After taking a little time off, I set up a new company and recruited a new development team in Bucharest. We have been working closely with Null Team, the company behind Yate, on some new projects. I have been very quite about all of this until now, but soon we will starting releasing things and talking publicly.
Until then, for your entertainment, I present a chart to help you understand some important Romanian words that probably don't appear in your RO-EN dictionary:
- BricoStore, Hornbacher, Baumax, OBI : Home Depot, Lowe's
- Media Galaxy : Best Buy
- RDS, UPC : Comcast
- Enel : PG&E, ConEd
- Ursus : Budwiser
- Ciuc : Papbst
- Caltoboș : Boudin
- Carrefour, Billa : Safeway, Kroger
- Real : Wal-Mart
- IKEA : IKEA
- Dacia : Toyota
Other observations on living in Bucharest:
- All the big US fast food brands are here, but the restaurants are nicer. For example, Romanian Pizza Huts have table service and full bars.
- Always carry cash. Get a real (smart card) debit card from a local bank.
- The cost of rent is about 1/3 what it is in San Francisco.
- The cost of eating out is about 1/3 what it is in San Francisco, unless the menus are all in English, in which case it will be about the same.
- The standard taxi rate is 1.39 RON/km, don't pay a cabbie less than 10 RON (about US$3), no matter how short the trip. And if you say "thank-you" ("mulțumesc") before you get your change, that is the same as saying "keep the change".
- Bucharest drivers don't look through intersections and will park anywhere.
- 1 RON is the same as 1 leu and the plural for leu is lei. To make it a little more confusing, a lot of Romanians will call 100 lei a "million" because there was a 10000:1 currency revaluation a few years ago.
That's it for now. More interesting news coming soon, though.