…abroad and in the country – superficial notes on the move
I just got back from Berlin couple of days ago; Berlin was very interesting, but is not the subject here, but the Romanians I have met there.
Years ago, when travelling, I have always, with no exception, met unpleasant, sleazy Romanians travelling or living abroad. Now, for the first time for me, I have the chance to bump into the nicest people one could expect. It is always different, always subjective….but I’ve just noticed Crina’s comment on the right hand side of this page here and while I understand and share partly her view, I really felt the need to add this post about things changing …about Romanians abroad, implicitly about me.
Wandering around the European Film Market one day, a German guy working at the German Film section asked me something; when I answered back my Eastern European accent hit in immediately or, better, as Ioana’s put it later, my Romanian strong accentJ. Funny enough, at the information counter of the German documentaries film section in the EFM was a Romanian, a great girl, warm and talkative, who invited me into the small boxing area and offered me whatever she had around, happy to see and speak with a Romanian. Later on, couple of other Talents –as they called us all the time – rounded around and asked me surprised if I already worked there….. While getting to know Ioana, she told me of her encounter with another Romanian girl, a wannabee something, who was extremely arrogant for no good reason…..you meet plenty of these Romanians everywhere, the pubs and clubs of Bucharest are over crowded with the likes….they didn’t learn that real cool people are just plain cool because they don’t feel the need to show off with anything….while here you cannot breathe of so many insecure egotistical idiots.
Besides Ioana, herself a Talent in the Berlinale a couple of years ago, the group of Romanians in the Berlinale was really cool, all of them, though I only gotten to have a drink and talk with Ana, Adi, Alina and Tudor. For the first time, once again, I really enjoyed spending time with my fellow country people while being abroad. Then, in my last days in Berlin, on 16th I went to Postdamer Plaz to look for tickets of films on 17 and 18, particularly a documentary made by a German guy about an Indian soldier, called ‘The Halfmoon Files’ recommended strongly by M.K., so I was extremely keen to see it but all the tickets were sold out, as the ticket counter guy said to us – me and an English Talent J. When I handed over my badge for screening the tickets, he noticed my name and asked me whether I am Romanian. I said ‘yes’ and then we continued in English for a little while, until he unveiled the fact that he is from a Romanian family from Timisoara and really glad to speak some Romanian and meet one. Absolutely nice and polite and he did help us with a few tips about movies…..and we got to see ‘The Halfmoon Files’. I was happy. It suddenly seemed to me that Romanians have taken the world in a good way. And….that is not all.
After I moved out to a new location in Kreuzberg, in T.’s student house, in an area with many immigrants, riding the U-bahn to Postdamer proved inspiring more than I thought. Besides the many Turkish talking out loud, passing by the Hebbel am Uffer one day when I felt a bit sad, Saturday 17 I think, two Gypsy singers came into the train exactly at Hebbel am Ufer station. They were playing an Austrian waltz and I knew immediately that they are Romanian Gypsies, so I started to talk with them in Romanian. They were well in Germany, having gigs every night in fancy cafes and hotels. I gave them one euro because they changed my mood when I was going down a little. When I got off to the next station one asked me if I am married and I said ‘yes’.
Nonetheless, all these Romanian encounters were warm and welcomed, and I was each time feeling at ease and relaxed; also for the first time in my life I was really looking back to return to Bucharest. Each time I travel it is almost impossible for me to put myself back pack to Romania, but this time I was looking forward to it, for whatever the unknown reason. Maybe because I was sick with flu, so much work to do back in Bucharest and I don’t speak German….whatever. Now being here, I am ready to take off to the next destination. I was sick in bed with fever for two days, I am still not ok, but I turned on the news tonight and I got sicker….the never ending vendetta between the prime-minister and the president is so utterly boring and so Balkanic in its ugly sense. What is more discouraging is that I don’t see a resolution to this; I don’t see a nice smart guy coming along and make this country what is worth. Then I say to myself: I need to get out of here or never watch the news again unless something has changed….recently I truly hate wasting my time, I just feel it running and I do ponder about its better use. Following politics in Romania is no good use of time; in six month time the same on will run again and again, with small variations on the same themes: Tariceanu, Basescu, Elena Udrea, Boc, groups of interests, corruption, justice, Macovei. No consistence behind this circus, Balkanism at its worst (note: and I do not intent do discuss here the discourse of Balkanism and the changes in its perceptions etc., that I leave out for other conversations, whenever the case).