent much of their history facing down foreign invaders and occupiers. In the periods when they've been independent, they've generally been ruled by corrupt tyrants. The last of these was Nicolae Ceauceșcu, a paranoid megalomaniac. Ceaușescu formed the secret police force called the Securitate. Using an arsenal of bugs and a network of lay informants, its agents spied obsessively on their fellow Romanians.
While doing Ceaușescu's bidding, they also sowed distrust and cynicism. They rewarded people for betraying those closest to them, dishing out jobs and special privileges. They also kept exhaustive files on their targets, amassing so much info that Romanians are still combing through it today.
A Romanian I met last week confirmed some of what I've read. She said her parents taught her never to repeat anything she heard. She also attested to the Securitate's knack for keeping everyone scared—even the people they weren't actively spying on. It seems the harm they did was more psychological than physical.
Anyway, that's the hardest evidence I've come by to support these speculations. Basically, I keep seeing things about Romanians being unwilling to communicate and reflexively distrustful because of what they've been through.
Even here in Discussion, when I posted in search of a speaking partner, a girl replied by calling me "stupped" [sic] and dismissing me as a "băiețel" ("little boy"). She was then told off by another (presumably Romanian) poster, who swore at her in English for insulting me.
Has anyone had any different experiences with Romanians? Has anyone found a speaking partner for Romanian? I'd like to know.