Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolution

I've never really felt that on the 31st of december, something old ends and something new begins. Come to think of it, it has all been one long year for me. Which is why I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions in particular. I've made resolutions in the middle of July in broad daylight and kept to them.

However, I do have a resolution to make right now and the timing happens to coincide with everyone else's. For once.
So here goes.
My New Year's resolution is to emotionally keep up with events. In a sense, be more decisive.

Happy New Year to everyone!
With that, only one thing left.


Geronimo!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Smug thinking

Up until a few hours ago I could have sworn that my life changed because I made it change. I was the one who moved to another country. I was the one who left my friends and family. I was the one who ended things. I was responsible for their need to look elsewhere for a substitute. It was me, it was all about me.
But today I realized that -brace yourselves- things change. On their own, independently, no help needed. Sure, I could go and be a determinist about it. To be honest, I don't want to because that's a sad world for my (smug) taste- a world in which you cannot influence anything ever. Still, I can't help but question whether I really changed anything, whether I was an active factor at all.

My self-developed mind frame would say it's irrelevant to the situation. Just deal with it and move on. Life is not static, especially one like mine, which has always been and probably will be quite dinamic for a long time. But this is just one of those moments when you're so subtly shocked, it makes your brain step into a bubble gum and just stare at its shoe, contemplating how to remove itself from this silly unexpected predicament. Of course, shoes can be changed and the problem forgotten easily. But then what would be the point of having a brain in the first place?
Ever happen to you? Ever wonder whether you really stepped into it or whether it was inevitable for the order of the universe that you step into it? Primitive philosophy, I know. We can think about it, applaud ourselves for it and be proud. In the end, the actual problem fades behind a foggy curtain of "I have better things to do with my time. I'm too good for this." But the conclusion remains - it really is just all about us.

So can you blame me for hoping and wishing I could undo what I believe to have actively done all by myself?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Playful

Well now that I'm home and have extremely little to worry about and stress over, I have shifted my attention to funnier and less ground-breaking mind-contorting serious meditative thoughts. Hence, enjoy my latest discovery: "Breathing Commercial"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home


Home... I'm going home. I'm not quite sure what that means, but that's what I've been hearing around me lately, so there must be something to it... "yeeeaaah, I'm going hoome!! Isn't that great?" - "We're going home, Ioana!!"- "duuude, you're coming home in a few days!!" - so yeah, I guess I'm going home.

Home is such an overrated notion, isn't it? - That one place that you.. i don't really know, that you *something* in. That one place where you (place random action here)...
- where you were born? where you grew up? where you have Christmas? where you did *whatever* for the first time? where you have Remmi pieces stuck in the doorknobs from when you were 5?

I don't really have all that. I've moved around more than 90% of all Romanians. And before coming here I thought it was abnormal. I thought it meant not having part of your identity. I genuinely believed there was something wrong with me for not having slept in the same room for more than 3 years.
But there isn't. There really isn't. I get to choose my home. And my home is essentially, well, people. People close to me, who make it so. The bonds are stronger and you appreciate them quite a bit more. I can make a home out of any place. Just give me a pot of good tea, soft seats and good company.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ho-ho-ho




Nu vine mosu' anul asta -
Nu mai vine de-acu...

Mortii mamii lui.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I could not help it, I just could not...

I've been pondering Romania's situation and the people's mentality for quite some time now and although I haven't been able to come up with one conclusive answer, I couldn't help but literally laugh out loud, for the second time no less, at this brilliantly written piece of.. 'blogareala' :

"What a scoop for Jurnalul National this morning: Toffifee chocolate toffee-coated hazelnuts are sugary!

Professor Gheorghe Mencinicopschi, director of the Institutului de Cercetari Alimentare (Institute of Dietary Research) is quoted by Jurnalul National's top dietary correspondent as declaring - in his best medical opinion - that Toffifee (which describes itself as 'A Hazelnut in caramel with creamy nougat and chocolate') contains 'high quantities of sugar, glucose and syrup.' Apparently, it is not recommended for diabetics or the overweight.

Well I never.

Another great day for Romanian journalism. Tomorrow's big story? 'Pope admits fondness for Catholicism' perhaps?"

Here you can find the entire account of this (former?) British expat in Bucharest, a city which I'm sure managed a perfectly bittersweet and plain strange impression on him. It surely did on me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bikes in Holland #2

Atarnand pe exteriorul balustradei unui pod peste Oudegracht (canal) in Utrecht...


Macar e legata, da?
Sa nu cumva s-o fure cineva...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Personal

These photos made me miss my home. My home-home, my real home, my roots.. my childhood, myself.
Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Viata de student

Friday afternoon 18:45 conversation with a friend:

Me: dude, i slept!
Him: u lucky
Him: sleeping is the new sex
Me: i know!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's a wet world


Email from the landlord :
"
Dear students,

The Netherlands are expecting a storm with wind forces exceeding the 9 Beaufort. During my walk around I have seen many bathroom windows open on the Kromhoutweg. Please close these windows. "

Ma intreb care va fi urmatorul anunt. Sa fie cumva
"Dear students,
We are expecting a rise in sea levels in the next few weeks. We encourage you to flee The Netherlands or be drowned to the last one of you."

Pe buna dreptate scria un ascultator BBC in legatura cu inaltimea excesiva a olandezilor. Spunea ca se datoreaza geneticii predictive. Va intrebati ce e? E genetica prezicatoare de nivel ridicat al marii, respectiv de Olanda sub ape. Nu ca nu m-as afla in acest moment sub nivelul marii oricum.

Eh, sa speram ca mai rezista tarisoara inca 2 ani jumate. Nu de alta, dar as prefera sa-mi termin studiile in acest orasel vechi cu acest campus vesnic ud. Care mi-e si cam drag.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sa vezi si sa nu crezi - admiration #2

I've craved this for about 4 years.
It's not that I had given up hope, it's just that I had accepted the situation and decided there is nothing to hope for, really. And it's not that I did this consciously or in an angry manner. It's just that I thought I was beyond the stage where this kind of thing would impress me.
But I'm not. And it does. And the world just got a lot brighter.
"Ioana, may I have a word?" - "Of course." - "I've been asked to recommend a student for the annual academic publication here. I was thinking of you. Would you be interested?"

Heh.
They were wrong. You can expect better. Much better. And they just got a whole lot sadder - petty little self-deluded creatures. Who's they? The bright academic minds of "the best high school in Romania". Funny, I thought I was over that, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sa vezi si sa nu crezi - admiration

(Gara Amsterdam Centraal)


Mereu mi s-a parut interesanta treaba asta cu admiratul. Chiar admirat pana la creare de axioma-mit (e de neatins pentru mine, dar faptul ca e extraordinar e un adevar general valabil care nu are nevoie de o demonstratie. Asa cam ca profele de chimie din liceu. Stiti cum sunt? Eh, fix opusul! ). Copilarind in poate cea mai confuza perioada din istoria recenta pentru Romania din punct de vedere al restructurarii valorilor individuale (oamenii mari le restructurau, eu le faceam mamaliga), mi-am creat o cantitate impresionanta de axiome-mit. America e cea mai... - cum traduci 'best'? Fie, cea mai buna tara din lume. La scoala pana intr-a 4a am invatat ca romanii sunt cei mai curajosi, buni, uniti si neinfricati. Dar se batea cap in cap cu impresia generala ca romanii sunt fundamental inferiori Vestului. Imi placea sa cant 'Desteapta-te romane' in fiecare dimineata la scoala si 'Hora Unirii' de cate ori aveam ocazia la muzica. Cand am primit o cartulie despre 1 Decembrie si faptele extraordinare de care au dat dovada taranii, orasenii si toata natia noastra am avut o revelatia si am pastrat-o la loc de cinste. Adica pe pervaz, langa singura floare de care am avut grija vreodata.



Si-apoi am iesit de sub invatatoare. Incet, incet, nu stiu exact cand, am inceput sa fiu de acord cu opinia generala. Nu eram eu destul de 'interdisciplinara' (eh, m-a invatat UCU ceva) ca sa analizez situatia. Nu aveam pe cine sa conving. Nu imi impartasea nimeni opinia. Si ete s-au mai format o droaie de axiome-mit.






Cand am iesit prima data din Romania si am oprit in zona de duty-free am respirat alt aer. Cand m-am plimbat prin Salzburg la 13 ani am crezut ca vad oameni de acum 500 de ani calcand pe pietrele de la picioarele mele. Cand am dat de Germania, tot cu acel creier necopt, am crezut ca e paradisul. In special sub influenta discutiilor din jurul meu. 'E curat, e civilizat.'



Vezi cuvantul asta - civilizat. Cum ar putea sa nu denote opozitie clara intre superior definitiv si inferior la prea multe mile marine ca sa se poata numara.



Si am ajuns sa am 17 ani. Si am pasit afara din LAX si ma asteptam sa respir din nou un alt aer. Dar nu aerul de Europa, ala nu mai era un mit demult. Dar cel de America. America, in toata splendoarea ei. Cu oamenii ei bravi si liberi. Cu valori corecte (ca in 7th Heaven, deh), cu egalitate pentru toti si sanse pentru cei multi.



Trag geanta dupa mine pana la taxi. O ia soferul, o baga in portbagaj. Vizavi se construieste ceva. Ma urc in taxi pe bancheta din spate. Inchid usa dupa mine.


Dar.. uh.. de ce? Pai.. Stai!! Unde-i? Frate, unde-i?! Unde mama dracu e aerul diferit? De ce nu m-a lovit nimic? Am aterizat in majesticul Los Angeles si cerul inca nu s-a prabusit pe mine! Afara e doar cald si autostrada plina. Taximetristul vorbeste prost engleza. Of. Uite inca una, s-a dus inca una. Sa vezi si sa nu crezi, pe cuvant.


Dar am ajuns ieri si in Amsterdam. Curios, de data asta nu s-a mai daramat nimic. Dar s-a construit o admiratie ceva mai reala.

Admiratie chiar si pentru Romania. Saraca, trebuie sa-i fie spatele sange de la cate biciuri a indurat din '89 pana acum. Dar calm, putin calm. Nu mai dureaza mult.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pai daca-i romaneasca, romaneasca sa fie...

Mass message from former highschool colleague :

"Those of you who've taken your degree in computer science back in highschool come pick it up tomorrow personally from the school." - a degree for an exam taken over 5 months ago. Pick it up personally. Personally. Tomorrow only. In ROMANIA.

Sure, I'll just hop on my bike and pedal 40 hours straight for a degree I didn't want in the first place. Not to mention how terribly useful it is. 'Computer operator'. Quite useful indeed. Not that it's understood everywhere else that such a qualification is a prerequisite for freaking highschool!

I wonder what they'll do if I don't pick it up personally within 48 hours. Burn it? Toss it away? Use it for wrapping bagels?

"Sa se spele cu ea pe cap".. for all I care.

Monday, October 1, 2007

White-pink-why?

Maybe it's finally time to explain what they are. Why white-pink flowers?
Well because I like metaphors. Because they're art. Because just as art translates reality into an artist's work, metaphors translate a simple, boring, stereotypic notion into.. whatever one wants, basically.

So why white-pink flowers again?

Because they're all the kindness in the world, tainted with just a little bit of pragmatism.

They're for all the naive and idealist children in the world. Children who will say their prayers at night, who will smile from their hearts when others do, who will spend their 50 cents on silly Christmas presents for their family. They are children who make a pledge to be better and pray every evening reminding God that they are trying. And that even though they forgot today, they will not tomorrow. And then they try even more. They hope intensely and they dream in all the bright colours of the world. They love.
Easy pray.



It's also for all the goodness and the kindness and the immense self-giving white flowers in blue old old eyes.

It's for all those white flowers that got tainted. As long as they're not blood red, we're all safe.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Truisme

Si lipsa de somn si nervi si treaba de facut si-alerg si-alerg si-alerg si-ajung si urc in autobuz. In sfarsit, aer cald si scaun moale. Si ajung la gara. Fugim pana la autogara si gata. Serenity now. Am ajuns mai repede, in 5 minute ajunge autocarul din Romania cu pachetul meu. Whoohoo, haina groasa de iarna si miere de la bunica.
Si trec 5 minute si nu vine. Fast forward - trec 30 de minute si nu vine. Si imi ingheata spatele deja obosit peste masura. Si imi suiera nenorocitu de vant de Olanda si ma dor urechile. Imi pun gluga pe cap si mai astept. Si incepem sa vorbim despre chestii aleatorii. Si ma intreb daca asta-i locul. Trec 20 de minute, sun la agentie si "tiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiii-tiiiiiiiiiiiii-eehhhhhhhhhhh". Mi-a intrat faxul. Sun la agentie in Romania - idem. Intru in bomba de langa sa imi iau ceva de baut, ies afara si e mai frig decat inainte. "Mai am de facut un assignment pe maine la ora 8!! Ce mama dracu'!!". Dupa o vreme renuntam si ne hotaram sa plecam, dar nu inainte de a intreba :
- Bogdan, ai un servetel?
- Nu. N-am. Ai ghinion.
Well NO SHIT.

Intram iar in gara. Cochetam cu gandul de a merge pana la Amsterdam in noaptea asta. Neah, sunt prea obosita si nu e nimic deschis la ora asta in afara de bordeluri.
Coboram din gara si in departare ce sa fie. E autobuzul nostru pana aproape de campus. "Fugi, Ioana?" - "Mda." Si-alergam si-alergam si-alergam si ajungem iar pe scaunele moi. Si spune "Ah, l-am prins. Ai noroc azi. Cu autobuzele... adica macar 2 din 3." - "AArrrgh".

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gotta love Holland

Discussion with a Dutch friend :

- Also incredible how women here in very tight and short skirts can just cycle away. You can see everything! But they dont seem to have a problem with it.
- Umm, it's not nice to look.
- So its normal for them to show it but its impolite to look? Not stare, im saying look.
- Well, looking is allowed, I think. But staring will get you a direct verbal assault, thanks to our dutch frankness.
- So its normal for them to cycle like that?
- Yes.

Well no one opens doors for me here, but at least I can do other rewarding things.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunny Saturday Morning

Dupa o vineri noaptea atipica, in care cheful campusului a fost in unitatea mea, ma strecor printre scaune intoarse, prize stricate si 'cadouri' pe jos in fata usii mele de la cei fara rezistenta la ambrozia studentului din Utrecht - berea. Cad in pat si se face negru. Si dupa cateva mii si mii de ani se face din nou lumina. E 12 fara 5 minute. Fuck, am pierdut brunch-ul. Ma duc jos - inutil. Frigideru urla dupa mancare mai rau ca mine.
Deci, ca orice rezident respectabil al Olandei ma urc pe bicicleta si ma duc la Albertheijn - un fel de supermarket cu pretentii de Carrefour. Adun cumparaturi care ar putea hrani o familie de 5 timp de vreo luna si le insir cu groaza pe banda minuscula de la casa. Casiera imi zice ceva in olandeza si pentru a mia oara spun "Sorry, I don't speak Dutch.." - "Do you have a bonus card?" - "No, I don't." - "Where are you from?" - "Romania." - "Oh, see, I could tell you're from the East!" - "Really?" - "Yes, of course." - "How.. is it obvious?" - "Well yes, your face and your expression. You just look eastern. There's no way you're from The Netherlands".

Heh. Ca sa vezi. Ce perspicace. Sunt curioasa de ce mi-a vorbit olandeza in primul rand.

Zic multumesc pentru noul bonus card si ies cu cele 5 plase. Va fi interesant sa le atasez pe toate de bicicleta. Si sa merg cu 2 km pe ora.

La iesire acelasi black homeless person - vanzator de ziare/cersetor. Imi ofera iar un ziar in olandeza, iar ii spun ca "Sorry, I don't speak Dutch.". In momente ca alea mi-as fi dorit sa stiu sa spun asta in olandeza, sa nu fi crezut ca il injur in ceva limba de peste ocean. Si exact atunci s-a intamplat chestia cea mai tipica olandeza. Cersetorul cu haine murdare, barba nerasa de 2 luni si fara 2 lei in buzunar imi spune "Oh, okay. No problem. Have a nice day!" - in engleza.


Only in Holland.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Home blues

All the leaves are brown

And the sky is grey

California dreamin'

On such a winter's day

Sunday, September 16, 2007

To realize.

To change one's identity. Now there's a task for the brave.


And when it's the only option, when external causes make it so, then it's a task for the... I don't really know. The sane?

DE CE.




De ce da muzica tare EXACT cand vreau sa dorm, fix in momentul in care ma pun la birou sa scriu si tocmai cand am febra si vreau sa zac in pat fara sa ma calce bocanci grei de reggae pe creier.

Grr. Fucking grr.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Silly me.





And I travelled all the way to The Netherlands?! I could have just stayed home! The bike lanes there are just as cool. Dammit, if only I had known sooner.

Photo source: Bukres Blog - http://bukresh.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 7, 2007

Un peu de nostalgie


M-am saturat de engleza. Daca am inceput blogul in engleza pentru a mi-o exersa, se pare ca acum e mai productiv sa exersez romana.

Si incep sa cred ca e adevarat ce se spune si ce puteam jura acum o luna ca nu mi se va intampla in vecii vecilor, mai mult din mandrie si ego decat orice altceva. Departe de Romania devii patriot.

Ca dovada, ies de la cursuri la 10:45 si vreau sa trec prin unitul romanilor. Deschid poarta inchisorii si sun la usa unitului. Imi deschide un olandez (blond, cu ochi albastri si cu ghiozdan in spate, gata de plecare). Intreb daca baietii romani sunt acasa, imi zice sa incerc usa. Nu sunt. Evident, nimeni nu e compatibil la program cu mine vinerea.

Dau sa plec si observ ca el nu plecase. Ma intreaba daca avem o familie unita de romani aici. Ii spun ca nu neaparat, dar ca.. poate e adevarat.. devii patriot departe de casa. Daca nu patriot, macar nostalgic.

Se aseaza pe scari si ma intreaba daca urasc Olanda. Nu, nici vorba, mie chiar imi place aici.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tribute

Intre cer si pamant.

... to what is, to what was, to what could have been, to what can be.

Dangerous as it is, better than never to have been at all.

I wish the plane would land sooner. In a big metropolis with cold faces, fast pace and you.

Monday, September 3, 2007

In love with Holland

I l-l-love it here. How can you not love it?

Professor: Ethics is not morals. Ethics is kind of like porn. Tickles me in a slightly different way.

Where did everyone go?


Everyone's going somewhere. Where and why is too much to answer. But the will and the means are there. See, right up there.

Friday, August 31, 2007

It's official.


Well today I became an official rezident of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. No going back now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hello. My name is Gerlinde and I can't speak English - Hi, Gerlinde.


OK, so I got over myself after the post from yesterday.

I'm staying with an aunt in Germany at the moment and heading out for UCU on Sunday. But while I'm here, I decided to do a little sightseeing and shopping. Why would I decide to shop in a small town like Boblingen, instead of going to Stuttgart, a few km away? Because I don't have a personal car. Or the skills to drive one.
So this morning I head happily to the bus station. It was sunny, there was no litter on the ground. There was a marked path for bicycles, which especially made me feel good to see. People were minding their own business, in a non-smelly way. And I didn't even have to hold my small backpack under my armpit to protect it!
I waited for about 20 minutes in an empty bus stop thinking "great! maybe I'll get to sit down on the bus!". Well of course the bus was equally empty. There was me, the driver and a guy with headphones. Big headphones. In a big bus. You get the picture.

However, the point of starting this post was to express my frustration as to the fact that in spending 7 hours of my life in the commercial centre of Boblingen, I have only found ONE English-speaking person. And I don't mean I excluded everyone who couldn't explain what the origin of the Bretzel is. I mean I excluded everyone who didn't know what 'restroom', 'bathroom' and 'exit' mean. I am not joking. Also, I didn't approach anyone over the age of 25.
How is this possible?
Bit of a riddle to me, but in a country where you have to seriously search, I mean really invest resources into finding a movie that isn't dubbed in German, I suppose it shouldn't be that big of a surprise. However remarkable I think this country is, and I do... being 20, well fed, well dressed and reasonably well educated, living in a leading western country and not being able to answer "How are you?" ( - "Fine.") is just more than I was prepared for.


But thumbs-up for the beautiful church in Stuttgart (took the photo yesterday).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A world without Romania

I just couldn't help it.
I do love the most of it, except for the 'we have the best women on earth' part, that I can't really agree with.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Halt! Deserted town ahead!


I'm taking a leave of absence until the beginning of July, I expect. The all mighty BAC is approaching. Help!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The white canvas




Ah, la pureté ! La vérité! L'absolu!


A white rose, an innocent smile, a brand new day, a clean slate and a white canvas. Great stuff. We all seem to love purity.


Why are people generally so fascinated by innocence and untainted things?


Case and point : relationships.


Is it a form of high aspiration? A lot of guys want their wife to have been a virgin. At heart, if not body. Most won't admit to it, but let's face it. Even if you're a girl, you don't want your guy to have had several long-term relationships before you came along. It spoils all the fun. He might still be comparing you to his ex. He might have some kind of hidden trauma that you'll only find out about 2 years into your marriage. And the worst fear of all : he's handsome, charming, spoils you and seems to be your dream man... but what if he's out for revenge on the female specie because of some twisted lady he met before you? These are all things that you don't necessarily think about when you hook up with someone, but we've all asked such questions at some point.


And still it's just not fair. What about the helpful experience of a former relationship? All that wisdom! What about not making the same beginner-like mistakes? And what about wine that's better with time?!


They just don't seem to matter as much, do they?...


Monday, May 7, 2007

'The U.S. and A'

First photo on US soil. Some hint, huh?
And that's a library. I kid not. (UCLA)
Seen some big stars' stars.

Damn! And we only missed the Oscars by a bit! :))

So we went capitalist...


Bit of fun in the sun.

Not nervous... nope.. just unable to swallow or breathe. Oh come on! What gave me away?

Nope, definitely not nervous. The humongous screen doesn't frighten me at all.

Window shopping is a lot of fun. Santa Monica Promenade

Nightfall near Santa Monica Pier

Bye bye now!

No turbulence, just awe.

Ungodly beautiful dawn over the Pacific.

Gotta love plane food.


Well it was fun while it lasted. Bit disappointed in the people and amazed at the amount of useless junk Americans buy. But a great experience nonetheless.
(July 2006)










Friday, May 4, 2007

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

So communism doesn't dehumanize people. People dehumanize people.

What do those two examples have in common?

Well first of all they both started out as good intentions. Guns are meant to protect their owners. One gun per family should do it. The patriarch has it and will shoot any thief and rapist that tries to break into his house and harm his family. Fair enough.
Then communism started out as a means of making the very poor less poor. Bear with me, I'm talking theory here. It was generally meant to create a happy, pleasant, care-free society. It did the trick, for a few decades and for the large majority of people.

But, of course, both of them got out of hand because of the risks involved in giving so much power to... undeserving people, really. I don't see how you can expect the vast majority of untrained citizens to be responsible with guns. Translation : any moron can just up and shoot you. He has that kind of power. That's pretty scary if you ask me. When you think of what communism degenerated into, it's pretty much the same thing. The power of decision was given to individuals that were generally not prepared to deal with it, but that just happened to agree with the theory of the regime. Or, in worse cases, that just wanted a quick rise and would do anything to anyone.
And thus, two little mistakes developed into two major disasters.

The point of the above parallel was that it's not the invention of the gun or Marx's fault that things went bad.

So why the hell is everyone in Romania continuously blaming communism for everything that's wrong in this country? Sure, the circumstances weren't ideal for the blooming of such values as equality, generosity and civilized behaviour. But it was all a question of choice. And I'll give you the perfect example : the Transylvanian society was affected to a far lesser extent than the one in Bucharest and the Southern parts. I won't comment on the reasons to not offend anyone, but the fact remains. How did that happen if 'there was no choice in the matter'? There is always a choice and people choose whether to make it or not.

I'm so sick of constantly hearing the urban ultra-trendy uber-cool blaming the past for every nasty behaviour they encounter. Not to mention the fact that not taking any responsibility by the older generation is seriously dangerous at this point. First of all, it results in saying "yeah, so this is it. I can't do anything to fix the past, so that means I can't do anything to change things in the present". No, you can't, but you can change them for the future, you ignorant bastard. Starting by not throwing garbage on the streets, not pushing your way into a bus, not shouting curses everywhere and ultimately NOT referring to your country as Rromania (land of gypsies) or to the people as uncivilized. It's so infuriating seeing how no one will do anything, yet everyone expect things to change over night.

If you don't like it here, leave. If you won't leave, but still don't like it, then fucking take responsibility for your actions, stop worshiping western countries, do something to change things and start referring to yourself as what you really are : a Romanian.

Requiem for a culture









Miorita

"Near a low foothill
At Heaven’s doorsill,
Where the trail’s descending
To the plain and ending,
Here three shepherds keep
Their three flocks of sheep,
One, Moldavian,
One, Transylvanian
And one, Vrancean.
Now, the Vrancean
And the Transylvanian
In their thoughts, conniving,
Have laid plans, contriving
At the close of day
To ambush and slay
The Moldavian;
He, the wealthier one,
Had more flocks to keep,
Handsome, long-horned sheep,
Horses, trained and sound,
And the fiercest hounds.
One small ewe-lamb, though,
Dappled gray as tow,
While three full days passed
Bleated loud and fast;
Would not touch the grass.
”Ewe-lamb, dapple-gray,
Muzzled black and gray,
While three full days passed
You bleat loud and fast;
Don’t you like this grass?
Are you too sick to eat,
Little lamb so sweet?”
”Oh my master dear,
Drive the flock out near
That field, dark to view,
Where the grass grows new,
Where there’s shade for you.
”Master, master dear,
Call a large hound near,
A fierce one and fearless,
Strong, loyal and peerless.
The Transylvanian
And the Vrancean
When the daylight’s through
Mean to murder you.”
”Lamb, my little ewe,
If this omen’s true,
If I’m doomed to death
On this tract of heath,
Tell the Vrancean
And Transylvanian
To let my bones lie
Somewhere here close by,
By the sheepfold here
So my flocks are near,
Back of my hut’s grounds
So I’ll hear my hounds.
Tell them what I say:
There, beside me lay
One small pipe of beech

Whith its soft, sweet speech,
One small pipe of bone
Whit its loving tone,
One of elderwood,
Fiery-tongued and good.
Then the winds that blow
Would play on them so
All my listening sheep
Would draw near and weep
Tears, no blood so deep.
How I met my death,
Tell them not a breath;
Say I could not tarry,
I have gone to marry
A princess – my bride
Is the whole world’s pride.
At my wedding, tell
How a bright star fell,
Sun and moon came down
To hold my bridal crown,
Firs and maple trees
Were my guests; my priests
Were the mountains high;
Fiddlers, birds that fly,
All birds of the sky;
Torchlights, stars on high.
But if you see there,
Should you meet somewhere,
My old mother, little,
With her white wool girdle,
Eyes with their tears flowing,
Over the plains going,
Asking one and all,
Saying to them all,
’Who has ever known,
Who has seen my own
Shepherd fine to see,
Slim as a willow tree,
With his dear face, bright
As the milk-foam, white,
His small moustache, right
As the young wheat’s ear,
With his hair so dear,
Like plumes of the crow
Little eyes that glow
Like the ripe black sloe?’
Ewe-lamb, small and pretty,
For her sake have pity,
Let it just be said
I have gone to wed
A princess most noble
There on Heaven’s doorsill.
To that mother, old,
Let it not be told
That a star fell, bright,
For my bridal night;
Firs and maple trees
Were my guests, priests
Were the mountains high;
Fiddlers, birds that fly,
All birds of the sky;
Torchlights, stars on high.”

If you didn't read that, you're more than forgiven. I only know a handful of people who know what it stands for, anyway.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Busy. DND. Permanently

'Hey! What's up?' - 'Busy.'
--------------------------
'Still busy? Come on' - 'yeah. it sucks. gotta go.'
---------------------------
'I'm so busy. Gotta finish that one tonight, the other thing by Wednesday and ultimately get around to working more than should be expected of any 18 y.o.'

2007 seniors in high school, in Romania, will pretty much know where I'm coming from. I won't comment anymore on that particular topic seeing as this year is an exception that overrides all laws of common sense or decency and that for some reason only students can seemingly understand.
But maybe I'm subjective.

In any case, I got some very interesting feedback on the 'Let's talk contrasts' post and after some consideration I've come to agree with Filmfritz, who later shared the conclusion drawn on his forum regarding mediocrity. Mediocrity does not equal balance. One cannot use the term balance when referring to mediocrity. Mediocre people are, indeed, the ones that have never experienced the extremes, have had no desire to do so nor do they have it regarding the future. Near or distant.

Balance, on the other hand, implies a person's full knowledge regarding their decision. It means that they've tried or at least come close to both extremes and have made a conscious decision regarding their present or future.

Also, being a workaholic is in no way a decision. Most (keep in mind, not all) of those who do become such sad individuals have had a slow, but steady rise. They've been encouraged to aim higher and higher. And the material rewards were plentiful. So yeah, what moron would stop at this point? I guess you only start to realize that something's wrong with the picture when you have a vacation. No more friends to call or bars where the bartender has the slightest idea who you are. And, of course, the crucial moment when you realize your relationship is no more. It just vanished. Poof. Nothing went wrong and nothing went right. The phone calls just stopped and you didn't even notice. You stopped hearing the phone ring a long time ago. But you didn't even notice that either.

Well that, my friends, is what I call sad. Not taking time off to watch a ball game or refusing to be no.1 for the sake of a hot date and certainly not turning your paper in late because you went to visit your grandmother.

However silly these examples are, I'd rather be willingly silly than obliviously sad.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sun... flowers

Well things are looking up. It's spring and I've quit some of my addictive and energy-consuming habits. Who ever said that the time for resolutions is January 1st?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh well.

Mistakes. Guilt. Annoyance. Banging head against wall. Attempting to hurt the wall. Ending up hurting the head. Wanting to find an excuse. Begging for a good excuse to come to mind. None. Whatsoever. Begging for a gunshot to the chest. None. Nothing. All the worst things in life, rolled up into one. Wish I could smoke it and that would be the end of it.

I hate guilt. And being mad at one's self. That's the worst thing. Nothing is actually worse than blaming yourself and knowing that you're right.

For the most unsuspected things even. The ones that seem to matter the least, yet do the most. Not realizing, not thinking, not judging, too much judging, ignoring, not prioritizing. Key ingredients for a guilty lunch, guilty encounter, guilty day, guilty hell.
Oh well.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Let's talk contrasts

I believe most of you agree that balance is one of the most important aspects of life. It's present in almost every human and animal activity, whether it's on a conscious level or not. Mostly not.
We die so that others can have a chance to live, we are born because there is such a thing as male and female. The world is built on contrasts. Now this isn't something new, no doubt about it. I believe we've all heard of the Yin-Yang philosophy a few times. Or at least worn a necklace with the round-shaped symbol. But do we really understand the concept? And what's more, do we fully agree with it?
Understanding it isn't that hard. You can't be happy unless you've experienced sadness, you can't think of something as beautiful unless you've seen something ugly. Our brain works on a level where we compare everything we see and experience with something we've seen and experienced before. No matter how wrong that is in some cases (xenophobes, for example). Keep in mind I'm referring to actual thinking here, not primary, genetic instincts.
OK. With that out of the way, my question is this : what about progress? Sure, balance and tranquility is nice, it's what we're all supposedly looking for all the time. But are we really?
No human progress or so-called progress in some cases was ever built on balance. It always meant pushing one side more than the other. For scientific discoveries, it meant giving up on religion, on social status and sometimes on your own life. For the religiously and spiritually successful people it meant only trusting one side of their personality and giving up on many things that made sense scientifically. What about on a micro level? We can't ever have both personal and professional lives that are exceptional in every way. Or both spiritual and material wealth (ok, those cases are very rare and usually imply an unusual status to begin with). Or both a good figure and a shitload of endorphins all the time. Even biological evolution itself depends on going beyond the limits and the status quo, developing one extra feature that others don't have and that will lead to your specie's survival. You know, I could go on forever. But the point is that everything out of the ordinary, everything exceptional and that leads to any kind of progress, whether it's on a personal or global or universal level, implies breaking the balance. But there's the big 'but' that comes with it.

So then what's the conclusion? Does well-being come from balance or from progress?

Or is it ultimately balancing THOSE two?
No matter how I look at it, it's always a circular chain of questions...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Poetry wasn't written for the critics


... the same way life doesn't exist for the sake of rules.

Flowes don't smell so that we can catalog the aroma. A child doesn't smile at us so that we can label him as young. The sun doesn't shine so that we can study the color palet and eyes aren't beautiful for identification purposes.
Parents' love wasn't born so that a family can be the nucleus of society and friendship between two dying patients is not a socially strategic move.

So why do we insist on spoiling it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Great expectations

The greatest things in life come at the worst time possible, have you ever noticed that?


Alanis Morissette has a great way of putting it :

"An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just can't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
And isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think... "

The car you've dreamt about your entire adolescence - you get to have when you're 25 and way too busy to actually enjoy it.
The inspiration you desperately need when in a creativity exam - you get at 3am two weeks later.
Getting into the dream-university overseas - it happens 6 months before your actually get to go there.
Meeting someone you're hugely attracted to and would have mad sex with - happens 5 years into a serious relationship with someone else.
Finally coming across a true friend - happens after you've dealt with countless not-so-true friends and your trust in all people is "through the roof".
Realizing the great family you have - only after you've left them and went to face the real world.

And a classic, personal favourite of mine... Realizing that being a kid rocks - AFTER you grow up.

The only thing that I can actually get whenever I want is probably ice cream.

I've heard a lot of people say that the worst thing that can happen to you is getting what you really want. These words usually come from people who are terribly frustrated. Ever notice that, too? This is said to be faith's way of protecting you from yourself. There have been countless philosophies and religions saying you shouldn't even want anything at all, either because you're not gonna get it or because you're not gonna be satisfied with it.

How about we just get what we want, when we want it, FOR ONCE.

Eh, providence?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Celebration of certainties

Some people find their happiness right away. Never did understand how that works. They meet someone in high school, get married in college, have kids after university and move to the countryside after retirement. How can they do that? How can they not wonder at all at 21? And even worse, how are they so sure they’re not missing out on anything? The counter attack would be saying you can never know what you’re missing out on at any given time. True. But when do you stop looking? And most importantly why?

Some people search the globe for that subtle sign that says ‘joyful bliss 2 lovers ahead’. They travel from city to city, country to country, eventually continent to continent and possibly to the moon, if they can wait a decade or so. But something bugs me about this, too. Because the more places you see, people you meet, jobs your change, religions you experiment and cultures you think you know, the more it becomes obvious that the possibilities are endless. Truly endless. So why in the world stop?

It’s said that asking yourself such questions is a sign of maturity, preoccupation for the future, desire for knowledge and a sure path to finding out what you really want.
Ok, I’ve asked them.

Now what?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Milestones

(Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Ok, the title might have been a bit too much, but on a microlevel my life will be turned upside down starting August 20th 2007. Among the million questions constantly popping into my head, that those close to me have to endure with bravery every day, one was "Just how different will I be when I'm finished exploring The Netherlands?". Well, of course, I turned to the last big change in my life, which happened about two and a half years ago : moving to Bucharest.
On my first vacantion I visited my hometown and the strangest feeling I ever experienced was thinking "I'm riding the same bus, I'm seeing the same buildings, talking to the same people. I love them all. But I don't identify with any of them anymore". Just like before, I'm not fully aware of the fact that I'm leaving. To me, it's out there, in some distant universe, with different rules and customs and ways of thinking and means of transportation!(yes, im going to have to learn how to ride a bike). Utrecht is nice. The photos look great. The weather is definitely not hot. The people are famous for being open-minded, yet polite. Will I come to be a replica of that? Will I come to think I'm a little bit a part of Utrecht and, even worse, a little bit of it is mine? And will my parents recognise the same me when I come home?
Will I ever come back to Romania?
I suppose most people go through this kind of thing, even if their university is in a different city, not a different country. I suppose it could be worse, like moving accross the Atlantic. I suppose I'm thinking too much.