Story of a Romanian driver who captures the soul of Europe
In the last 10 years, the novel “Viktor Talic” (so called to be named in the article) conducted a minibus in Europe, transporting goods and people. His travels, sometimes spanning almost 50 hours without sleep, supra part of the “heart of Europe“, writes the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Talic is 34, but looks older. It has strong arms, gentlemanly behavior and know what people think when they hear the “Romania”. There are countries in Europe with a bad reputation, some with a very bad reputation and then Romania, a country where the head of anti-corruption institutions was forced to resign over allegations of corruption and the Prime Minister is suspected of money laundering writes Der Spiegel .The country is known for its low consumption of toothpaste and high alcohol consumption per capita. Victor knows all these things, notes the publication.
According to the German journalist, Talic is a “hero of the market economy” and somehow “a hero for Europe“. When approached by a reporter, Talic was preparing to leave for Portugal. Journalist boarded the 4,000 km race with eight Romanian and play experiences.
Viktor is not only the driver but also the man who delivers parcels, courier and money smuggler. In Mercedes-Benz van he leads are seven Romanian, who go to work in the Iberian state. Some passengers left for the first time to work abroad, but others are already “veterans”. Some go just for a season, while others are returning from Romania to work abroad after a short break at home. For the latter, he is heading to Portugal not leave home, but go home. The vehicle and packages are sent from relatives of those in Portugal. These are delivered door to door Talic, regardless of address.
Many Romanian in Portugal have so much confidence in Viktor that he sent by Romania to the family money he earns in half a year.Storage is also among 50 Romanian mineral water bottles, which command a Lisbon Romanian who does not love the water there. Talic, who charged him with 2 euros / kilo. “It’s a pretty expensive water,” jokes the driver.The journey of over 4,000 km of Talic started in Satu-Mare, his hometown.
It has an efficient route that uses 10 years. Avoid Italy, although the road would be shorter because the carabinieri said that there used to confiscate cars for the smallest irregularities Romanians. The final destination is always Portimao, where his mother works Talic. It is almost impossible to go to the westernmost point in Europe. The race usually takes 50 hours. Talic pauses for five minutes to refuel, 15 minutes for people to eat and sleep only three hours a day. The rest of the time leads without stopping.
Viktor’s Mercedes is an old model, which has 1.2 million kilometers on board. The seats are hard, uncomfortable, and most of the time in the vehicle running disco-pop music which helps the driver to stay awake.
How Romanians are treated according to the country through which
At the border with Hungary, Talic is always accompanied his boss, the owner of Mercedes. It goes before the minibus in a Volkswagen Passat to customs, where it pile. Placed in an undisclosed documents must be checked and everything runs smoothly.
The head appeared, leaving the Satu Mare, angry that Talic again took more luggage than allowed. To allow more luggage, Viktor asked each passenger to take on his two cartons of cigarettes, as far as legally permitted to carry in the EU. These cigarettes provice of Ukraine, where a pack costs just over 1 euro.Somewhere in southern France, the commodity is given by an employee of his boss Talic. There, a pack of cigarettes costă- 6-7 euros. In addition to the 16 cartridges transported legally luggage somewhere other 20 cards are hidden. Goods Hexagon brings a nice profit.
Before delving deeper into Hungary, each time with Romanian minibuses parked, one kilometer from customs, by a policeman. To move forward with ease, drivers give him a sum of money. Just down the window, give the money and go on. Do not tell anybody anything. If you do not pay, it undoes all packages policeman and inspection can last three hours, according to Talic.
In Austria went smoothly way, Der Spiegel journalist notes. Mercedes is preparing in the evening, to go to Germany, where usually there are problems with police. Unlike those in Hungary, the Germans can not be bribed. And this is the country where people are willing to check thoroughly the law transport. Talic says that Germans are not bad people or who want to create problems, but are simply fair. Annoyingly correctly.”Their land, their rules,” Talic says. Therefore, Romanian minibus drivers prefer to go at night through Germany, where registration numbers are hard to distinguish, and on weekends when there is less police on the highways.
In France, Talic avoids motorways because they are too expensive. That means experiencing the largest country in Europe on ordinary roads. France is the country where Romanian driver never had problems.Simply tell the police that you did not work there, but you’re on the way to Spain. They avoid control minibuses Romanian numbers, because I know that would reveal illegalities and would have to make “tons” of “paperwork”, as required by Hexagon bureaucracy. Prefer to get rid of this nuisance.
In Spain there are also problems, probably because there are so many Romanian license plates that EN are already common. Once close to the border with Portugal, all I have several phones start ringing Talic.Those who wait for packages or want to send goods to the country I know is coming.
Before you go back to Romania, Talic take a break just 10 hours in Portugal. That means doing 8,000 km in 100 hours leading in just five days.
“Being Romanian is a job”
Viktor Talic was not always the driver. It was a student with an inclination towards mathematics, but had to leave school at 14 after his father died in an accident while working in the woods. He took a chainsaw that killed his father to work and support his family. At 18 he went to work in construction in Portugal.
For Talic, Eruopean Union offers a lot of possibilities. Many of those who shuttle in the West have turned over a few years with an expensive car and had the money to do a big house. These things would not have happened had remained in Romania. “Who says European dream not to go?” Asks Talic. He does not understand all this talk of Greek debt, austerity, hostility between nations. For Europe it means that a person can work and support their family. “So where is the problem?” He asks again.
Asked what it means to be Romanian in Europe, Talic replied: “Being in Europe is not related to Romanian nationality. Being Romanian is a job “.