31 weeks into my pregnancy and moving into our new home in just 5 weeks, being back on track doesn’t really begin to cover it. After the holidays, we have to do what’s needed to evaluate, style and sell the apartment, as well as apply for parental benefits, go to work, walk Sammy and purchase the rest of the stuff the baby needs- like pram, diapers and clothes for the first two months. What can I say, with this terrible cold and the dark outside, I feel overwhelmed before even starting. Thank God I’m not working until Tuesday afternoon and so tomorrow I’m calling my chiropractor, fetching Sam and easing into things.
My mother country in winter time is usually a desolate sight. Upon arriving to the airport I was struck by the feeling that I’d landed back in time in the communist era. Everything was so grey, people were so poorly dressed, nobody smiled, everyone went about their business with a shut off face. It could also have been the fact that I had a cold and I was generally tired, but I felt so estranged, like there was no connection between me and the land.
It’s late in the evening, I’ve packed my bags, stuffed them with gifts and goodies for big and small and can’t wait to head home tomorrow. I say home, although we’ll be staying in an airbnb in Bucharest and not at my parents’ house in Craiova, because home is where your heart is and mine is in Bucharest.
Fall at Artichoke
Artichoke has been my favourite coffeeshop in Bucharest for a couple of years now. I love its Berlin-like atmosphere, its tasty coffee, its young staff and their generous approach to fucking up- a couple of sodas on the house go a long way in my book! 😉
I’m home for a long weekend for my birthday with my good friend Kristin and I couldn’t have asked for a better present! We’re back in time for a couple of days, wandering around in summer dresses, sipping rosé on sidewalk cafés, venturing into all the pretty churches, eating pretzels and buying books, talking about everything that crosses our mind, laughing loudly and soaking up the sun.And it’s so good to be home, my body throbs with fervor, I can barely sleep, I’m that excited! Yesterday I wasn’t even hungry, we’d been walking and walking, lunch was long overdue and I’d only had a pretzel, but there was no time for food, not as long as there were so many more things left to see, then dinner came and I had something light, but I still didn’t feel like eating, I only did it because I had to.
I´ve been in court for 4 days and I’m beat. The intensity of the case drained me of what little energy I’d manage to build up and now I’m back to square one. Lying in bed, coffee beside me, listening to the janitor mowing the lawn outside, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be a freelancer. I have an entire day to myself and nobody can take that away from me. I don’t have any plans today, originally I was thinking of staying in and writing a bit, but now I decided to take my laptop with me, meet a friend for coffee and hunt for props while in town. And then write for a couple of hours. Continue reading
Bucharest part II
I was a bit disappointed to hear that F was teased at work since he’d caught a cold and stayed home for a couple of days right after our trip: “Did you get food poisoning in Bucharest?” a French buddy said. “I hear you were in Bucharest”, a Czech colleague added, “it must have been wild!” And I know it was all a joke to them, but I have to admit it hurt. Here we are in 2018, traveling like never before and still harboring the same stereotype views of the world. Book a trip, I blurted out! We decided to invite them and serve them Romanian wine the same quality and price range as the French ones, hiding the label to see their reaction. ‘Cause it’s easy to classify persons as “ignorants”, but the thing is many decent people probably feel the same way, but don’t say it out loud and so nobody ever corrects them. Anyways, rant of the day.
Spring in Bucharest
Good old Bucharest! I hadn’t been home since October, I was planning a trip in February, but then a trial came up and I postponed it, just to get the flue and succumb to it for 3 whole weeks. In the meantime both Diana and my brother got the chicken pox and so in the end I was lucky to stay away, ’cause I can’t remember having had it as a child. In the end we decided to go together for the Protestant Easter, since it’s a bank holiday and we both had some time off.
I read in a traveling blog about a tour with a local guide in Bucharest called Beautiful Decay and ordered one at once. Unfortunately, the tour was not available anymore, but I did manage to rebook it to Alternative Bucharest and got the world’s nicest guide, Mircea, to show me around the lesser known areas of Bucharest with some inside information of historic, architectural and urban character. Street art, murals, hidden gems, dilapidated houses, different ways of building and creative approaches towards social equity for Roma people were a few of the subjects we discussed while walking our boots off around the city center.
Lunch at Energiea
Most times I come to Bucharest, I make sure I fit a lunch or coffee with Irina, a high school friend, in my “busy” schedule. 😉 It’s so refreshing to meet with someone so different and easy going in the “run, run, run” mentality of Romania, I can’t even begin to tell you. Things seem to be changing a bit though and the younger generation appear more hedonistic than my friends, more set on leisure time and freelancing, just like me.
So we met at Origo, my favourite place, both for the coffee, the people and the shade, where I’d just managed to empty half a cortado in my lap, on the same silk dress a pigeon had “blessed” a day before. Haha! I wasn’t even furious, I felt like a kid with an ice-cream, unable to eat it without smudging all over herself.
I’d asked the guy next to me on the bench if he liked Bucharest, since he spoke English and carried a huge camera, just like me. And he told me yes, it was his second time and he came all the way from Texas. When I told Irina she was like “I can get somebody straying once, but coming back to Bucharest?” Haha! I told her I totally got it, especially if you’re not into sights (like I’m not), and more into people and taking a city’s pulse with a camera on your neck.
We had a lovely elderflower lemonade to go with our pasta and salad lunch and raised the bar with a Prosecco by the end, since it was Friday and we only see each other once a year. 😉
Irina has a 3 year-old boy and we chatted about sleeping and reading routines, I mentioned my Diana one too many times and I might have slipped in Sam, too, even though he’s “just a dog”, since he’s my only kid. 😉
We spoke of other colleagues from high school, how some of them never seem to have time to meet, how others have secluded themselves and others again have just disappeared from the map.
I’m going to visit her at home today, so stay tuned for pictures of what I hear is a lovely garden and “maybe”, if I’m allowed, of a toddler. 😉