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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Travel Tuesday: Is Iasi Children Friendly?

Dearest sweethearts,

In case you were wondering if Iasi, Romania, is a good place to plan a weekend break with your wee ones I need to tell you straight that things might not be as easy as you think! When we travel we mainly think of ourselves but when you start having/raising children it all changes. There is no more ME but rather THEM - where will they sleep, what will they eat, where and how will they play? How about medical insurance? How about safety, transport and emergency cases? Mums and Dads top priority will always be the children before them. Probably that's why in the plane instructions they always underline that in case of the pressure dropping, one must first put the mask on them and after on the children; as the first motherly instinct would be to place it on the kid. Makes sense ;) but... what if you wish to visit Iasi, my hometown?
Well... if you would like to have a weekend break in Iasi make sure your child at least knows how to walk. It will be much easier for the both of you, especially if you will want to go out daily. The sidewalks here are definitely not done for prams / carriages / disabled people - they are tall, the ramps are basically nonexistent, space for the carriage to pass is almost null (take for example Cuza Voda or getting further to the Filharmonic House). The best option would be to have an elastic wrap / a sling or a carrier to keep the baby close and shield them. Getting the pram out, especially during wintertime can be quite a challenge! (Especially due to the amount of snow and ice and the piles of muddy snow on the sidewalks). Also there are few places where you could go out with a pram, for mothers and babies. True, Palas Mall offers for rent baby prams inside the premises, but still that's not much...
On a positive note, almost all the restaurants and cafes have a "children menu" so the small ones wouldn't have to face the huge portions that are practiced here. Also, somehow interesting, people are quite find of children here and feel the need to give you advice and best practices on what you should do with your child. Some may even feel it's a must to come and tell you that you dressed them up to warmly / cold, that they are crying because they are hungry / they want a hug, even try to give them stuff to eat even though you previously told them what they can / should / shouldn't eat. It's all done in good will... but it may end up pissing you off.
Try to avoid getting sick... having an international insurance won't work and the fact that you have an European Medical Card will allow help only from the local hospital. I, for one, will always avoid them... hearing my friends tell horror stories on how they went there for a checkup and came home with extra diseases makes my skin crawl. So... I'm happy that working in a corporate environment allows us to have private medical care - that happily is also available in Romania! ("Singing Hallelujah") Medicover Romania accepts temporary transfers from Poland to Romania and the coverage stays the same. I really recommend you to look into that and ask for the transfer before coming here - in my case it took around 10 days to get in the system, as everything is routed via Bucharest.
Now don't get me wrong... Iasi is a beautiful city filled with lovely places that small ones can enjoy, but I think truly it would be easier if the child wound be bigger. Walking on their own is a great help and raises less problems. I wouldn't quire say Iasi is children friendly... I might say even the opposite! But I really hope it will change in time... for Heaven's sake... even the public transport would drive parents mad - there is no way you will use a pram inside a tram and buses only if the driver is kind enough to help. Dreaming on for a better future... maybe, one day, things might turn up ok... 

Yours extremely sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Iasi But Also Feels Sad About It's Downsides...