I asked Lucian 7 questions regarding his transition to the UK, including his influences and details. What is interesting, is that he doesn’t go in to detail about any family apart from his brother, which reflects the photographs as the only family image he wanted to include was his brother. I feel it is useful to address why in the statement so the viewers don’t feel like they are missing out on something.
My original intentions were to change this in to one body of text. But the answers are very direct to different subjects and don’t combine, so i am going to play around with cutting it up through the book. Making different chapters or adding more information:
Why did you move to the UK & Why Cheltenham?
While living in Bucharest in 2009 I met a girl named Livia. After 6 months together she was accepted at Glamorgan University in Cardiff and we decided to break up since neither of us thought that a long distance relationship could work. Before I was supposed to start my course in Bucharest, I came to visit Livia since she wasn’t adjusting very well to life in Wales. After talking to her we decided that the it will be best for me to stay and for us to move in together. Fast forward 4 years, I broke up with Livia and moved back to Bucharest and decided to give it another try. I spent 9 months in Bucharest and I was unable to re-adjust to life there. During those 9 months I met Ela and later, because I wanted to move back to the UK, I chose to move to Cheltenham to spend some time with Ela. That only lasted a week and I found myself all alone in a new town, luckily I found a job as a chef the day I arrived. Along the years, since I was 20 years old, I moved several times, probably to escape my family but also to explore the world and to start over.
What are your family doing now?
I consider my only family to be my brother, Alex, and he lives in Bucharest. Neither of us speak to our parents due to a series of events that occurred along the years. Every time I go to Bucharest I stay at my brother’s house and even though we used to fight all the time as kids, we were still good friends as we are now. Out of everything in my life, I am most grateful about having my brother there during all the hard times in my life.
Are there any key people/friends that made the transition easier?
When I first moved to Cardiff I started a college course so I could obtain a work permit that allowed me to work part-time. I remember waiting for the work permit to arrive for 6 months and envying anyone with a job since I was getting close to finishing all of my money. Luckily I had great support from Livia’s family during that time and later I repaid their support by being the only one providing for me and Livia for the whole period she was in education. Some of my first friends were Josep and Ester, a Catalan couple and later on when I started my second course in college, an IT course, I got really close to Gareth, Chris and Anthony, 3 really nice guys from Cardiff. Out of them I was very close to Gareth and used to spend more time with him and always sit next to him in class. During my time in college Gareth committed suicide after a dispute with his partner, he had 2 daughters, one aged 2 and one of 6 months at the time. I found it really hard to accept his death and I remember dreaming of him calling me and telling me it was just a joke to upset his partner.
Key things you learnt from England
During my 7 years in the UK, out of which 3 in England, I have learned to appreciate life, friendship and to not be afraid to express my feelings. I still find it hard to adjust to life here due to the fact that Romanians in general are more open about daily life and our society not being based on consumerism, especially during holidays, as the British society. The end result of moving back and forth during my adult life is that I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere, I always feel like something is missing but I can never tell exactly what.
Any key emotions you felt during the transition to now
At first, when I stayed in Cardiff and I had a return ticket to Bucharest, I remember the time during those two weeks before my return flight was scheduled. During that time, I went through a wide range of emotions, including panic, excitement, fear and happiness all mixed together. I also felt like that after I moved alone to China when I was 21, to work for a Romanian company and find factories to produce their products. Out of all the emotions I felt during my whole time here, the recurring one is the feeling of loneliness, but that feeling enables me to go and live my life and travel alone.
Things you miss
What I miss the most is my brother and the passion with which Romanians live their life and connect with each other. The difference I notice all the time when comparing the Romanians and the English is the lack of social awkwardness in the former. We somehow find it very easy to connect with other people and to express our feelings without being concerned so much of what other people think. I also miss being invited in friends’ homes and having people over, since the feeling of togetherness is not felt as much when meeting at a pub.
What are you passionate about? E.g. Landscape Architecture
My passions include cycling, longboarding, snowboarding, travelling and being on the road, landscape architecture, nature and being outdoors, camping and festivals, going to concerts and meeting new people and old friends.