Insert Champagne Here Location: without class distinction Member Since: 21st Jul 2003 Total posts: 13215
Posted:As a lot of you know I was living in Romania for 6 months. And as fewer of you know, I have now returned to Romania for 2 weeks to catch up with all my friends while I am still here.
During my first stay here, I was aware that they were poor, but I never really thoguht about it in great detail. To me my friends were still welcoming and never made me feel like the "rich foreigner" that I undoubtably was to them.
But on the maxi taxi returning to my favourite Romanian rural town I got thinking. I don't know what triggered it, maybe it was seeing the rest of Europe and realising just how much better off they are there (notably, I never visited any non-touristy country towns, but even comparing capital cities and towns I have seen from train/bus windows), but I startd wondering what actually defines "poor".
I know that Romania is not like Africa, or South East Asia etc, but it is still classified as "poor". I was suprised at how many people were surprised that I had lived in a "3rd world country", which Romania isn't, but people still saw it that way.
So what is "poor"?
Is it a lack of disposable income? After all, a disposable income seems to be one of the characterising aspects of the "more fortunate countries". But just because you don't have a disposable income, doesnt mean you go hungry. I observed last time I was in Romania, that while disposable incomes are not the normal, they don't go hungry and there is pleanty of food. So since they are fed, clothed and have roofs over heir heads (with the exception of the beggar situation you cant escape if you go to Bucharst); are they poor? Even though they aren't free to enjoy a "disposable income"?
Last night I got talking to the friend I am living with in Romania. She remembers her first years of life under the dictatorship, and she said that she's not sure they are even better off. During the time of the dictator, the country had an economy and the people actually had a disposable income. But they had no food. Now, they have plenty of food, but not a dispoable income. Before the revolution they weren't free, and no-one was pretending otherwise. But now, they still aren't free, but everyone pretends otherwise. And of course, now, post-communism, the distribution of wealth is just a joke, where as before, everyone was poor. Not to mention corruption, which is a diffeent topic altogether.
So naturally, her comments made me wonder even more. Is being poor the in-ability to make decisions about how to use your own money? or is being poor not having food on your table or clothes on your back? Or is it something else?
i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey
Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...
Radioactive Member Location: Calgary, Alberta Member Since: 12th Feb 2006 Total posts: 106
Posted:Well, being poor is usually used to refer to someone who has financial problems, has trouble managing money, and is going deeper into debt, but however people see it, it is just a point of view, and not a true or false statement. A very... "opinionated" word.
I'm gonna cut you up so bad, you gonna wish I ain't cut you up so bad.
wandering thru the woods of WI Location: Wisconsin Member Since: 27th Jan 2006 Total posts: 3556
Posted:my point is that we both have been in worse situations...we aren't living the high life, but we have the essentials like so many people in milwaukee and everywhere else do not have...there is no reason to take advantage of people when it's just a few days a inconvenience like he used to when he was on the streets. we just need to be patient and wait it out do you think poor is relative? think about some rural area, outside of major modern influence. they may not have electricity or indoor plumbing or a phone but they might have the biggest tent with the best location and the best livestock. are these people poor? or would they say they have what they need?
Faith Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed