Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello from Romania!

I have set up a new blog under my own name. I left Range Networks back in September and "OpenBTS" is their trademark, so I won't be using that label for my work anymore.  It's just as well; I needed the change.

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.