Singin' in the Rain

Today is the last day of summer. It looks as the weather knows it and has adapted itself to the calendar. All day long has been raining. The sky has been grey. The wind has been blowing. People have hide themselves under the umbrellas, behind high stand-up collar of jacket and raincoats. And maybe only kids jumping through the puddle have been happy that the autumn is coming.

With the rain appeared small lakes in the streets, cuz of holes in the asphalt. But drivers were like usually driving to fast, didn’t care about those who had less luck and instead of being inside warm car or bus, were walking in the rain. So, on my way from home to bus stop (200metres, no longer) I was splashed 3 times by cars. From head till feet. All my clothes were wet and dirty. I can say that I got today first lesson of “autumn’s survival in Romania”.  The main rule is: keep yourself far away from the street, holes in the asphalt and mad drivers! Otherwise you will have “cold shower”!

Don’t make me wrong, I know sometimes is hard to stay dry when it’s raining. And I know that some situation are unpredictable and it’s normal, that I will get wet, if rain catch me unprepared without umbrella. Even more, I really like dancing in the rain. But, it should be me who decide when and where! 😉 It makes me difference if I’m wet because of myself or if somebody (inside a car protecting himself from the rain) doesn’t care about others and their health.

Is it so difficult to think not only about ourselves? Can we adapt speed to the weather and street’s conditions? Va rog!

To make this lesson less bitter I want to introduce you Gene Kelly from the very old movie “Singin’ in the rain”. Despite of the cold shower in the morning, the song from this movie made my day! I hope that it will also make you smile 😉

watch?v=YdxCx7GilbQ

 

 

A few subjective visible things that you are more or less on Balkans

1)      Cables  & wires –

The first thing witch you probably will notice in Romania as well as in the other countries on Balkans, there are cables, a huge numbers of cables! There are everywhere. Among and across the streets. Tens or loose hanging over your had. Sometimes even it looks as they create a cable roof of invisible big house.

Trust me I’m an engineer!

In the past they were full of live. They used to connected people by phone talking, TV and Internet network. They were very “busy” sanding information, electricity, sounds and images from the world. But know, usually they are moving on the wind empty and sadly, thinking about good old days.

2)      Coffee time –  

small cup of hot, very strong coffee + big glass of cold water = devil’s connection. It’s the most popular view in open air coffee bars across the Balkans Peninsula. In Romania you have small mutation of it. In every corner, in almost all shops (doesn’t matter – food shop, clothes shop or even bookshop), on petrol station, bus and train stations as well – there are coffee machines. You can get very cheep instant coffee in every time of day and night.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s very easy to be addict to coffee here!

3) Cosmic blocs –

expect many commons bad things in post-comunism countries, one is funny (when you of course look only at the surface without going behind the front) –  shape of blocs, fantastic dream of crazy architects. Who have ever been in Estern Europe knows this gray big boring “matches” boxes. You can find them also in Romania, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, but between them your attention will attract – I’m sure! – unusual buildings, looking like space ships.

Tirana

Brasov

Novi Pazar, Serbia

4)      Hats! –

first time I saw it in the cover’s picture of  “On the Road to Babadag”, A. Stasiuk book about traveling in the Middle-East Europe. The gipsy man in white shirt and black suit is looking from under the black hat straight at camera’s face. His glances is deep and curious. In the same time he looks as he doesn’t care about not only photographer but anything around him.

The next time, when I met it face to face, was few years ago in a small train station in Gura Humorului. It’s owner was a big, fat man seating on the wooden box and drinking with us “bruderschaft” with accompaniment of rain knocking on the windows. During this summer I met a lot of them. Bigger, smaller, made from felt, lien and straw. Most of them were usually white (summer version) or black with black or crème ribbon around. They existed in different clothes combinations – with lien suit as well as with nonchalant unbutton shirt clinging to fat belly. For me they became a small symbol of Balkans.

5)      Chess, cards game, domino –

Before coming to Balkans I almost forgot that domino, cards game are still existed and chess could be played not only by old man. In Romania, as in Serbia, Albania or Montenegro, chess are the national sport.

6)      Minibuses and mad drivers –

the most mad drivers I’ve ever seen are from Balkans. They are not only drive fast, very fast, extraordinary fast, but also don’t use lights to show you, that they will turn into the nearest street. It’s normal here that drivers overtaking other cars as a second, third, or even forth in the line. While they are driving they can do (or they think, that they can do) a lot of things: speaking, calling, eating, even changing their clothes! Seriously! A friend from Oradea told us, that one of his driver on some small, twisting road in the mountain, kept steering wheel one hand, other having occupied by changing his t-shirt. All the time speed was around 90-100 km/h.!

7)      Improvisation  –

I have still kept in my mind one image from our on-arrival training –  friends from Cluji, trying to repair imaginary car by scotch. It was a metaphor of improvisations skills which are characteristic for Romanian. I always see this pictures from Predeal when Im going by the parking close to our bloc. Romanian inventiveness has still astonished me a lot. They can really creating something from nothing.

Parking lot - Brasov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improvisations always is related with fleetness of things. It looks like almost everything here is for a moment, in permanent motion and readiness to changes:

Moving newspaper's shop in Tirana

Maybe because of that, every time when I’m traveling cross Balkans, I’m in hurry. Everything is calling me: be fast, be attentive, be focus on what you see and feel today because tomorrow everything can change and for ex. Albania instead of being on the Balkans, will replace Australia.

So, carpe diem!

Kingdom of lost things


Title page of book "Ole Worma Museum Wormianum", Amsterdam 1655

 

Before your eyes get to see something in twilight, before you could be able to distinguish shapes of things hidden in the darkness, the smells is your guide in this kingdom of lost stuff. At first you smell dust mixed with ground after the raining and old basement, reminding a very old things or books. Then your eyes start to recognize single shapes which appear step by step next to you – in your left and right sight, in front of you, on the back. And suddenly you feel surrounded by things! They are everywhere! On each wall, on the floor, in the small windows, hanging from the ceilling. You are attacked by army of forgotten objects – parrafin lamp, old maps, postcards, pictures, coins, irons, coffee mills, wooden skis, all kinds of weapon – from knifes and dagger through halberd, first models of guns to elements of armour like helmets. They are from different times, they used to be use in different areas of people’s life. They are bigger, smaller, older, younger, made from wood, paper, iron, silver, wool, in good condition and almost totally destroyed – connected each other by collecting passion and love to history. Accidentally and mixed collections conveys atmosphere of this place – full of stones, half-rebuilt houses and memory of past glory. It corresponds good with the citadel and remains me beginning of modern museums.

In Renaissance Europe, this kind of places, called “cabinets of curiosities” or Kunstkammer (art-room) were the first step to public museums.  In typical cabinets of curiosities you could find very different things – shells, microscopes, paints, sculpture, exotic animals and plants or curiosity object related with mythology like horn of unicorn. They gathered together in one place science, legends and art. The most famous collection in that time belonged to Rudolf the Second from Prague. In  his collection he had paintings of Durer and Tizzian. From the XVI century they started to be open to the public.

In past kunstkammera was mainly a domain of  Italian aristocrats or European kings. Who is owner of this in Rasnov? Where is he?

……………………………………………………………………………..

Here! In the middle of his kingdom!

The slim, tall man with beard and moustache which he twists from time to time telling you amazing stories. In his crimson velvet hat, in his white linen shirt and striped pants he looks like Saxons citizen from the past. The real defender of Rasnov citadel.  But as he admits – now is a peaceful time, the citadel doesn’t has enemies any more, so he doesn’t have to fight with anybody. He can rest and give himself to his passion – collecting things. He started to do that 20 years ego. Some of object he got from people, some found, some bought. All of them are from the Rasnov neighborhood. The oldest is wooden elongated bowl to make a bread.

– It has almost 300 years! It took my grand grand grand grand grand mother all day to make one bread in it! – he said, gesticulating a lot. His voice is loudly but he can whisper, when he is telling rumors and secrets from passed life of citadel or amazing stories about his treasures:

– This broken vase I found in romans castle, 4 km far away from Rasnov. It was laying in the ground 2000 years and still has had inside itself a lot of positive energy. Few years ago we hosted in Rasnov special scientific expedition from America. They came here to study this positive energy and they discovered that only woman can feel it!

You can believe him or not. One is certain – he is a perfect story teller!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two seasons

We have been in Brasov since March. I remember as it was yesterday – snow was everywhere, cold wind was blowing, trees didn’t have any leaves, ours clothes were warm and heavy. At that time I was thinking that spring never comes. But first sign that I was wrong, that :

😉

was a primrose in our small garden in the front of the office:

Days started to be longer, wormer and … more green. We couldn’t stay no longer in the office. We asked Maria (our Romanian teacher) if we can move classroom to the garden. She said: ” yes!” Only for Oggy it was still too cold

 

It was very good time, full of activities. We prepared lesson for Altfel Week – some games like “stupid John”, pantomime and workshops – doing Easter Bunny from recycling materials.

 

The weather was perfect for outdoor activities so we had games with French and Romanian teenagers in the Tractorul Park.

 

And then when we fought that it will be warm forever – weather started to be crazy. Few beautiful sunny days and suddenly – rain, rain, never ending rain story. And the mood started to depend on the weather. After busys days, lazy days were coming. And colors were changing too. Everything changed its color for gray.

Fortunately Luci has been with us! He invited sercet garden. We cut along old plastic bottles to put inside ground and seeds of sunflower, patrunjez, magheran – When it was ready (gata) we hanged them on the fence.

 

It was a good idea.  Dogs days were over. We backed to work outside. Believe me or not it’s better to thinking, planning games and workshops among the green and flower, under the sky. So be ready! New photo game is coming! 🙂

Working we didn’t notice when spring has changed into summer!  Step by step roses have replaced primroses and tulips. In the corner, under the fruit tree appeared wild strawberry. When I start to eat them, I can’t stop…

À propos plants and small evaluation witch we had with Lucian last Friday.

My father said me:

– Remember, you can be sure only one thing in your life: changes.

Sometimes he is clever 😉 But what if somebody and something never changes?

Anna's plant

 

Mine plant - I've never been good at gardening 😉

 

 

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Multumesc pentru ajutor!

Posted by on Friday, June 15, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

It always starts on the road. Always is bed weather to do it – it’s too hot or too cold, too sunny or too windy, it’s raining. You starts too early or too late. You choose bad place to start. Everyone is from here. All cars are full. But – don’t give up!

Because…  in the same time it’s always a huge fun and adventures. You use to do things which you haven’t done before. Even more! You haven’t imagined that someday you could do them. During last hitch-hikking Kike learned how to sing old polish song and Furkan how to pray! 😉 After travel to Bucharest I know, that my problems with spelling is not a problem! Moreover, from time to time, it could be useful! Thanks “word’s game” (I mixed Polish with English) our paper with name of destination looked like that:

And we catch a car in 2 minutes!!!!

On the road you start to be a new person. You have only few seconds to get driver interested. You should be fast! You should look friendly. You should remind a person who might be a perfect companion in the journey. So: think positive and smile! Smile! Smile!

You can jump. You can sing. You can dance! (even you think that you can’t). You can draw yourself or dress up:

The most important are the people and interactions. Sometimes you spend together only few minutes which you need to drive 20 km. Sometimes your common travel takes few hours. Always it is only a small part from your life. Awareness of that makes people more open. They use to tell you things that maybe they haven’t told anybody. It’s perfect way to discover country, to know and understand better people who live here. Their dreams, problems, concern, way of thinking. It’s wonderful to observe life from stranger car, from new perspective 😉

 

You can ask: what if we don’t speak the same language, even more – common language? Your driver speaks fluently Romanian, French, German but not English or Polish? Don’t worry! You can understand each other! During the trip, using single words from different language or just body language, trying speak Romanian – you make your own travel Esperanto 😉

Somebody who takes you to her/his car is (usually) helpful, good, kind, open, curious of you, absorbing. From April when we had started to travel inRomania, we have met a lot of fantastic people! Like in clever polish sentence –  you remember the most first and last love 😉 – I exactly remember Ion, our first driver. We spent with him travel from Brasov to Arad. He not only was our driver but also teacher of  Romanian language. Thanks him now I can say (sometimes!) PAINE (bread) with this strange for me sound, something between “y” and “i”. He picked us up almost to the doorbell. And  I remember Julian – the last driver. He knows Turkish!!!! It was funny because on that time, going back from TIFF in Cluj, I did hitch-hikking with two Turkish guys – Oggy and Sercan. Way back from Sigishoara looked like scenes from movie “ Little Miss Sunshine” . Julian couldn’t drive more than 80 km/h because of the car. And car stopped 10  km before Brasov. Guys has pushed it . Exactly like in this movie!

It is hard to remember all of names, but I remember their faces, smiles, sometimes some small guests, words from conversation, their kindness and good intentions. Maybe it’s a good time and place to say them: Multumesc pentru ajutor!

 

 

 

 

 

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Wild Wild East

Posted by on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

With Anna we have a secret plan – going cross Romania from East to West and from North to South. After first hitchhiking trip we have knew Arad, Alba Julia, Deva on the West. Now is time for “wild wild east” and … coast. Kike said, that Delta Danube is wonderful place to see, so we packed our backpack, wrote destinations – Buzau, Tulcea, Sulina –  and started new adventure!

 

As it would turn out we are typical tourist. When we have choice between two roads, we always choose wrong. Before the trip we had studied on  map and chosen the shortest (in our mind) road, which was… passing cross the mountain. So in the end it was a longer way to Tulcea but in the same time it was the most beautiful road I’ve ever took: with a lot of serpentines among the mountains painted in all kinds of green, so close to clouds 😉

 

This time weather wasn’t our supporter 🙁 From the first day till last, almost all the time it was raining or if not – it was a strong wind and clouds followed us.

At least in  Galati the storm caught us in the ferry’s harbour. We were stopped by the wall of rain. It was impossible to see anything throw the rain neither crossed the Danube.

 

Next day we took a boat from Tulcea to Sulina. There is only one boat per a day and travel takes 4 hours. You can find, on this boat, everything – from of course people, through omnipresent in Romania big pattern bags, chicken, provisions of water and coca cola like for the army to furniture and wash machine.

 

In Sulina, maybe because of the weather, maybe because of the time (last weekend of May, still before the season) we and two Germans were the only tourist and we had the most beautiful beach for our own. It was after the storm, so beach looked like a graveyard of shells! We didn’t feel sand under foot, just shells.

 

We had also trip by small boat. The Danube Delta is totally amazing and wild. In small village (only 25 family has been living there) houses still have thatched roofs and walls from mud.

 

At least on the road to Mamaia we stopped in Babadag (Oggy said that in Turkish it means “Father of Mountain’). The city wasn’t in our mind, but sometimes road is your guide 😉 So our road led us to Babadag – to the end of the world 😉 For me is special place, because of the Andrzej Stasiuk book “Driving to Babadag” – “the diary of a journey through Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, in other words, as Stasiuk provocatively puts it, “the less obvious countries”*. After reading this book I felt in love with Romania.

Some years ago a lot of polish travelers used to go there to check what was so interesting in this city to inspire Stasiuk to write book about Central Europe. I had in my head some post from book & travel forum: “What the hell he saw in this city?! There is nothing!”. They have right. In Babadag you can’t fine nothing interesting to see. It’s typical small city with mosque, small bus station and post communist restaurant in the center. The life is passing slowly there. It seems to be forgotten by people and God. But maybe in this “nothing” is the secret 😉

 

 

*Marek Zaleski, Book Institute Pl

 

 

 

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Voluntary week

Posted by on Friday, May 18, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

This week is a “Voluntary week” in Romania. So every non-government organization prepared special programs and events for this week to encourage people to voluntary work. We had also some games and presentation in Economic High School in Brasov. In one of the class, we met boy who has been a volunteer in other ngo –  Centrul de Voluntariat Brașov. He invited us to eco workshop.

Afternoon we spent with him and his friend from organisation. Our task was make something useful from useless things like old cd, boxes, strings, cans, screws, balloons, wires, pieces of wood. We (with Kike, Anna and Sercan) decided to make home for birds. Kike with Anna were very fast. They made beautiful, green house from old box. I was totally lost, but with Sercan’s help, at least, I finished small home from can, cd, stings and balloon. It was in minimal, modern style because of combination of two different materials – metal can and string. Because of the round roof it also reminded – a little bit –  small, old Chinese man.

After workshops we had a eco-drum session. We tried to play a music from plastic and glass bottles, metal cans and wooded boxes. Kike was wondering if the balloon could be a music instruments…

All this “things from nothing” you can admire 😉 on special exhibition during the Voluntary Fair on this Saturday. We will also there, in Parcul Central Titulescu, from 10 till 16. Come and join! Because:

 

 

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Taming of the Shrew

Posted by on Thursday, May 10, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

You have known her since you were children. She is green, capricious, malicious. She is small, but she can annoy.  She is as hard as nails. She doesn’t care who she hurts. If you wouldn’t be careful she stings your fingers, hand, legs.  No, she isn’t a good girl !!! But she can be very useful for you. If you know, how to treat her.

Urtica (lat.), nettle (en.), urzica (ro.),  pokrzywa (pl.)

Since a long time people has believed that she has a magical power. In the Scandinavian legend for example, it was a plant of Thorn – god of thunders and storm – so it was treated as a natural protection against the thunder. In the past in Poland people used to think, that it also protected their houses against evil and witches – all kinds of demons. Because of this beliefs she has been also one of the most important plant in popular medicine. It has been thought, that nettle is a big source of iron, so it is good for health – cure anemia, liver, kidneys. Our grandmothers used it to make a tea and special rinse for hair. It made their hair more beautiful and soft, gave it a gloss.

Nowadays, during the spring, it is the most popular plant … on the Romanian street. It looks like each corner, market, main street has its own Gipsy with bags full of URZICA (nettle). This plant is still used as an important component of Romanian diet. They make from it soup, pasta, tea.

I was very curious how did it taste so I tried to prepare it according to a receipt (thx “uncle google”!). I washed fresh leafs of urzica and chopped them into very thin pieces. Then I put them into salted water and boiled it 15 min. As it was cooking I chopped garlic and spring onion. I took nettle out from the water and mixed it with three spoons of corn flour and one spoon of regular flour till it became like a pasta. After that I poured into pot an oil and a glass of water from nettles. Added nettle’s pasta, covered it and cooked 20-25 min. on a low hit. Five minutes before it was ready I had also added garlic, spring onion, salt and pepper.

Finally (uff!) we ate it with rice and if you read this post it means that it wasn’t a poison 😉 Maybe it wasn’t look like a “Miss World Among The Dishes”, but it tested exceptionally good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How you think is how you see

Posted by on Friday, April 27, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

If you read Anna’s blog, you already know, that… we did it! 😉

We hitch-hiking from Brasov to Budapest! In the theory it took us only 10 hour, but in reality it was a 6 days of traveling. During this time we visited 4 cities and met a lot of people – not only our drives but also guys from couch surfing who hosted us and… polish couple in Budapest. (They ware singing “Mercedes Benz” Janis Joplin on the empty, dark street, in the middle of the night. It made my flesh creep ).

After journey I felt as if  we were traveling not 6 days but 6 years – it was great time full of adventures, good mood and …challenges (especially for me). Really, every day brought something new and unexpected. The most important massage for me was:

 

But from the beginning…

 BRASOV – ARAD

After that trip I think, that all hills in Romania have their own castles or their own name which is written by big white letters on the top (like Hollywood).

Our lovely driver heard in the radio, that the weather wouldn’t be good on the Easter. So all the way from Brasov to Arad we were repeating mix of romanian and english words: “Nu rain!!! Nu rain!!! Nu rain!!!”, trying to change the weather. And… we did it! Next day in Arad was sunning and warm ^___^

 

We were in Aradon 13th of April. It was last Friday before Easter and there was a big market in the city. They sold: rabbits, quails etc.  Anna found her love 😉

       

 

Arad is very old city. In the past it used to be one of the most important cultural center in Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. But now it’s quite hard to notice it. It’s really beautiful city but a little bit neglected. Beacouse of that sightseeing was interesting travel in the past and imagination’s exercise. Did you know that in Arad was opened first theatre in Romania?

 

RADNA

It’s a small village 30 km from Arad. It’s  famous of  Basilica of  Maria Radna:

  

Where people leaves pictures and paintings as a votives to say “thanks” for God’s help. Sometimes the paintings are a little bit terrifying.

 

We also captured a castle in Radna! For me it was a challenge. I hate hiking. I always see myself falling down and broke my arms, legs whatever! Anna was very stubborn and I didn’t have any choice. I had to climb and… I did it!

 

SZEGED

…looks like little Budapest. You wouldn’t see it in my pictures, couse it was raining and we spent most of time with Mat our host guy in … pubs, drinking… mate 😉 It was a first big city on hungarian’s side of the border and it surprised us quantity of bicycles paths (their really like to ride bicycles!), sweet & funny signs on the walkways and small statues …

   

BUDAPEST

…for me is a windy city. All time when I’m here wind is blowing. I hope it’s a wind of change 😉

 

 

Walking slowly around you can see that this city is living in art – street art:

 

Thanks our host guy we discovered the best pub in Budapest– Szimpla (eng. Simply). It’s split into few smaller spaces. Each of them is different. There are: a small concert room (3 musicians were making improvisation on violin and two boxes when we were there), bars – each of them serves different drinks, art gallery, quasi cinema, etc. Even if you are hungry (like hungry Hungarian) in the middle of night – here it’s not a problem! You can eat pizza in small, opened 24h pizza’s point near the exit of  Szimpla.

 

Totally different atmosphere rules in small pub near the Keleti Train Station. It seems like time has stopped here in latest 90ties… The main clients are the men is the age of 50 “plus” and …two girls lost in the city 😉 and silent! All the time silent. In place like that you can hear bee flying on the opposite side of the room.

 

Even outside adapted to nostalgic which rules inside:

 

At least on Keleti Train Station I found… my favourite polish sweets – Grześki  😉

 

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On Saturdays…

Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

…usually we have Romanian lessons. We live
close to the office, so we are always late. There are too many strange
and new things and people around us, on our way to the office, that
it seems to be impossible to be on time. For example a lot of people
with baskets, wal king out of the church, every single Saturday of
Lent. Almost all of them in black clothes. We tried to guess who they
were, what they had in the baskets, or for what were they carrying it?
We have been making supposition since the beginning of March. Without
success 🙁

Last Saturday we finally decided to discover the true. With Anne we
were like Sherlock Holmes and doctor Watson, fallowing two of  “basket
women”. Suddenly they stopped and started to talk to us. Despite of 6
hours Romanian classes per a week our Romanian isn’t good. I can –
shame to convince – speak only few words 🙁 And women didn’t speak any
languages except Romanian. Luckily, body language rules! One of them,
with blue hat on her white, curly hair, explained us that they
celebrate “birthday of death people”. As she was speaking, she closed
her eyes and folded hands like in prayer to perform death body. After
that she gave us plastic glass with some kind of rise pudding and
small packet with apples, ginger cake and sweet bread.

We were surprised. We had already known, that the Day of All Saints is
in Romania on the November 1st – But maybe in Romania they have more than one day to celebrate their …  – I thought.

Mystery was puzzled out in the office…

During the Great Lent, on each Saturday, we celebrate our decedents –
said Carmen – For do that, we prepare special, religious cake (some
kind of rise pudding made from boiled milk, sugar, nuts, rise, vanilla
and…rum). It’s name COLIVA and it’s quite hard to make. Only boiling
milk takes 4-5 hours!!! And this is just beginning! When coliva is
ready, on Saturday morning, we put it with a special bread – sweet and
looking like braid, candels, vine and small packets of food to the
basket and go to the church to bless it. In the way back home we
should give it to strangers and poor people. Or we should make a party
for all of our relatives and friends and distribut it out between
them. We believe that our decedents are still with us, in that way,
for that short moment of shearing things which they used to like
during their life. The base of the basket is always the same –
candles, sweet bread and coliva. But foods packet is different. To
make it, we choose food or things which particular person liked to eat
or do. For example I wish cigarette in my packet, because I love to
smoke – ended lesson of Romanian customs Carmen.

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Things are strange, when you are a stranger

Posted by on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 · 2 Comments 

Last time I was writing about things and places which make me happy. Today, something different. Things and customs which make me feel like an alien.“I’m a alien, I’m legal alien, I’m Englishman in NY”  – forgive me !

1)    balcony – almost no one has open balcony in Brasov. Lucian explained to us that its’s a reminiscent of communism time, when small flats in big blocs used to be build for everyone and everywhere. Rate and quantity were more important, than comfort and needs of people. But people who wanted to make their flats bigger and more comfortable, started to close balcony by windows wall. The glass wall, especially if you live on 9th floor with view on city lights, is WOW! But still, during the warm summer evenings, I will be missing an open balcony.

2)    constructions paradox –  what usually is open, in Romaniais closed, like balcony. What usually is hidden, here is on the top, like gas boxes and kilometers of pipes outside of the buildings.


3)    The lift elevator in our bloc  was broken. It took 3 days to repair it. What was changed except that it started work again? The lift got new buttons! And since that time it hasn’t stopped on our floor. If we want use it, we should push the button with 10 floor and then, on 10th floor we have alternative – go out and go downstairs or push again the button with number 9. Then the lift will stop and open the door on 9th floor. Uff! No, it’s not complicated at all! 😉

4)   the smallest lake inRomania– how to use wash machine? First wash and first disaster. In Romaniapipes from wash  machine use to being… outside – of course! When you do the washing, don’t forget about putting the pipes to the bath. Unless you have flood in your bathroom, like we had.

5)   shit – happens! And it happens very often inBrasov. Spring has came. Snow has melted. Primroses have appeared… Dog’s shit has …its moment! It is everywhere! After reading “Merde! One year inParis” I used to think, that dog shits are related with capital of France. But I’ve changed my mind here, inBrasov. Despite of group of people who are cleaning the streets, cutting branches etc. every morning, it doesn’t disappear! Even worse! It’s like growing … numbers of dog’s shit everywhere 🙁

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are from Poland, don´t panic!

Posted by on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 · 1 Comment 

Claudia asked us to make a short presentation about our countries.  And I was wondering what my colleagues know about Poland. The answers surprised me a bit:

–         Artur Boruc, the goalkeeper, but you don´t have a good national team – said Oggy

–         You don´t know how to play football – agreed Kike – And you have a very difficult history full of battles and wars – he added

–         Henryk Sienkiewicz. I really enjoyed reading his historical-adventures books. Hoever I couldn´t remember the names of characters. They all ended with a “– ski”  – Carmen said.

–         I know one handsome polish actor, Daniel Olbrychski – said woman from Thursdays meeting – I would like to know how does he look now.

Especially for the “Thursday lady” and friends from Colors, short a summary about polish history, cinema and football.

Yes, Kike is right. We are a very brave nation. In the past we fought with all of our neighbors. Even our animals used to be brave. I´m sure that you don´t know that during the Second World War in the Polish II Corps was a bear called Wojtek.

Unlucky in the XVIII century our neigbhors were stronger than we. Poland was split into three parts, between:  Russia,  Prussia (nowadays Germany) and Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and disappeared from the map of  Europe for 123 years.

We wouldn’t be Polish if we hadn’t  fought to get back independence. But it was bad time for us. Every uprising have been qelled. We tried to keep our nationality through our culture. Fryderyk Chopin, the famous polish composer, based his music on polish folklore. By the way, his father was French, so we… have been fighting with French about his nationality – of course!

Jan Matejko, the historical painter, who lived at the turn XIX/XX century, depicted only the greatest moments from our history, on his pictures. In literature – Henryk Sienkiewicz, “polish Alexander Dumas”, wrote almost only historical adventures books, which – at first – had been published in newspapers as a serial novels. The most famous of his book is “QUO VADIS” – about first Christians and Neron, who burned Rome down. Sienkiewicz won the Nobel Prize for this work. He ideally mixed historical facts with adventures and romances. In Poland we love him for “The Trilogy” – novels composed with “With Fired and Sword”, “The Deluge” and “Fire in the Steppe”. It is about not always easy polish army victories  during the XVII century (We have been fighting against Cossacks, Sweden and Ottoman Empire.  Haven’t I mentioned, that we are a very brave nation? 😉

In 1969 director Jerzy Hoffman decided to adapt “Fire in the Steppe”. One of the main characters – the wild, handsome and cruel Azja Tuhajbejowicz, was played by Daniel Olbrychski. After this movie he became popular not only in Poland, but also in the rest countries of communism block. I suppose, in Romania too. He can play both contemporary and  period roles. His heroes are usually energetic men in action, dynamic, rejecting security and stability for a life full of changes and surprises. During the last 50 years he has played almost in all of the most important polish movies. He used to work with the best polish directors, like Wajda, Zanussi, Kutz and played also in France, Germany and Russia. Two years ago he even acted with … Angelina Jolie in “Salt”.

       

But my favourite movie with him is “The Boxer” (1966). It’s based on a true story one of one of the polish gold medalist in boxing. The main character is very talented but impulsive boxer, who makes big mistake and pays a high price for it. Fortunately, the coach of national polish team gives him a second chance and takes him to Tokyo on the Olympic Games…Maybe because I like “bad boys” or maybe I’m typical polish who spends more time thinking about past then future – I like this story very much. In Poland we are very sentimental. We like to talk with nostalgic about our history – whatever, the great victories of our army or wonderful victories in the sport.

In ’60 and ’70 we used to have great athletes and boxers. But the biggest proud and happiness gave us football dream team and their coach – Kazimierz Górski. In 1972 the “Eagles of Górski” won the Olympic Games in Munich. They played a very offensive and spectacular football and could won with almost everyone. Since then every fan of football in Poland knew theirs names by heart. Have you ever seen “Victory” with Sylvester Stallone and Pele? Next time watch more careful! Among the best football players from the 70’s like Pele or Bobby Moore, there is black haired, small and slim but  very fast midfielder – played by Kazimierz Deyna, captain of polish dream team!

So – Kike and Oggy – it’s not true that we don’t know how to play football! Maybe now we aren’t the best but “history likes repetition”. One day we can make you surprise and kick your Spanish a….!!! Hope so ! 🙂

 

 

 

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