We met Iveta at Demmers Teehaus in Unirii Square while doing the interview with Andi Daiszler. She came to take our order and addressed us in English. That is not something you meet every day in Cluj-Napoca. We were surprised.
We learned that she was from Prague and that she had moved to Cluj for a few months. We were curious to find out more about her so after finishing the story about Andi we asked her to tell us her story. She showed up riding an old bicycle so I had my first question ready.
Riding a bicycle in the middle of winter – that’s cool: do you love biking?
Yes, I do. I had a bicycle as a child and, a few years ago, I started using one in Prague as well. Now I am riding one in Cluj-Napoca. I guess bicycles are an important part of my life because this is how I met my boyfriend, Bogdan. He is from Cluj.
“Every girl dreams to meet Prince Charming in shining armor riding a white horse. Mine came on a cool bicycle wearing a helmet”.
We met 2 years ago in the summer near Prague at a biking contest where he came to compete. Bogdan is a cyclist; he is into four-cross and downhill biking. Every girl dreams to meet Prince Charming in shining armor riding a white horse. Mine came on a cool bicycle wearing a helmet.
Was that the first time you heard about Romania?
No, I actually had plans to visit Transylvania before meeting him. I decided I wanted to do that after watching the old movie about Dracula. I loved it: the music, the camera, everything. I told myself I must visit this country. Besides that I knew that Transylvania has very beautiful nature.
In the last 2 years I visited Transylvania several times. I like it a lot because it’s beautiful and wild in some places. I love the countryside and the nature. Meeting Bogdan was like a sign. I consider myself very lucky because life has helped me a lot this way!
Have you always been so independent and eager to travel?
I think so, yes. But I think it all started after finishing high school. I wanted to visit Spain with my then boyfriend. We broke up and I was left without a plan. I felt that I needed a big change in my life. This is when I moved to Prague.
“I had no friends or relatives in Prague. I moved to the capital – just me and a backpack”.
I booked some accommodation online, I rented a flat with someone and that was all. I had no friends or relatives in the city. I moved to the capital – just me and a backpack. It was very difficult for me because I was alone in a big city but I managed.
Now I have a seasonal job in Prague. I manage a restaurant in a park on the hill close to downtown. I usually work there during the warm season, and then move for the winter somewhere else cheaper and warmer to visit and study.
So how come you are Cluj-Napoca right now?
It’s a strange story. Bogdan usually goes to the USA for half a year to participate in different competitions. I usually visit him for different periods of time. Last year we wanted to go to San Diego, California for a few months.
I had problems at the customs with the immigration police. They did not let me enter the country although I had been there two times before and I had all papers in order. They detained me for 30 hours for no reason then sent me back home.
Bogdan did not want to leave me alone so we returned together. We decided to come to Cluj-Napoca for a few months and stay in Bogdan’s apartment. While living in Cluj I decided to get a job in order to earn some money, to socialize and meet local people.
How easy was it for you to find a job in Cluj-Napoca?
It was easy but I was lucky. I just entered a few places and offered to work there. Demmers Teehaus was the first place I entered. The owner was really friendly and willing to help me although I did not speak any Romanian.
“I just entered a few places and offered to work there. The people from Demmers Teehaus hired me although I don’t speak Romanian”.
She hired me. I like my job and my colleagues. Most customers are surprised when they learn that I am foreign but the majority has no problem to order in English, even older people. I think I am really lucky.
What is your next destination?
In March we are going to visit Mexico for 1 month. After that I will return to work in Prague. In parallel I want to study graphic design. I want to educate myself and learn online, maybe attend some courses or workshops.
I love painting but it’s very difficult to earn a living doing that. Graphic design is a good compromise and a good place to start. My parents would like me to get a serious permanent job and save money for a house and a good pension. I prefer to travel and experience life around the world instead.