The people of Eibenthal don’t lock their money in safes, or hide it under the floorboards. Instead they are known for hanging coins and notes in colourful bags from fence posts, waiting for a bread delivery.
The Romanian village has become renowned as an area free of thieves because although the cash could easily be stolen, it never is, euronews.com informs in a feature posted on the website.
Nestled in a dip between hills in Western Romania, Eibenthal is mainly populated by ethnic Czechs. Cut off from the rest of the country by the Danube, its inaccessibility is the key to its charm.
“The car delivering bread comes every two days and I buy 4-5 loaves. I put the exact amount in the bag or I leave a note with how many loaves I want and the driver leaves the change”, says 40-year old Augustina Pospisil.
“We’ve never had problems, not at all, I’ve never heard of money or bread disappearing,” she observes.
“I leave the bag there and I go to work on the field and in the evening, when I come back, I find the bread and the change,” says 75-year-old Stefan Benedict, whose family have lived in Eibenthal for four generations.
Benedict says he has no desire to follow his grandsons and other former residents who have moved to the Czech Republic for a less isolated life.
“When people from our village go to work in the Czech Republic, they call them “Romanian Gypsies.” When somebody gets angry here in Romania, they call us the “Czech Gypsies.” It’s like we belong to nobody, neither to Romania, nor to the Czechs,” he observes.
The village’s population of 300 people quadruples each summer when a music festival – Festival Banat – attracts hundreds of visitors from Prague and further afield.