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!

xxx, Alina

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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It´s a girl! <3

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Five days ago we got a call from V´s sister, she´d given birth to a sweetheart of around 3 kg; mother and baby were both fine and we were welcome to call on them during the weekend! What a joy! We were so excited, we just needed to find the perfect present first! After entering a couple of children´s stores, outraged about the prices (I usually like to gift one-of -a-kind things, so I normally purchase kid´s things on sale), we finally spottet the cutest baby shoes we could think of. Aren´t they adorable?! Continue reading


Heia! How have you been? I´ve been running around these couple of days, between jobs, friends and home and my whole body hurts as though I´d been working with my back! Besides buying groceries and taking Sam out once out of three times, I haven´t done that much, but working as an interpreter sure takes its toll on me. After a 9 hours´ day, I usually fall half-dead on the couch and watch Hbo with V. (we´re on Brotherhood now and we love it!)

Today was not as busy however, so I managed to squeeze in a long awaited coffee with a friend of mine and Sam. We sat outside with our necks stretched towards the sun (while Sam was hiding under the bench) and I almost had a heat stroke, I swear! But it felt amazing, after all these cold days, when winter seemed to be never-ending, you need a bit of sun to feel alive again!

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We´re back in Bucharest and it´s great! 😉 Haven´t been on a holiday since last year, except for a short 3 days´ break in Vienna at the beginning of January. In addition to that, Romania is really nice this time of the year- the accacia trees are in bloom, the temperature is warm, but not steamy and everything is green.

We got here on Wednesday about midnight, my brother and sister-in-law picked us up at the airport and we had some drinks at our auntie´s place where we´re staying this time. They´d bought some corn puffs and my mother had made some roast potatoes and chicken, so we had a late night dinner, too.

Yesterday we woke up late- it had poured all morning and the air was fresh, but warm, just the way I like it. 😉 We had coffee and breakfast at Origo, where we´re regulars when in town. They have the best coffee ever. Afterwards we walked for a bit and grabbed a cab to my brother´s place to catch up with mom and babysit our niece while she was going to the dentist.

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Return from Mother Country

As you might have realized, I´ve been away for a week. Back to my mother country, or, to be more precise, Bucharest. More than anything, it was a time travel- as I implied last time I mentioned my trip- to a stage in my life when the future still held everything in store and my hopes were sky-high. I´ve been living in Norway for 14 years now and I look back on my year in Bucharest with a mixture of nostalgia and of “things that could have been”.

This being said, my “future” turned out just right, my country´s, however, never raised to my expectations. Buildings are crumbling down, corruption is still everywhere, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, even the middle class seems to be flattening out into a mass of people learning how to survive with what they have.

Leaving politics and the deplorable speed at which things happen aside, Bucharest is a nice city to visit. Plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, stores and bookstores. Throw in some museums, lovely architecture in the old town and some of the city´s main streets, fairly low prices and welcoming people, there´s no reason why you shouldn´t give it a chance for a weekend or so.

I was there for a week to see my family, especially my niece, who is the crown jewel of our “dynasty”, to meet up with friends, have some laughs, some drinks, get hold on some books in Romanian and shop. I love Max Mara and they don´t have it in Norway any more! Can you even imagine?;-)

So I dined and wined, visited people and places, mostly the same places (and people!;-)), as my need for stability is ever so present, ate the eclairs and the pies my body had craved for an entire year, stayed in the same lovely hotel Cismigiu and explored. The city was sad and grey in the dirty February light, the temperature was nothing to fuss over, either, but the 1st of March brought a token of spring and people gave each other flowers and symbolic jewelry as they do every year. And it was lovely to see everybody, now I´ve recharged my batteries for a while. I´m sure I´ll go back to feeling home sick in no time!

Check out Amsterdamming´s entries on Bucharest!

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All work and no play

I´m so worked up by my own problems, schedule, moods and goals that I managed to get myself into a really old-fashioned fatigue. No matter what´s happening, I only dream of a holiday. I tried to think of other stuff, get a haircut, buy some new clothes, but the thing is I´m bored with the scenery. So I bought tickets for Tallin, Estonia in december. Figured that 3 days in a spa hotel with lots of pampering haven´t hurt anyone. Besides, we´ll be shopping at their famous Christmas markets and stroll in the pretty old town. I got my hopes up on´vin chaud´or ´gluhwein´or whatever they call it out there, I´m going to have a mug every other hour, I reckon.

Meanwhile, I´m all buried in papers and accountancy, drinking too much coffee and walking around with sky high shoulders. I feel that my days are so unpredictable that no matter how much I try to make it through the day without getting an ulcer, something will destroy the balance- either somebody´s late, which makes me late for my next appointment, or the traffic and the Gods are against me.

That being said, I´m looking forward to Berlin in two weeks. Conference and pleasure, what do you know?! If you feel the urge to recommend some places, please do! Otherwise, I hope it´s warmer there than here and that the Thai food is just as amazing and the drafts just as big.

To wrap things up I just want to tell you that I´m a very proud auntie, I have the cutest niece and I´m looking forward to seeing her soon. She has the cutest smile and already 6 teeth! Take a look for yourselves! Isn´t she adorable?!

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