And they’re off. We saw on the news this morning that already the reports about pensiunile care fac ultimele pregatiri pentru craciun had begun, so we knew that it was time to dust off and roll out the annual Bucharest Life Romanian TV News Christmas Bingo post.
As eagerly awaited as Christmas itself (but not, of course, as eagerly awaited as the highlight of Christmas: The Economist’s Double Issue), it’s time once again to play the nation’s most popular Christmas parlour game.
You know the deal.
As all Romanian media outlets follow the same formula when reporting news and events, you can usually guess exactly what cliches they will use at certain times. Christmas is one, hence Romanian TV News Christmas Bingo.
Over Christmas and New Year, tune in to the news every now and then and tick off these cliches/scenarios as they get rolled out:
The first (already on your screens on some channels) will be pensiunile si gazde se pregatesc pentru turisti. There will be reports from a pension in a village somewhere (probably Maramures) where there will be much talk of preparing for the arrival of turistii.
In (insert name of village here) pregatirile pentru Craciun sunt in toi.
Turistii (when they arrive) will be interviewed in front of a masa belsugata and will say how wonderful it all is.
There will then be a report from a border crossing point, as Romanians working abroad come home for Christmas. Bonus points for spotting the phrase:
Masinile Romanilor din strainatate sunt supraincarcate cu cadouri pentru cei dragi de acasa.
On Christmas Day itself, the news of the birth of Isus Hristos will be reported as if it were just that: news.
Some brave souls will – whatever the weather – take a Christmas Day walk on the pier in Constanta, by the casino. A Pro TV camera and reporter will be there to greet them. (This exact scenario will be repeated again on New Year’s Day).
Early in the afternoon on Christmas Day, you should expect a report from the Vatican. The following words will be used:
Papa Benedict a vorbit despre (whatever he talks about) si a zis si cateva cuvinte in limba romana (cue Pope saying Craciun fericit). Again, this exact scenario will be repeated on New Year’s Day, except the Pope will say La multi ani.
Boxing Day the action moves to the ski resorts. Zapada will be numai buna de ski. Iubitorii de sporturile de iarna au luat cu asalt statiuniile de pe Valea Prahovei.
In the days running up to New Year’s Eve, there will be reports on how much a night out in Bucharest’s clubs will cost you. There will be much use of the word ‘inedite‘ to describe the ‘surprize‘ being prepared by cele mai luxoase cluburile Bucurestene. Cue interview with manager club who will tell us how his/her venue is preparing ceva nemaivazut in Romania.
On New Year’s Day, there will then be footage of tineri dancing in one of the clubs featured the day before.
The prize for ticking off all of the above is a fortnight’s self-catering holiday in Pyongyang. Good luck.
On a serious note, we are depressingly certain that there will be a number of news stories from hospitals on New Year’s Day, as once again the most cretinous members of the population cause yet more serious injury with fireworks and firecrackers.
And, if you have noticed the similarities of this post with that of this time last year, or with our Easter Bingo competition, then we are guilty as charged.
Don’t blame us: blame the Romanian TV news channels.