It can always go worse: hospital story

The last few weeks weren’t the best of my life. Apparently, the chaos I have been living with not having a schedule for eating and sleeping and having some stress also lead me to getting to hospital. But even like this, after just a few hours spent there, I realized that my problems weren’t the worse.

I got to the hospital because of some nasty belly ache and a ball that had grown instead of my stomach. The doctor that saw me first said she wants me to go to the hospital so they can also run some tests there, rather than just give me some pills. It seemed fair and so I went to the Emergency Room at the hospital, where they’ve told me everything was because of stress, basically. Which was really close to the truth, given my beginning of the year. Thank God it was all good and I felt better after a few hours of investigation and then treatment.

Still, this visit I paid to the hospital made me realize (once again!) that there are always worse things than what happens to each one of us. There is even a saying stating that if we put all our problems into a pile and would pick a random one to solve, then we would much rather go back and have ours back. Or something like that, you get the point. And that is because our issues – we know them, we can control them, we can make them better.

That was my idea after a few hours spent in the Emergency Room. Of course I will need to have better control of my lifestyle so that I do not end up in the same story again. Like they say it –Ā make it better so it won’t be worse.
And even more, the stories you witness while in the hospital make you want to keep as further away as possible. This time I don’t even have anything to comment on the cleanliness or the doctors. Amazingly, it was all good and nice. But the following story seems out of this world:

Once I got to the Emergency Room at the hospital, they kept me in a waiting room that I would always get back to between investigation I had to take. A some point, I got back from the echo room and I found in the waiting a colleague. The doctors had brought someone on a stretcher. The guy was all crying. I looked at him and he didn’t seem bad. He looked more homeless than anything else. He was wearing some dirty clothes and some weird socks. Although he wasn’t allowed to use his mobile phone in that area, he kept making calls. Firstly, he called his wife or life partner or what she was and he started swearing her and accusing her of some attack. Only after he made some more calls to friends and relatives I found out he had been beaten by a group carrying baseball bats. He called everyone he knew to let them know what happened to him and that he will get revenge. The last call he made was to his son to say ‘goodbye forever’ and giving him details on what happened to him and how he will murder the guys who did that to him and also he will kill himself afterwards. Meanwhile, in the waiting there was no one from the hospital that could hear him, they all came in to scold the guy on talking on the phone, but that was it.
The guy was brought into another room for investigation and my perfusion had finished, got my prescription and was supposed to leave home. Don’t know exactly what had my attention – the story might not even be true given the fact that the guy smelled like alcohol really badly – but I couldn’t just leave without telling someone what I just witnessed. So on my way to exit the Emergency Room I was looking for a doctor to let them know. As I found one, I heard her telling some other guy that they should call the Police for the case of the angry patient.
More than being peaceful for knowing action was taken on that, I was happy that the doctors did not just let it pass by, all the story. Of course that given how the shouted and cried while making calls, it was very difficult not to hear his story. But also I figured that doctors were way too busy doing medical stuff and would not pay attention to the guy talking on the phone. I guess I was expecting the doctors to only take care of the medical part and that is why seeing them be human made me very happy.

As for me, I got my treatment and started feeling better, I’m working on my long lost discipline, I’m starting to learn how to cook and thank God I am gonna be good enough to leave for Rome next week, as planned!

So now I’ve chosen to take a step back and see the bigger picture. I will start taking more care of myself, I am thankful that nothing worse happened and I am happy that I am good enough to follow my travel plans. šŸ™‚

As a final thought, I would advise you to also look at the bigger picture and I also wish you to not get to the point where you go through difficult situations and only then realize you are still happy and thankful for what you’ve got.

Closing on a happy note, I leave this with you:

Being a tourist in Bucharest…

The great part of when friendsĀ from abroad come to visit Bucharest is that you are their guide. The bad part is that you actually have to show them around Bucharest and you’re praying that you don’t encounter situations you’re gonna be ashamed about and will have to apologize on behalf of, oh well, Romanians.

Last weekend I had a friend from Germany visiting and just for fun. I decided to play tourist along with him and speak English everywhere we went. The result was…depressing.

On Saturday we took the double-decker city tour for a few hours. Short story, the bus goes from Piața Presei Libere toĀ Calea Victoriei and turns atĀ Palatul Parlamentului (The Parliament). It’s theĀ Hop On-Hop Off type of bus, that means you can get in and get out on any stop you want depending on your interest. When you buy the tickets you also get a (big) map that you can use for better orientation.

The bus comes every 20 minsĀ betweenĀ 10AM-10PMĀ hours and the last bus is at 9PM fromĀ Piața Presei Libere. The traveler card you get is valid for 24h from the first useĀ and the whole tour takes about 50 mins.

Some of the main interest points would be Piața Presei Libere – Free Press Square, Muzeul Satului – Village Museum, Arcul de Triumf – The Triumphal Arch, Muzeul Antipa – Antipa Museum, Muzeul Țăranului RomĆ¢n – Romanian Peasant Museum, Ateneul RomĆ¢n – The Romanian Atheneum, Muzeul Național de Artă – National Art Museum, Palatul Parlamentului – Palace of the Parliament.
A ticket is 25 RON ~ 5E for adults, 10 RON ~ 2,5E for kids 7-14 years old and free for under 7. You can opt for an audio guide but the only thing you’re gonna get is confusion. The audio guide plays only when it wants regardless the points of interest you are near and when it’s not playing you can only hear a blank sound that makes you think it’s not working at all. Its English is so bad you can barely understand it.Ā And you also get a pair of headphones used and overused.

When I was in Barcelona and enjoyed the same type of service, I at least received one-time headphones and I knew I was the only one using them.

The only really lovely things about all this experience is that you truly see Bucharest in a different way. Even I got this impression and I am in town every day. The pics below speak for themselves.






And when it comes to the many THUMBS DOWN, they are related to people, of course. The bus tour was more than 50 mins. Ā The buses were later than 20 mins. No, the bus didn’t stop so that you could get off it. The bus would stop only if there were people waiting to get in. Otherwise, if you wanted off the bus but there no one to stop the bus from the street, you had to rush on the stairs (if you were upstairs). Although, the signs say you are not allowed to do that. Much more useful would’ve been a stopĀ button that you could press and ask for the bus to stop.

No, it wasn’t clean. In fact it was filthy dirty. And I’m not saying just on the floor. Okay, let’s say that the floor was dirty because of people throwing their trash onto it, but even that could be solved by placing two bins, one in the front and one in the back of the bus.

But my bigger problem were the filthy seats.

And also the dust on the stairs roof. The way you present your service to the people, that’s the exact way they will appreciate it.


Yeah, and it was lovely that we could see the Government building… *ironic tone*


Oh, and thank God we had free Wi-Fi. Yeah the network was there, it just didn’t work.

Many of the people on the bus were Romanians, I had enough time to meet lots of hop on-ers and hop off-ers. First time I took the bus for the whole tour just to enjoy the views. And on the second tour, I started analyzing. I left disappointed because we finally have got a good thing like you see abroad and we treat it typically Romanian-style, not caring about anything.

Anyways, that would be it about the wonder double-decker tour bus of Bucharest. I’m pretty sure the people who are amazed by it are the people who didn’t rode it.

The next day, on Sunday we went to the Botanical Garden of Bucharest, Cotroceni area. I actually was more impressed with it than I would have expected. There were many people there and still it wasn’t crowded. Yes, some of the areas of the garden could have been more taken care of and the communism buildings ruin a part of view, but oh well…


Still, I was impressed by the fact that most of the signs had an English translation.

And one more thing, in the garden there is a special place for people who want to enjoy someĀ peaceful and quite time while reading or studying or working.

Plus, they have a souvenir shop that had for sale stuff for the passionate and also just cute things like T-shirts and mugs with funny messages – ‘Plants are Friends’ and stuff.

Of course there were wedding people coming in to take pictures by the lake – which btw, was horrible. I was joking with my friend that they made it look like that on purpose, so that people wouldn’t be tempted to take a dive.

Either way, still. For 5 RON ~ 1EĀ the ticket for an adult, 3 RON ~ 0.75E for a student/retired person and free entrance for school kids and veterans, the Botanical Garden is a really nice alternative to the parks in Bucharest, every day betweenĀ 9AM-5PM. Especially since we’re starting our own Pont des Arts, baby steps šŸ™‚


At the end of the weekend, my friend told me that Bucharest is a nice city, he enjoyed it and had a great time, but without a local’s help he would’ve been lost because of the lack of signs to help tourists in their orientation. Also, he was very surprised about the high number of abandoned buildings near the city center and that could have great potential.

After the two days I spent as a tourist I can only think of the tourists that come to Bucharest. In the center, the old city and Calea Victoriei area you could see that Romanians were used to tourists and acted really friendly and even learned a bit of English. But other than that, as soon as they heard us speak English they would act like they were bothered by us and even tried to fool us when we asked for the check…

There is nothing left to say for me, except for the fact that we such fools for trying to see only our short-term interest and not think for the long run.

Photos: my fingers pressed the button of an iPhone 6, #noedit and #nofilter

How come I didn’t cry watching Me Before You

The answer that probably everyone’s waiting for is that I am an insensitive human being or that I am ashamed of crying in public. But it’s not about either of that, nope, sorry to disappoint you.

I went last weekend to watch the movie ‘Me Before You‘. And somehow, despite all the emotional reviews and the warning about crying your heart out, I was safe. And it’s me that we’re talking about – I cry at animation movies. ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’, ‘Up’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Despicable Me’, ‘Bolt’, etc., they all made me cry. Oh, and ‘Little Prince’, also.

So, if you don’t like spoilers and you haven’t seen Me Before You, then don’t read any further. But if you’re okay with it and you’ve seen it, then go ahead and read and make me feel like I’m the heartless one.

The movie is about love (well, duh!), and more specifically, about a standing girl and guy in a wheelchair (almost completely paralyzed) and they meet and fall in love and spend some time together. She finds out by accident that he’s scheduled to die – because he couldn’t live in a wheelchair when he was a really active person before – and she decides to show him that life is worth living, no matter what. So she makes him get out of the house and takes him on vacation and they do all sort of sweet things together. me before you inainte sa te cunosc review emilia clarke sam claflin beach

Well, once they got closer, he tells her what he had planned. She replies saying she knew and all that she did was to prove him that life is still beautiful and worth living and that she hoped he would change his mind after the time they spent together. He told her nicely that he cannot live a life in a wheelchair, especially after he traveled the world back and forth and experienced amazing things, practiced extreme sports and so on. He also explained to her that he cannot be with her like that, sitting in a wheelchair and not do to her all the things he wants to, not touch, not caress her because he can’t move his hands. Etc, etc. And then she just starts crying and preach him about ambition and will and the worst part was when she said she regrets getting attached to him. That was where I lost interest. me before you inainte sa te cunosc review emilia clarke

Maybe I’m the type of person that’s all in when she watches a movie, maybe I feel it too much, but we’re talking about a person in a wheelchair that wasn’t having a nice time in this life and all she can do is take things personally. Like that man isn’t tormented enough, she has to act like a spoiled child that loses her toy. This is the way I see it – if it’s love and if you care about the other person, you would think of what makes him happy. Not you. Let’s give up the ego for a bit. Set an example for real life also, just saying.

She got mad, ignored him and didn’t talk to him, left home and didn’t accompany him on that journey. Well, at first. Cause it’s a movie and she changed her mind afterwards, goes after him and catches him right in his last moments, enough to kiss him and lay her head on this chest. me before you inainte sa te cunosc review emilia clarke sam claflin last kiss

I actually really enjoyed the ending. After he died, he left her a certain bank account with a certain amount of money that she can use to build a path, to travel a bit and experience momentsĀ and find her own place and purpose in this life. Even more, I loved the way he putĀ it – ‘There is enough money here to make a life, but not enough that you don’t have to work anymore in your life’. Well, that’s love for sure – helping someone in the way they want it, they need it, just give them a start but not make themĀ get lazy *the-aww-factor*Ā šŸ™‚ It’s the idea that you better teach someone how to fish and they’llĀ have food for a lifetime than you fishing for themĀ and they’ll have just one meal.

Anyways, over all, Ā Me Before You is a nice movie, makes your feelingsĀ go crazy for someone who thinks of love that way. The girlĀ – Emilia Clarke, was extremely cute and funny. I think she’s a very good and expressive actress, one thing you don’t see everyday. Him –Ā Sam Claflin, played his part extremely well and he’s got my appreciation even more because of the static part. I mean, being happy and energetic is easy, but playing a part where you have to control your reflexes, calm them down and act immobilized is a whole other story. me before you inainte sa te cunosc review emilia clarke sam claflin

As for me, I just discovered I’ve also got the book that the movie is based on, written by Jojo Moyes. Apparently, I bought it some time ago in London. 3 years later and I still didn’t get a chance to read it. But now I’m really curious, cause usually they say the book is better than the movie. I will find out soon Ā šŸ™‚

Photos: IMDB șiĀ Youtube.

Overcome the fear of making calls

Making calls for business is terrifying to many people – What if I stutter? Or if I say the wrong word? What if I don’t get the answer I want? What if I don’t make a good first impression?Ā etc. are questions that most of the people faced with making calls have. So they just don’t want to do it…

A female customer service agent shows her frustration with the telephone and computer.

Now, the first photo I found on Google was the most relevant one so I hadĀ to pick this one (which you can find here). I suspect most of the people having to make phone calls look like this. Or at least, they would look like this if we didn’t have cordless phones šŸ™‚ Hey, I once looked like that!

It takes a lot of work with yourself, but you can also practice some tricks to help you getĀ more relaxed. Ā These bits of information will help you before making the call, during the call and after you finished it. It’s no rocket science, just basic common sense. You will be talking to people just like you, with two eyes, two arms, one nose.

First of all,Ā before the call, you should:

  • Do a bit of research about the person/company you’re calling. After all,Ā you don’t want to seem like you randomly picked them to call, even if you did. But showing a bit of interest beforehand looks really nice!
  • Set your mind to show the value your product/service add to their life. It’s about them so make them feel the can’t live without what you’re offering or that they need it so bad that don’t know how they lived before finding out about you.
  • Detach from expectations. Just set your mind to expect any response and be prepared to answer afterwards. Do not set high or low expectations, do not set them at all! Treat your conversation partner as you’d treat a friend.

Second, when you’re actually on the phone with someone, you might want to try the followingĀ during the call:

  • SMILE! Just wear a smile on your lips while talking to them. From ‘Hello!’ to ‘Thank you, goodbye!’, people can sense your mood and if you’re smiling to them, even on the phone.
  • Make sure you are brief. People are busy and do not have patience to hear stories. Just get to the point quickly. Who, what, when, why, where – the wh-questions are the golden rule!
  • Ask questions and listen to the answers. Find out what they need by asking just a few questions to help you get their idea. Also, if they are big talkers, just listen to them, do not interrupt. After all, you called to have a conversation and would be a two-way communication.
  • Be passionate. Even when presenting yourself and the company, make sure you speak from the heart, like you really believe what you’re saying. Actually, you should really believe in what you’re saying, because then why-the-heck are you doing it?!
  • Close on a positive note. Okay, maybe you didn’t get the answer you wanted, but that might be just for the now. Ask if you can call them again after some time. Ask for recommendations, maybe their friends are potential clients. Also, you can ask for an email address, so they keep updated about future news.

And last but not least,Ā after the call make sure you got everything right. Maybe you wrote it down while talking to them. Do not call them again because you did not write down their friend’s name or just to double-check the phone number. And if you promised to call back in three month, then do that then. Not earlier! Maybe a bit later, like after three months and a week. Also, if they gave you their email address and you said you’re going to send them an email, make sure you don’t forget. So just do it right after you hung up the phone.

You get nervous and anxious when you concentrate on yourself, your emotions and what can happen to you. Instead, think of the person you are talking to, treat them as a friend whom you’re trying to make life better. They will perceive you less as a stranger and more like a person who treats them like human being, not a buyer.

My advice to you is that you make that call you hate between two phone calls with friends or family. Call your best friend or mother, talk about life things, going out or having dinner together. Then, right after you finished talking to them call the person you’re supposed to immediately, while you are still in the happy and relaxed mood. Keep it short with them – for you and for them both. This way, you haven’t got time to start panicking. After the call, call another friend or member of the family to keep your mind from going crazy and start analyzing what you did wrong. And so on.

Tip: it gets easier in time! Good luck on the practice!

Life’s plans for you…

There are times when what you plan doesn’t work out your way.

How many times did you had it happen to you, when you believed in something, even in someone, and you planned either the near or far future, only to have something happen afterwards and without knowing it, everything fell apart?…

Oh yeah, I had it happen also, and not just once. Last time, I was writingĀ hereĀ that my plans revolved around the idea of moving out of my country in order to change the continent, having foundĀ a career opportunity that made me very happy. But oh well, in the meantime, something changed, something that I’ve got no idea about, but something that made me not act on that anymore. So I quit that idea, I unpacked everything and now I’m gonna start search again for challenges in this area.

On Wednesday at lunchtime I was supposed to embark onĀ a one-way ticket to Asia. On that very morning, it was all cancelled.

But, even in this kind of situations, there is something that comes along. So I created Plan B – 12.37PM: ‘I miss the sea. Let’s go!’

That’s the story of how I got on the highway, destination: Mamaia Beach of Romania. Around 2 hours and 2 butts plus 4 asleep feet later, I was on the beach.

Pause. Peace and quiet. Sun and soft sand. blog post mare mamaia seaside romania beach sand

I take my shoes off, I feel it and this feeling of happiness overwhelms me, that I was there before all the people.

Oh, my! What a feeling of being present in the moment, with my feet in the warm sand, and my head in the clouds. blog plaja beach post mamaia romania

‘Can we stay in this moment forever?’, Ā I asked my partner in crime. He said ‘yes’, and so I smiled. blog post mare mamaia seaside romania beach

The moment is gone now, but the pictures are still here. And, Oh-Ma-God, such pics! Oh yes, short videos also.



So yeah, my plan on leaving the country and changing the continent is gone, but I like to think that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know it yet, haven’t found it out, but maybe at some point… Still, I managed to get out of Bucharest for a bit and I visitedĀ her.Ā The rest of the story will be written, when the right time comes for me to leave.Ā šŸ™‚

PR: 5+5 Pros & Cons

It is a game of give and take, this is for sure. Even with the big pictureĀ painted, a career is not something that you just rush into.Ā Do it with passion or not at allĀ –Ā somebody said and I couldn’t agree more. Knowing yourself leads you to know if you can handle the challenges that come with a PR career. The good and the bad, the achievements and the mistakes, all should teach you something.


1. Boring times? Never!

If you dislikeĀ routine, you’re in the right field. The work is so diverse that one day does not feel like another.

One week you can be dealing with a service provider who needs a Social Media strategy and the next one you’re planning a product launch event. Online and offline, writing articles and giving speeches, working from a desk or interacting with people all day long, there’s never a dull day in PR.

Think about all the opportunities, PR applies to any of them. You can work with clients from the public or private sector, or even non-profit organizations. Size? Giant corporations, small companies or start-ups. Fields? Automotive, travel, fashion, lifestyle, tech, you name it. Nope, no time toĀ get bored.

2. Be a maker, you’re the storyteller

It’s up to you to use your imagination and make something out of nothing. Remember that people respond much better to emotions than anything else. You’ve got the tool to touch them – words. Using them appropriately can bringĀ great outcome.

Now, even hotter is the topic of visual storytelling. Words and image or video – you can put together two things that have been put together before, but create something totally unique. How is that for a feeling?

3. The Creativity factor

Yes, Creativity with a capital letter, because it isĀ thatĀ essential. A high level of creativity is one of the most significant skills a PR pro can posses. Whether as an in-house specialist or within an agency, writing, thinking and implementing are a big part of a PR position of any level.

Luckily, this is a skill that can be exercised by being a sponge, constantly curious about news in the field. Also, practicing a pro-active attitude when it comes to learning new things and research of any other info is a plus.

4. Not a one-fits-all

The PR sphereĀ is about so many responsibilities based on a multitude of skills. From writing to pitching, giving presentations to planning and even researching, you can find your place. Working in a consultancy firm within a team makes you a specialist in your field, so don’t worry if you start out on one role, but then decide another one fits you better.

That’s the great news – you can find a position that fits you, whatever your skills or interests are.

5. You make a difference and should be really proud of it

It is not about you, yourself and you again. You work with people, for Ā other people. PR touches and has an impact. You are a part of the story all the way from when a hint of an idea is born, through pitching and into the closing. Just imagine a client calling you and saying they closed a deal thanks to the coverage a certain news had.

PR is power and it is in your control.



1. You value your free time too much

PR is not the field for a set schedule and to-do list. The job will never be 9-to-5 and the tasks will always, and yes I meanĀ always be different. If you like predictable days, PR really isn’t the thing for you. Communication crises do not ask for permission on when to happen and that is the moment when you need to act right away. Also, if you have clients all over the world, you will need to set your meeting suitable for them. It can be very stressful for someone who is not flexible and doesn’t like to compromise, but it can also be very rewarding when passion is part of the story.

2.Ā Read, watch, learn. Repeat.

Part of PR is doing the research on your clients’ field and/or competitors. KeepingĀ up-to-date with the latest trends and campaigns is also part of a pro’s duty, so constant work reading magazines and watching relevant videos is implied, yes.

3. You like to do things just to cross them off your list

Attention to details is very important and it goes all the way from articles being grammatically correct to hints of credibility when presenting of pitching. There is no room for sloppy mistakes, your work must be read and re-read, analyzed from all the angles that you can think of.

In PR. you need to cover all possible questions or assumptions in order to get a flawless result.

4.Ā It’s not you, it’s your topic

Rejection is part of the process and pointing out mistakes will become daily routine. The only productive thing to do in those situations is to learn from your mistakes and become better. Figure out what you can improve and allow yourself to develop.

First of all, you will need to accept that you make mistakes. We all make them, it’s human. When something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean you’re not trying hard enough, just that you need to still improve and learn new things, maybe develop new skills. One of theĀ don’ts when that moment comes is to make excuses or avoid responsibility.

5. Numbers? Ugh!

During a conference I once was invited to, some of the guests said – ‘PR specialists chose this field because they hate numbers’. I will remember it all my life, cause I admitted I related to that. But unfortunately, in real life and real PR, it doesn’t work like that. PR improves measurement and proves ROI, and that is exactly why measurement is a huge part of PR.

It has been a weak point for many time now, but things have changed. And this is especially needed in paid programs. An effort is needed for learning the basics, yes.


Hopefully, this has been a little more eye-revealing on what the PR career is built. As I said in the beginning, it is a game, but at the end of the day, the benefits outweigh the cons. A bit of effortĀ and a lot of passion will make it worth it all.

April’s Joy!

Ever since I’ve known myself, the month of April was my joy. It has brought me so much happiness, even more than my birth month – December. And that is not just because of Spring, but also because of the events that happened.

April to me is Happiness and Love. Eight years ago, April would bring me the beginning of a beautiful relationship that lasted for 4 years. My partner then was a great human beingĀ who’s helped me grow and develop so much that I still feel happy and lucky for having him by my side. One year ago, I went along with the idea of sharing a life with someone, one person with whom I would’ve shared everything.

Present time now and all of the above are part of the past, good or bad. Time has passed and in 2016, April finds me in a new position and brings me a new chance to another kind of happiness. blog ana maria popa travel calatorii

Well, my luggage is done and my house is 3/4 packed. It is time for a new episode: moving to another continent and a new professional challenge outside Romania. After three months in Austria,Ā the story goes on.

The novelty of all this, together with my passion for the topic, have made me release the news sooner than I originally planned to – but oh well, you can understand my excitement! Now, I’m not gonna give all the details (and those who know about this, please don’t be a spoiler), but I do promise that I will be back as soon as possible, sharing stories, situations and pictures, here on my blog and on Facebook also.

So, keep in touch! šŸ˜€