Home

Once or twice a year, I get to go to the place I still call home, although I actually only lived here for about 8 months, 17 years ago. But as much as Calarasi is the place of my birth and Craiova was my home during childhood and adolescence , Bucharest is the home of my soul. It’s in fact the only place I’ve lived where I’ve ever felt like home, if I come to think of it.

Don’t get me wrong- much of it is completely destroyed by the megalomaniac Soviet architecture, but the old neighbourhoods are an oasis of calm and allure. Lush gardens, decrepit old houses, hipsters and grey people, elegant gals and Roma dressed in their colorful skirts, for whom I only used to have disdain back in the day, I embrace it all and feel blessed to have grown up with so much diversity. And although I’m often taken for a foreigner and feel out of place from time to time, I really love it here. It’s home.
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This girl made my day! I was walking past a couple of other Roma girls with small children, thinking how I’d love to photograph them, but I couldn’t possibly do it, I’d have to ask and they’d probably say no and who knows what else, when she came to me asking me to take a picture. I immediately said yes, but then she asked for money and so I said no. But then she changed her mind, enticed by the idea of being the subject of someone’s interest, and said ok, just take a picture. And then she and her friend rushed to my camera to see the picture and exclaimed: Wow, I look like a real star! 😉 And she did! She couldn’t have been more than 12-14 years old, ribbon in her hair, she was proud as a peacock and posed in front of the camera with as much natural talent as any model.

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Today was incredibly hot and I used that as an excuse to buy a new skimpy dress and a top, both silk, from COS. When I’d finally changed, I felt I could even survive in the desert and so I and my brother hit one café after another, drinking iced latte, lemonade, prosecco and more lemonade again. The Prosecco was a terrible move as it only made us even more hot and thirsty. But hey, I’m on a holiday and he’s taken some days off to be with his sis! 😉

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The linden trees are in bloom and the whole town smells intensely of summer, of long coffee breaks and French kisses.

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We had these babies at M60, a lovely mid-century café, frequented by the “creative class”,  as the Financial Time puts it.

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The best part of coming home, besides seeing my mom, is I get to hang out with this cutie here! 😉 I don’t know how you feel about children, I for one tend to either love or barely stand them, but this cutie here makes my heart fill with tenderness, the way I’ve never really felt before.

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She’s so cheeky and so affectionate and she says whatever crosses her mind, not very unlike me- haha, it’s so refreshing to be together and do the craziest stuff.

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“Nuca”, meaning walnut, is the neigbour’s cat and comes for a visit every now and then. This morning he was meowing outside the apartment door and he jumped right in when I opened up. 😉

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A new coffee spot in town. I’ll check it out tomorrow, as we sat in the garden and it turned out the terrace belonged to another place.

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Happiness is a warm pretzel with salt and poppy seeds. 😉 Can you tell?

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My mom on the balcony of my airbnb. I love this place and I’d love to be back here again! Stay tuned for more fun!

xxx, Alina

Easter Break

Easter is finally here and it couldn’t have come any sooner! I’ve been busting my ass off lately, traveling here and there, planes and trains and cars and busses and what not. I really need some time off, sunny days filled with good food and drink, walkies with Sammy, dosing off in front of our new favourite series- Hotel Beau Séjour- and painting around the house. I’m finally selling after the holidays and I need all the help I can get from a fresh coat of paint and newly washed windows. I was about to write “if you feel like helping out”, but then I realised what I need most is some people detox. Haha! Too much socializing in my line of work, they end up eating you alive!

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Christmas 2016

Christmas is a difficult time for many people, myself included. All this focus on family, the being on your best behaviour and the “look how successfully we’re wrapping up the year” makes me feel pretty exhausted. I feel much closer to many of my friends than to some of my blood relatives. As for the in laws, I’ve never been a mother-in-law’s dream, God knows why, and this time is no different. haha!_mg_9892 Continue reading

Busy days

These last two weeks have been full of good food and visitors. Although I´m still waiting to get paid and consequently I could have eaten the  case officer alive, I´ve done my best to be a good host and enjoy the company of friends and family. First my cousin came from Romania with a couple of her friends and stayed for a night and then went on an adventure in the Southern and Western Norway, climbing mountains and getting engaged (the friends, not the cousin). 😉 _MG_9229 Continue reading

Romania 2016

Being at home for a few days at the beginning of January was so soothing! It´s a wonder how family and close friends have the power to get you on the right track again, help you pull yourself together. 😉 I already wrote a couple of entries on the trip, but now I got the pictures to go with the story and it´ll be easier to see what I mean. 🙂

Just look at us, three generations of beautiful and strong women! 😉 Every time I speak to this little lady here I feel my chest swell with so much love, it´s amazing I don´t choke! She´s that special, the little rascal! 😉 So funny, too! She makes me laugh so hard I start hiccuping!

“Hi, how are you? I´m fine!”

“Hi, sweetheart! I´m good, too!”

“Who are you with? I´m with my baby doll!”

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Ramblings

It´s refreshing to be back in Bucharest, where most of my family and friends live, I let myself be dragged into its moist grip, I venture in it like in the arms of a lover.

As I do it, I´m trying to get a grasp of myself in the mirrors of the city. I sometimes catch a glimpse of my old self, familiar gestures go through me with the violence of an ambush. I go to the same places and although they smell the same, they bring me in a slight state of faint.

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Xmas Eve and Xmas Brunch

Christmas in Norway is entirely destined to family. Whereas in Romania you´re expected to be at home during the day, but can choose go out for a drink with friends in the evening, in Norway, most places are closed and the city turns into a ghost town. It´s literally like in Oliver Twist, you can walk around peeping inside people´s apartments and see them dining and feasting and you´ll feel like the loneliest person alive. IMG_8369 Continue reading