Expats in Romania: Kinga James

Kinga James, expat in Romania

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Kinga James – Qbeech Art Gallery

Can you please introduce yourself and share a bit about your background?

My name is Kinga James, also known as Kinga Kubicz, and I sign my art as Qbeech. I’m an artist and the founder of QBEECH Art Gallery. I’m from Poland but currently live in Romania, where I create art.

I get my art ideas from nature and my travels. I enjoy exploring Europe and Asia, and my big dream is to travel all around the world. Besides art, I’m also a certified Bodybuilding Instructor and Fitness Trainer, and I find motivation from sports.

People from different parts of the world have seen my art in exhibitions. Some of these places include Poland, Romania, and the USA. In June 2021, I teamed up with British author Graham Masterton for an art charity event. From October 15th to November 15th, 2022, my watercolor paintings were shown in Real Place, New Taipei City, Taiwan. I had a show at Hotel Sunny Hill in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in November 2022, and in February 2023, I had exhibitions in Dubai, UAE.

I fell in love with art when I was young. Making art lets me share beauty, hope, happiness, and motivation with others. I learned traditional art techniques, but my paintings mix realism, abstract styles, and impressionism.

I mostly focus on watercolor and acrylic portraits of people and animals. I also like creating custom
portraits, pictures of things like nature, landscapes, and buildings.

If you’re interested, you can see my original art on the QBEECH Art Gallery website: https://www.qbeech.com.

You can also find my latest art on my Facebook pages:

You can also find me on Instagram:

What motivated you to choose Romania as your expat destination?

Romania wasn’t my choice, it chose me. My husband found work here, and we both fell in love with the country.

What surprised you most about life in Romania when you first arrived?

When I arrived in Cluj-Napoca, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that many people speak English fluently.

Can you share a particular cultural aspect of Romania that fascinates you?

Romania feels a lot like Poland to me, so I feel right at home. The people are generally friendly and polite.

How easy or difficult was it for you to learn the Romanian language?

I haven’t really learned Romanian since most people in Cluj-Napoca are comfortable speaking English.

Do you have a favorite Romanian dish?

I’m a big fan of Asian cuisine and spicy food, but I have a soft spot for Romanian desserts.

What was your biggest challenge as an expat in Romania and how did you overcome it?

Communicating with those who don’t speak English can be challenging, especially when I need help from a translator or an app. Sometimes, conversations can get lost in translation, leading to misunderstandings.

Can you tell us about your experience with the healthcare system in Romania?

I’ve only needed healthcare once in Romania, and I was impressed with the tests and diagnosis provided by the doctors.

Can you describe a typical day in your life as an expat in Romania?

Being a freelancer means every day is unique and full of surprises.

How has living in Romania influenced or changed you personally and/or professionally?

I’ve become more adaptable in planning my day and tasks.

What are some social or community activities you engage in as an expat?

There are plenty of activities for expats to join, but due to my limited time, I usually opt for events within The International Women’s Club and activities at Antiohia church in Cluj.

How did you find your first home in Romania? Do you have any tips for house-hunting in this country?

Searching for a house or apartment in Cluj-Napoca is a different and often challenging experience. The quality of buildings and apartments differs from what I’m used to, and prices are quite high. Additionally, finding landlords who allow pets, which is a concern for many expats, can be difficult.

Have you found it easy to make friends and socialize in Romania? Any tips on this?

Making friends in Romania, both locals and expats, has been easy for me. I’ve connected through church communities (like Antiohia in Cluj-Napoca, which is an international Christian church) and The International Women’s Club. There are also helpful Facebook groups available.

What advice would you give to someone planning to move to Romania?

If you’re moving here, it’s a good idea to find temporary accommodation while searching for a suitable apartment or house. Make sure to thoroughly read and understand the rental contract before signing.

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