"CURENT (aka moving air)" Romania Local Custom Tip by josephescu

Romania Local Customs: 96 reviews and 136 photos

air con to stay closed! - Romania
  air con to stay closed!
by josephescu

In Romania, the greatest threat to life today is not poverty, climate change or al-Qa'eda. It's moving air. Fans, air conditioning and open windows are not - as I had thought - useful mechanisms to generate a nice breeze, or give a little respite as summer temperatures climb to around 40 degrees. They are weapons of mass destruction.

This reality first appeared to me while staying with the family of a good friend of mine, in order to give the exams for the faculty. It was late august, temperatures over 40 Celsius and everything to the leaves in the trees was completely motionless. I opened the window of the room I was staying in, hoping some air would enter the room and refresh me a little. In less than a minute, my friend’s mother rushed from the other side of the apartment: “CURENT, please close the window!”

And I observed similar strange behaviour elsewhere. Both at home and work, panic would break out if ever two windows, or a window and a door, were open simultaneously, and somebody would race to close one, wailing CURENT! Colleagues, shirts stuck to their backs with sweat, would stomp to close the window, shutting off the one fresh air supply we had. Or public transport vehicles during summer time, whose windows are all closed, despite their overload and notwithstanding how hot is inside. Everybody prefers to sweat like hell rather than exposing to CURENT, and the attempt to open a window is often accompanied by protests from the elderly.
It turned out that CURENT, or the draught that circulates when two windows are open, is blamed for almost every ill one can think of. Toothache, headache, cold, flu, meningitis, paralysis - all are apparently the result of moving air.

No-one can explain where this moving air phobia has come from. It seems to have elements of superstition and self-fulfilling prophecy. Romanian's little exposure to other cultures and viewpoints, scepticism crushed by communism, and people tend to hold on to beliefs they have acquired without questioning them.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 13, 2006
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