Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Big City

When I got home yesterday, after skipping two meals and being late for the third I was ready for the earful that I was sure to get. But when I walked in I got more that I anticipated. Loud passionate speaking was coming form my hostess, words I've never heard. As always I was pretty lost but then I started to recognize names of people, what did they have to do with it? Then she picked up the phone to call Dana, her daughter-in-law and our translator. Dana?! She must be really pissed if she has to call Dana to translate her frustration. Maybe she's kicking me out? Maybe I should find another place?

She hands me the phone with Dana on the other end, I take the phone to find out that my Romanian hasn't gotten much better. I have a package waiting for me in Oradea that I have to sign for. Apparently international packages can only go so far in the postal system. But like a kid at camp getting a care package from home I was elated.

The next morning I rise at 5am to catch the bus to Oradea. I'm out the door half an hour later to find a very cold brisk morning and something I've missed for days and days, stars. A clear night sky rises aloft my head in all its twinkley splendor. A clear sky means sun, sun means warmth and warmth means no more snow. As I walk the same main street along the water I join the procession to the bus stop. A friendly face walks with me although we understand little of what one another is saying.

Once the mini-bus arrives I climb on board with the few who remain. I try to pay the driver but before I can hand over my fair he hits the gas and rumbles down the road. I wisely grab a sit before one grabs me. We bounce down the roads picking up more passengers than letting off as we head to the big city. The music was an interesting mix of Gypsy Polka, Lady Gaga and Romania's version of Neal Diamond. Needless to say I had my headphones in. I watched the sun rise with the morning haze to reveal more snow.

After a brief stop to let a passenger relieve her breakfast to the side of the road we arrive in a very cold Oradea, with all its morning madness of commuters. I part ways with the bus driver man in a familiar spot, hand him a ten note where we call it even; he had his window down during the cold morning drive so he could smoke. Nothing like living like the locals.

I arrive at Adi's around 8am, he kindly gives me a lift to the Post so I can pick up my hefty package of goodies. Form there I am released to Daniel. The two of us make the few stops so that I can buy more consumables for the studio and then he graciously offers to drive me home since he has business in Bieus. But only after we stop to have a home cooked breakfast at his. I met his lovely wife, have a filling, yet light, meal and take in the thoughtful beauty of their home. Then we're off. On our way home we have a very interesting theological discussion while we enjoy the blue skies and sun.

As I type this I listen to the clump clop of a horse as it strides down the road; such a change from the tramcars, four lanes roads and busy intersections of the big city. But my mind is on more important things, like all the goodies for my hosts, students and my belly… among other things.

As for the pics, one is a teaser, another just for fun and the third is working out Romania syle

1 comment:

  1. Aaron, about 10:10 this morning I descended from my office above the White Squirrel Shop in Brevard and turned left to head down courthouse hill. I glanced across Broad Street and saw a little girl in a long white coat standing on her tiptoes (she was atop the wall in front of the courthouse) to touch the nose of your elk. After days of heavy rain (the river is up over Wilson Road in Pisgah Forest), the sun was just coming from behind the clouds. The girl's head and outstretched hand and the antlers of your elk were suddenly alight. It happened and then was quickly gone, but the memory remains.

    I had hoped to convince the T Times to run your blog entire as a regular column (it's that good)but printing completely fresh and unique material that is not thoroughly maticated and molded into journalistic form doesn't seem to fit into their formula. Oh well.

    Your commitment to your mission is heroic, and your wry sense of humor and affection for the people of Pietroasa are wonderful. Your running commentary about your encounters with your feeders and your rooster are priceless. I trust spring will be completely there anon. Tom