Going back to Romania is always an emotional whirlwind for me. Being constantly surrounded by people I love and who love me back, seeing my parents and grandparents, tear-filled goodbyes, the uncertainty of whether I'm going to see certain family members again... all of these lead to a very emotionally-intense experience. It's not about experiencing new things and seeking adrenaline; it's about going back to one's roots, traditions, customs, upbringing, societal norms and all the things that built me, yet feel so remote from who I am today.
|With my strong-as-a-rock, sassy, stubborn, sharp-tongued adorable grandma in her backyard.|
|Outside of "La Caru cu Bere" - one of the most "atmospheric" restaurants in Bucharest.|
|My mom and her two cubs.|
Florin and Elena. Love is in the air!
This is Noel, my other cat. When I was 17 years old I brought home this cat. He was 2 months old. My mom hated it and had previously forbidden me to bring any cats into the house. But I still did. I really wanted to get Noel's brother too, and name him Liam (as I was a big fan of Oasis back then), but two cats would have caused my mom a heart attack, so I settled with just one. Fast forward, Noel is now 14 years old. He's still just as playful and agile as a kitten. Man, cats really know how to age well.
My parents and I went out for a stroll on the esplanade of the Danube river and took a few photos. Here's my mom and I enjoying the sun over a beer at a local restaurant.
My dad is the king of afternoon naps and sometimes Noel sneaks a nap with him.
this. She's not supposed to stand up or walk for too long, but she's a very stubborn and determined woman with a busy agenda, so she's always running around doing a million things. She's over 80 years old and I've never seen anyone as energetic as she. Here, she is telling me about her huge list of garden chores, as if any of that matters more than her health. Countryside people are married to their land. It's their lifetime love and sole purpose of living.
Romanian food blog post, so I won't repeat myself here. Needless to say, when it's cold out, this is a really hearty meal to have.
Romanian food blog post. Check it out!
This street leads to my old college, and now the walls are plastered with these horendous grafitti. I wish SF taggers would be more creative and less lazy... This is bullshit, not "alternative art". If only they'd see how creative SF murals are...
The entrance hallway of my former college. Everything smells old and breathes history here - it makes me feel nostalgic.
Bicycle lane in Herastrau park. Allegedly, these are some of the most expensive bike lanes in Europe, it cost something like thousands of euros per meter to make. That's how corruption works, baby!
Anne and I visited the Village Museum, one of the largest outdoors museums in the world. Basically, this guy once had the genius idea of uprooting traditional houses, churches and mills from various parts of the country, transporting them to Bucharest and re-planting them in a make-shift village. As you walk down the streets of this village, you get to see chickens running around, vegetable and flower gardens, trees, fences and all it takes to make it look like a real-life community. The houses are gorgeous and so very different from one another. This was my first time visiting the museum, and I had a blast. Wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting Bucharest.
This house comes from a lowland area by the Danube river. It is half buried in the ground. The reasons why it's constructed so low to the ground are the following: the winds in that are are very strong, so it prevents the house from being taken apart, it's very hot in summer time, so having it half underground makes it cooler inside. It also gets a lot of snow and blizzard in the winter, so it stays warmer inside. Not sure if you can see Anne, trying to squeeze by in the entrance area. And no, the people who lived there are not midgets.
George Enescu, and his wife, Maria Cantacuzino. The wife's father was a rich dude, who ordered this building to be made for his daughter and son in law. The building in the photo above is not the actual main house, but their guest house in the back of the main house.
Back in the good ol' USA, found my home almost the same way as it was when I left... and this sweet note on the kitchen board. Coming back to a routine and familiar things felt like waking up from a long dream. I really missed sleeping in my own bed, or sleeping in the same bed every night. I missed having a bit of routine and order in my life.
Going to bed on the first night back home I sieved through 6 months worth of mail.... mostly junk, but also bills and reminders that I am back to normality and real-life responsibilities. The dream is over...