How is life on the French Riviera? Is it so different than in Romania? Dan is the perfect person to explain, since he has been living there since 2011.
Name: Dan Pintilei
Abroad since: 2011
Living in: Antibes, France
Current position & company: Software developer @ Amadeus (through Alten contracting company)
TGR: What is your main responsibility at the job?
DP: We work in a team which implements new features for our product in C++ mainly, but also Java for web services. I could say that each of us has many responsibilities. As the application we are maintaining and developing is quite big and almost all the people involved in creating it left, we are learning constantly about it. For those of us who have a few years of experience in the team, almost half of our time is spend on explaining different things to newcomers and tackling software bugs, which require a deep knowledge of what's underneath all that code.
What does your application do?
Well, the CAR application makes the interconnection between car providers (Hertz, Avis etc) and different types of clients - torusim agencies, corporate clients. We design and develop High Transaction Backends specific to customer needs.
Can you tell me something you can do best in your team?
We had quite a turnover the former years, so each of the senior developers have quite a part of the application that we know very well and we constantly share bits and pieces to newcomers.
If you're needed on a daily basis by your team for giving advice on how to solve problems, it must be due to your expertise. Well ... at least I hope this is the reason.
How many peers do you have?
We are usually between 10 and 15 developers in the "Car, Insurance and Taxi" team.
Is your team mainly made of locals or expats?
It is a mix of everything. Of course there are more French than other nations in the team, but for example in my current configuration we have developers from France, Romania, Italy, Morocco, Spain, China, Russia and Poland.
What about your free time - do you usually spend it with locals or other expats?
Both. Having a lot of colleagues from Romania we kind of have our Romanian circle of friends. I didn't reach the level of thinking in French yet
Do you feel integrated in the French society? Do you feel respected, appreciated?
Like anybody else. But when you talk with French people for the first time, when you mention you are from Romania they are quite surprised, if not intrigued. When deciding to live in another country you must embrace the local culture: start having the same activities, eating the same food, changing your dressing habits etc. If you are not willing to do this, I don't see the point in moving there.
You live in a very enviable place for many people. What makes you stay?
Well, let me think what makes me stay on the French Riviera. Hmmm ... well ... the "French Riviera"! Actually it's the region which convinced me to move here. In the summer you have the sea at your feet and during winter you can reach quite a few ski resorts in 1h 30min (80 - 100 km). What could you ask more?
A tourist usually sees the Riviera as a dream place to live in. What's your inside opinion about that?
When you are a tourist you don't have time to interact with locals and see how an ordinary working day may look like. As in Romania, they have the same types of problems, but with small differences.
I didn't think I would find here greedy people like in Romania - the kind of people that want to get rich quickly with the least effort possible. And surprise, some are even worse. So, in a way I can say that I feel like home here
How often do you travel to Romania?
As often as I can. There are direct flights from Nice (30 min by car from my place) to Bucharest each week. I would say that at least 3 times a year. But my parents also come here each summer, so I don't feel so away from home.
What do you mostly miss about Romania?
I miss friends and not being close (in terms of distance ) to family.
Do you see yourself moving back? What could convince you?
Maybe sometime in the future. But for now I quite enjoy being on my own and seeing the other part of Europe. I see Europe as a country, so moving to a different country shouldn't be regarded as "leaving".
What changes do you see in the Romanian society?
I see lots of changes (some good ones as well) since I moved here in France. But this must be also because I'm not living in Romania anymore. Each time I return I find Romania different. I would love to be able to drive home on highway entirely though
Please tell me something particular about Romania that you would usually say to a foreign friend.
It's an interesting country and it's worth visiting, but you need to have a Romanian guy/friend with you in order to manage it. A Romanian colleague of mine and I organized a 3 days trip to Romania with 10 other colleagues from work. We showed them a little bit of everything - finally they enjoyed the trip a lot.
And yes ... internet speed is blazing fast compared to France.
What is your biggest dream?
To be able to visit the world as much as I can.
Any final remarks regarding our home country?
It isn't the greatest country, but it isn't the worst either. If there is something that you like about it, don't be shy in promoting it. I have seen a lot of Romanian people who even if they know that there are also good things about Romania to talk about, they choose to see only the bad ones.
You are so right and I'm happy you have mentioned it. This is actually why The Golden Romania exists - to gather people who know the true value of our country and don't play it down! Thanks, Dan, for your input!
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