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Bucharest … I cannot say I miss it but it is part of me: 

“I can say, though, that every conversation I had in Bucharest, even the most casual, circled back to the old days, so that I sometimes felt that they ended much more recently than 18 years ago. And the physical aspect of Bucharest confirms this impression.[…]The architecture is a jumble of late-19th-century Hapsburg-style villas and gray socialist apartment blocks, some showing signs of renovation, others looking as if they had fallen under the protection of some mad Warsaw Pact preservation society.”

A.O. Scott  New Wave on the Black Sea, New York Times 


I am always surprised to see ideas passed from one to another, developed, transformed in talks, during meetings here. I cannot tell why is that. You might think that, well, is just the normal way good conversations go: one says something, another says something related to that and so on, they go back and forward. While this is true in general I cannot say I was used seeing it back home. I grew up listening to more experienced people talking (parents, teachers, professors, intellectuals on TV shows) and from time to time I had to answer questions about what I have heard&learned from that. Rarely I was asked to present my opinion and even more rarely to follow up somebody’s idea with something original.

I am fascinated how people around here know how to create connections between somebody else’s idea and theirs. “To follow up on your idea” or “Is very interesting that you say that because I also…” are not just connecting the words but also ideas.

My amazed now is similar with the one I had whet I learned that writing essays is done different here. That you have to give examples (even if they seem trivial to you) in order for people to appreciate your text. It was not easy to learn how to do it this way, and I still have a hard time finding the right example to illustrate an idea but I am getting better.

Now, I do not know about learning to play with ideas. While I love this flying ideas way of having a conversation I am afraid I am not good at it. I feel like joining a blowing bubble party with a tennis racquet sometimes. But is good that at least I can see the show and who knows, maybe one day, I will be able to blow some bubbles myself.


She said it was fun. I smiled and as she told me about how she spend her Christmas Evening, the smile frozen on my lips. Her son went to Romania this summer and brought back the file from Securitare about their family. And they decided to read it on Christmas, in the family.

 When they were in Romania her husband was a scientist and had some contacts with professors from the West. Of course this made them suspect of espionage. In the Securitate file there was an explicit order to tape their phone. The officer in charge of their family had to write back to say that, well, they had no phone. They were also suspects because they were not receiving many people in their home. The home had 2 small rooms and they were three so not too much space to share…

She said they had fun reading it because they remembered things that they had forgotten. It’s true that there was someone reporting on them that was family but he is dead now. And she is not even sure it was him…

She comes from Romanian aristocracy from between the Wars. Aristocracy is in her blood. Growing up in a working age I did not have many chances to meet true ladies, though I admire them. Now I know she is one of them, a true lady. How gracious of her not to give them a second thought…to think is fun. 

It must be fun…when/if  you are above all this dirt.  

The Romanian Anthem I uploaded on youtube got spammed today. Usually I think of spam as programs that hit you with stupid texts and links. People that do this are doing it for money, no feelings attached. However this spam proved me I was wrong. The messages on the movie were something like Romanian=Roma=Gypsy (x 10 times x 3 messages). I think our movie got in the middle of a fight between two users. Their fight was (probably still is) a nationalistic one.  

It seems that money are not the only thing making people use their life to do stupid things. I know this must be so common sense but still it leaves me so amazed…

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