Now I am living at the border with Serbia, but in my childhood I was living at the border with Bulgaria. It is true, during the communist era there was not so much visits of the Romanians in Bulgaria or Bulgarians in Romania. Now, a lot of Romanian pass on their way to Turkey or Greece through Bulgaria, or just stop in Bulgaria, to start a business there or to visit the Bulgarian seaside where it seems that the services are better than in Romania. Or to buy food from Bulgaria, especially vegetables; Bulgarians are known as very good gardeners.
The size of the countries is almost the same, and the people from Bulgaria and Romania have about the same mentality, and same living standards. So, both neighbors have to be like brothers, to help each other.
Unfortunately, after the revolutions against the communism in 1989, and especially after starting the preparing to be included in the European Union, most of the Bulgarians (I do not know about the common Bulgarians, but I am sure about the Bulgarian authorities) see Romania sooner as a rival and an enemy than as a neighbor.
On the one hand, the Romanians see the Bulgarians as some kind of barbarians, non-civilized people, with an accentuated corruption within the office workers, especially within police and custom-house authorities. It is very known in Romania that if you travel in or through Bulgaria, you have to have prepared some money for the police and custom-house authorities that ask for bribery directly, without embarrassment.
On the other side, the Bulgarians see the Romanians like a people of gypsies, they understanding by “gipsy” the people that steal and beg for money.
Unfortunately, this is not enough. Due to this mentality, and because the Romanian foreign affairs was never weaker than these last years and do not react at the external problems created against the Romanians outside the Romanian borders, the Romanians encounter all kind of offences and wrong treatments when they are in Bulgaria. Last such kind of event was yesterday when five Bulgarian police men beat a Romanian driver that was coming back in Romania from Bulgaria, than arrested him for injury. There are pictures and movies made by other Romanian tourists with all this incident.
So, I really do not understand why this hostility, for the peoples from the two neighboring countries, that have nothing to divide and everything to gain if they help each other.
PS After writing this article, I made some search on Internet about Romania and Bulgaria relationship. I see a lot of histories, articles and maps, especially on YouTube (just make a search with the keywords “Bulgarian borders” and you will see it) about how big was Bulgaria in the past and how all its neighbors eat their old territories. Is it possible that the hostility to be due to this issue maintained by the Bulgarian nostalgic people?
I have to say that I never thought to such a issue between the two countries, and I am sure that the Bulgarians and Romanians that I know from my childhood was very close friends and never felt that they have to fight or to be hostile for what was happening in the past.
In the video, an history “lesson” posted on YouTube 3 weeks ago about the Bulgarian borders, entitled “History for Romanians”