Israeli teen ends up in orphanage on a stopover in Romania

Gal Bashan, 17, was on his way back from vacation with friends; he tried to use his Romanian passport but learned he couldn’t leave the country without an adult chaperone and his mother had to fly in from Israel to release him; his updates on the ordeal on social media became viral

Itamar Eichner|
Gal Bashan landed in Romania on Wednesday on a stopover en route to Israel and found himself held at an orphanage outside the airport until his mother flew in especially to pick him up.
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  • The bizarre incident started when Bashan and two friends landed in the European country on their way back from a vacation in the UK. Waiting for a transit flight back to Israel, Bashan, who also holds Romanian citizenship, decided to use his Romanian passport to cut waiting times in the queue for border control.
    2 View gallery
    גל בשן שתקוע ברומניה
    גל בשן שתקוע ברומניה
    Gal Bashan in Romania
    Little did the 17-year-old know, underaged Romanian citizens are prohibited by law from leaving the country without an adult chaperone, and he was detained by an immigration officer and put in an orphanage near the airport by welfare services.
    Scared and confused, Bashan began posting updates about his predicament on his social media accounts, which became viral.
    At the orphanage, he shared, he was given his own room as well as food.
    The Israeli Embassy in Romania also got involved in the early morning hours.
    “The lady from Romanian welfare is taking me to an orphanage until my mom comes from Israel to pick me up,” Bashan wrote on his Twitter account. “I’m scared and shaking. I don’t know what kind of kids they have there and what they might do to me. I just want to go home.”
    At the orphanage, Bashan wrote: “I arrived at the orphanage and convinced the staff to give me my own room. I’m supposed to wait here until my mom arrives in Romania.”
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    שרון טל בשן אמו של גל בשן שתקוע ברומניה
    שרון טל בשן אמו של גל בשן שתקוע ברומניה
    Sharon Tal-Bashan
    (Photo: via Twitter)
    After some of the uncertainty dissipated, Bashan seemed to take the whole ordeal in good humor.
    “Thank you all for your concern, I love you. No one speaks English here so I use Google Translate to communicate," he tweeted.
    "They said they’ll take me to the airport around the time my mom lands. I feel safer and I’m doing well."
    In another tweet, he seemed to enjoy his newfound Internet fame.
    “I started the day with 1,400 followers, I reached 2,000. I’m so glad I was dumb enough to use the Romanian passport,” he wrote.
    Gal seems to have gotten his sense of humor from his mother, Sharon Tal-Bashan, who landed in Romania at around noon to pick him up and tweeted, "Thank you very much to everyone who cares, I decided to leave Gal at the orphanage."
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