Du-te la versiunea romana






With stranger's eyes… (Romanian travels)

 Romanian holidays

Reproducing the words of an ex-school mate, when staying for some time away from home you get “to miss inclusively weeds from street corners”. After almost two years of “exile” I've had the chance to return home in Romania, to see again familiar places or discover new ones. This time, it seemed I remarked things with the eye of a foreign tourist. I managed to appreciate “country's and nature's riches” without resorting to old memories from the stack of school books filled with stiff and pompous empty talk, which tried convincing us to think in a patriotic way during communism. We often forget, idealize, exaggerate, fabricate, repeat ad nauseam national symbols, spiced with folklore, especially if the present times don't seem able to come up with new myths, good enough to be remembered. It's true, we can't make an image only based on legend, but when the Romanian behind the computer desk gets tired, perhaps it's better for him to recall the shepherds living on the mountain tops at home. No matter how much it is being stolen, polluted, criticized, integrated in EU, Romania remains for me the place to feel at home, where I'll choose probably living after all. I am saying this, not only because Peles Castle has gone to my head, or my soul reached Caraiman top, or that the grilled bear of barely 4 euros has had any decisive impact on my proteins. As a Romanian, you learn to take it easier on yourself only after leaving abroad, in countries of heavenly reputation, but which surprisingly offer too little (after all, the sweetness of life must be more than consuming infinitely, walking through malls or working the weekends!). We must believe that sometimes, what we have got in Romania is more or better (at least for holidays!) than what we get from somewhere else, even though we don't always fit into others' standards. There aren't in this world anyway places populated only by respectful towards law angels, educated, spiritual, rich and beautiful, young and restful people, and other regions plentiful with lying scoundrels, handicapped, corrupted, dirty and famished men. I'm sure that in future there will be moments when I'll wish or be obligated to swallow my enthusiast words, but this time I'd rather see the full side of the glass. It is tiring to live in darkness, only because your neighbor is blind and indifferent to light. That translates so: do not hesitate to visit Romania, you'll find there good things also, despite the still existing differences.

So, having tasted the serum of the native using borrowed eyes, I'll make some right suggestions, urging you to taste stream water springing from rocks and not out of the plastic bottle, some bean soup with red onion, fruits eaten directly off the tree, unpasteurized milk bought from peasants, wear around the waist some beautifully embroidered belt and for the boldest of you, take a ride onto the back of a four-winged, star on forehead, magic horse!

Copyright © Katiusha Cuculescu, 2004