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.
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.
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 took a week off (meaning I decided to say no to potential assignments) in order to move out of my apartment at my own pace. It’s going ok, but not any faster than I feared. On the contrary, it feels like keeping all this junk for so many years is a seldom display of scornfulness against oneself. I found 3 laptops from another era, my parents’ entire harvest of hazelnuts back from 2013 or something, all my curriculum compendiums from who knows when and lots of bits and bobs from when I was a poor student.
There are few things I love more than my mother country in summer. The poppy fields, lounging with bubbles in a beer garden, visiting my grandma in the countryside and eating all kinds of fruit straight from the source, coffee breaks with my friends, dinners with my family, the sweet scent of linden and honeysuckle, children playing in the parks, to name a few.
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.
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.
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! 😉
The linden trees are in bloom and the whole town smells intensely of summer, of long coffee breaks and French kisses.
We had these babies at M60, a lovely mid-century café, frequented by the “creative class”, as the Financial Time puts it.
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.
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.
“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. 😉
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.
Happiness is a warm pretzel with salt and poppy seeds. 😉 Can you tell?
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!
Being home after 4 days of boring hotel life is a blast. Not only do I get to hang out with my two favourite guys in the world, but I can eat whatever I feel like, sleep to my heart’s content and move around without the need to put on a bra and take the elevator down 4 floors. Beat that! 😉
It´s Friday again and this week has been glorious. New couch, new String shelf, lots of coffee and dinners with friends and plenty of me-time. 😉 I´ve managed to do my nails (hate it), read a book- The Coffee shop of my Lost Youth by Patrick Mondiano, made some moussaka and gave away a couple of things we don´t need anymore on the internet.
Today I went to work early, just to be sent home again when the defendants failed to show up. Well, well. I have the whole day to myself and I get paid for half of it, too.;-) Cuddling up with Mr. Beo (the cat) and watching some good old Netflix, I reckon.
Have a lovely Friday!
These amazing nature photographs are taken by Lucia Bujor for the Facebook group called “273 places you have to see before you leave Romania”. They picture a fairytale-like landscape in Muntele Mic, Caransebes, when trees, grass, creaks and fences are covered in rime, just before winter sets in. I don´t know about you, but as much as I love white palm trees beaches, my heart skips a beat when I see images from home. Enjoy and let next year´s trip go to Romania!
Although it´s still February, we´ve seen the sun a couple of times, it snowed and the snow melted again, in a few words- I´m in the mood for spring. Thought I´d share with you a couple of pictures of our apartment and our life while waiting for spring. 🙂