Expat in Romania - Michael McNeir (England): The Romanian countryside is one of the most diverse in Europe
We’re inviting our readers to share their stories and tell the world what Romania means to them. Michael McNeir, who has been living in Romania since the summer of 2019, has decided to join our campaign and fill in the questionnaire here. Below is his Romanian story.
A former Law Enforcement Officer, Michael McNeir is from Dover, England. Married to a Romanian woman, he decided to move to Bucharest about two and a half years ago, where he started a new life and a new business.
He finds Romanians to be very helpful and polite people, and he also likes the local cuisine and the countryside, which he says “is one of the most diverse in Europe.” Plus, he told Romania-insider.com that Romania has brought him “a sense of purpose, security, happiness and prosperity.”
On the other hand, Michael McNeir needed some time to get used to the traffic in Bucharest and believes illegal logging and human trafficking are some of Romania’s biggest issues.
Read more in the interview below.
What is your name, and where are you from, originally?
Mr Michael McNeir. Originally from Dover, Kent, England.
How long have you been in Romania, and what brought you here? What is your main activity here?
I have been living here in Bucharest, Romania, since August 2019. My wife is Romanian, and we decided to relocate here.
I am the CEO/Founder of FORUM Financial Advisory & Training Solutions SRL. We are also in partnership with the Bucharest boutique lawyers Enache Pirtea & Associatii.
My business focuses on corporate and criminal law consultancy, compliance checks and training in anti-money laundering, corporate fraud, asset confiscation and other areas of financial crime.
Please describe your first encounter with Romania.
June 2012 - first visit to Romania, to Bucharest. I found everyone very helpful and polite. I like the architecture, which is very classical.
What was your main challenge when arriving in Romania? How did you overcome it?
The traffic! When driving in Bucharest, it was like you were in Dodgems at the fairground. I am now used to it.
What has Romania brought to your life?
A sense of purpose, security, happiness and prosperity.
Has Romania changed since you first arrived?
Yes, it has changed as more investment is being made by the EU and foreign businesses. This is good as it creates more employment opportunities and to try and keep Romanian employees within Romania.
What are the three things you like most about Romania and why?
1: The Romanian countryside is one of the most diverse in Europe - from mountains to the Danube Delta to the Black Sea coast. So beautiful.
2: The cuisine is a unique blend from Transylvanian to Slavic to the Mediterranean.
3: The Romanian people - they are polite, very helpful and well educated in technology.
What don’t you like in Romania?
1: Illegal Logging - Unfortunately, illegal logging is widespread. Not only does it destroy the countryside leaving mud slides, it ruins the habitat for the wildlife and reduces the chance of reducing carbon emissions. More trees than more reduction of carbon emissions to assist climate change.
2: Human Trafficking - As a former Law Enforcement Officer, I have seen the effects of human trafficking in Western Europe. More needs to be done to combat organised crime as it is linked to other areas of organised crime.
What is your favourite place in Romania and why?
A very difficult question to answer as there are many places. If I may, I will provide two answers.
1: Danube Delta - a most uniquely beautiful area within Europe for wildlife and indeed relaxation.
2: Sighisoara - a most amazing location in the hills with a Saxon feel all the way through.
What is your favourite Romanian food?
Mici și mămăligă & Ciorba (e.n. mici are short sausages without casings that never miss from barbecues; mămăligă translates as polenta; and ciorba is the Romanian name for soup)
(Photo: courtesy of Michael McNeir)