One of the many things I like about Eastern Europe is the contrast between low-tech and hi-tech, often in one and the same place.
For example, you might find yourself at a dilapidated bus station with crumbling concrete,
you step on a 40- to 60-year old bus,
from which nobody bothered to remove the old German writing, disclosing the second-hand nature of the vehicle,
you sit down in a worn-out seat, and you have free, reliable and fast wi-fi, even in the most remote mountain areas.
In Romania, you live in a house like this,
but you have Europe’s fastest internet, for only a few euros a month.
When you need to find the train station, you have to look for the hand-written sign,
you will be in a station where the map on the wall still shows the border with Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, 25 years after these countries’ break-up, and the air-conditioning on the train will consist of leaving the doors open during the trip. But you can follow the progress of all trains online,
although the speed indicated will make you weep again.
And it goes on like this, in a constant up-and-down, usually with private initiatives providing the up and public entities providing the down part. But there is this dynamic, not least because people are fed up with how slow government moves, so they take matters into their own hands. I find Eastern Europe more interesting than Western Europe because here in the East I feel like everything will look different in 3 or 5 years, while the West is relatively settled and static. I am curios what things and societies will be like when/if I will return from my South America trip after a few years.