How Eastern Europe Has Become the Salvation of Westerners

How Eastern Europe Has Become the Salvation of Westerners
It will take a couple posts and videos to cover this topic properly, but here are some preliminary thoughts and aspects I noticed from my life in the West and the East. P.S.: no hate to the West and no Glorification to the East. I love both places, and I'm simply sharing my experience 😊☮️

What's wrong in the West?

Since 2020, some things have become unbearable for the citizens of North America, West of Europe and Australia. Two (x2) things:

  • Increasing feeling of insecurity 😢
  • Expensive stuff (rents + shortage of homes 🏡, food 🍎, utilities⚡️, etc.)

How is Eastern Europe safer?

It's the difference between day and night.

The feeling of safety is incredible in Eastern Europe. This is because the local authorities do their job enforcing the law, and show little mercy to crimes that in the West, are not punished severely, and in some cases considered minor. Such as: vandalism of public and private properties and physical aggressions.

In the west, just because you exist, you've the right to strike and demonstrate, which is 100% good. But then consequently, you also have the right to destroy public and private properties, and walk away with it freely, in the name of "I exist, so I have the right to", I guess so...!?

In Eastern Europe, people tend to be less entitled. To put it simple:

In the East, you're entitled to no sh**!

This is because the public opinion in Eastern Europe tends to be quite intolerant toward individuals destroying the public/private properties, pick pocketing, physical aggressions, etc. They expect their law enforcement to have 0 tolerance toward such crimes, whether these individuals come from rich, poor, or middle class backgrounds.

📍Exploring the Fisherman's Bastion, in Budapest - Hungary 🇭🇺

Note: I consider Budapest - Hungary as one of the safest and most beautiful capitals in the planet 🇭🇺. It has it all: history, architectural beauty, incredible food, great expat community, beautiful nature, and to top it all, the majestic Danube river crosses the city, between Buda and Pest. I'll call it home anytime of the year!

Property ownership in Eastern Europe.

In the west, property ownership has become a dream from many people. Not just the poor. Also a good portion of the middle class.

In the east, things are - again - done differently.

As an example, the country of Romania has a home ownership rate of 96%, which is one of the highest in the world.

This trend is somehow similar in other East European countries, such as Hungary, Croatia, Poland, etc. It might come from their parents or grandparents who lived during the communist era, where home ownership was almost unconditional! It was almost a right!

Literally, their communist governments gave them homes and jobs out of school 🤯.

So in general, people in Eastern Europe tend to own rather than rent.

And those who rent, don't queue for 6 months to get a place to call home. Not even in Budapest, Warsaw or Prague!

📍I went roaming in the valleys of Maramureș (Breb village), in Romania 🇷🇴 - Summer 2022

Salaries in Eastern Europe?!

Let's take the example of a country that has one of the lowest minimum salaries of all the EU family: the country of Romania 🇷🇴.

Romania has a minimum salary of about 2550 Lei (≈€500/month) before tax. You take off 40% of taxes, and you're left with ≈€300/months

And while this minimum salary is low, the average salary of the country is about €1000/month after tax (money you take home with you).

I'll give you a specific example, from real life (no forum bluff).

In 2023, while I was exploring the history of Wallachia, I sat in a café for a tea in Târgoviște, which is the city of prince Vlad Tepes - or Dracula, for Western tourists 😂.

This barista told me that he earns $1100/month (after tax, in his pocket). Is this a good salary in Târgoviște? Let's assume this man lives in the expensive Bucharest, capital and economic center of Romania (≈20% of the country's GDP).

To get a 1 or 2 Bedrooms apartment in Bucharest capital, it starts around

  • $350/month in an old building, usually from the communist era
  • $500/$600 in relatively recent buildings
  • +$1000 in a brand new building with top amenities.

With $1100/month, this man will spend 30% of his salary on rent. Is it good or bad? Let's hear from our friends in West of Europe and North America 🇺🇸.

How is the Rental situation in the West?

In Paris, London, Berlin, New York, LA or Toronto, people spend around +50% of their salaries on rental, for a much lower quality. And that's if they are lucky to find a decent place to rent, as they might have to queue for +6 months.

The craziest part is that some of the rental regulations in the West have become "non sense". As an example:

In Paris - France 🇫🇷, and as a general practice, you'll have to earn x3 times your rental. Now a modest studio of 25m2 in Paris, costs ≈ €1000. So you'll need to earn 3 x €1000 to rent a 25m2 in Paris, which is challenging for many young professionals.

This is because the minimum legal salary in France is €20966,40/year, which is = €1747,20/month (before tax). But if you are a highly educated Master's Degree holder, you'll start your career in Paris at ≈ €30k/year, meaning €2500/month before tax. If we take a tax bracket of 30% which is common for a single person in Paris, you'll end up with €1750/month after tax.

So in Paris - France, even if you're a highly educated Master Degree holder, you'll spend €1000 out of your €1750 salary on rent, meaning +57% of your salary will go to Rent (utilities excluded).

So how do people survive in the big cities of Paris, London and NYC, and you see them posting Vlogs in my day in "La Belle Epoque" style apartments?

I don't know: a rich boyfriend, a sugar mommy... you gotta be creative to make it in the West buddy 🌶.

I'm kidding 😉. There are many hard working people in the West, with inspiring stories. But many of them are wondering today: is it worth the effort? and can I go somewhere else where I don't have to struggle my best years for fundamental stuff, such as a roof over my head, affordable food, and physical safety.

You might think this is Paris or London. I'll give you a hint, it's a city on the Danube river 😉

But some have said: Enough is enough!

One week ago, I was in a café in Năvodari (the new Mamaia). There was a western British/American man in his late 40s, early 50s. He seemed like a digital nomad, working remotely. I overheard his discussion with the waitress (a beautiful Romanian Nevastă!). He said:

"For the past 2 years since the pandemic, I've been living around Eastern Europe, and sometimes Latin America. I lived in Budapest for 2 months, in Prague for 3 months, in Bucharest for 6 weeks, and now in Năvodari for a couple days. Tomorrow I'm flying to Istanbul because I saw that the flight is so cheap from Constanța (less than $100 luggage included, in outstanding Turkish Airlines experience)... he concluded saying: I don't ever want to live in an expensive city like in England of America..."

He seemed like someone who had just experienced the pure taste of freedom, safety, and quality of life for the first time in his life. I can relate...

Anyway, that was my 20 cts thought...🪙 - "River Newsletter"

🎞🍿 Videos I posted this week (some of them)

The best coast in the planet 🌊🌎

The industrial golden era of Romania 🏭🇷🇴 (Part 1/6)

Largest Port in the Danube 🛳

Better than Tuscany, Italy 🍝🇷🇴

@oopsimovedagain Better than Tuscany in Italy 🇷🇴 #fyp #livesmart #oopsimovedagain ♬ original sound - Oops, I moved again!