Sunday, July 21, 2013

I shall henceforth be known as the Baron of Bucharest

Song of the day: Jazz me Blues - The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

My evening could be summed up a little something like this

Well, really it was a restaurant, and about a week ago (I'm a lazy blogger). And it was five Muslims, not just one (which makes the Catholic Europa and me the atheist) Take that, xenophobic societal expectations!

Yes, I have arrived back from Romania (Transylvania, really. Or TRANSylVAnia!!1!) And it was unimaginably lovely in every respect; lovely nature, lovely architecture, lovely weather, lovely food (though with a distressing lack of sauce) and most of all, lovely people. Without them, the whole trip would have been nothing in comparison (but, lets face it, still pretty damn awesome). Amazingly enough the only people I didn't absolutely love were my own countrypeople (excluding Europa. Sssh, don't tell her) and that's because I'm not supposed to; I know what we're like. Well, that and the fact that Icelanders are notorious for getting outrageously swazzled every time they step outside their territory. Not pretty, a fall-down-drunk Icelandic tourist on a foreign airport (especially because they've generally got enough practice still to be standing, despite being fall-down-drunk.)

But it's my country; I'm supposed to grumble about it. It's a sign of patriotism.

After having spent eight days at Cristuru Secuiesc (where it almost took all my time just to learn to say that) we arrived back in Bucharest (where we had spent one day before moving on, and got seriously lost at least three times) and proceeded to get lost again some astounding four times more. Urban planning? Not really a thing in that city.

And I loved it. I didn't think you could fall in love with a place in less than four days, but apparently you can. I loved the strangely often fried food, I hated (but still kinda loved) the searing heat, how (in the words of Europa) it always felt like you were on your way out of a sauna but never actually made it out. I loved the total unnecessity (not a word but the best I can come up with) of blankets while sleeping (or pajamas, for that matter). I loved the totally weird architecture, where you'd just be walking down the road and then BAM suddenly there is this palace-like gorgeous thing next to you and it looks totally run down which somehow makes it even more beautiful. I love the total lack of tourists. I love the public spaces, the insane traffic, the fact that there are almost six times as many people living in that one city than in my entire country. I will declare my life successful should I ever make it back to București, România.

It's strange that a place I had almost no knowledge of previously would become so voluminous in my mind. I mean, the extend of my former connection to it was that my grandfather was sometimes called 'the Baron of Bucharest' (the joke being that he was a graveyard keeper and in Icelandic the literal translation of Búkarest would be 'a place where corpses rest.' Yeah, my family is morbid.)

But yeah, there we were, me and Europa and our five friends from Turkey (Alliteration!) the only ones attending the project left in the country. We had decided to stick together while we were still there (and as formerly mentioned we got lost quite a lot) and had a really grand time; visited a bunch of museums, restaurants, shops and landmarks. But most of all I remember talking about everything and nothing, and learning how that the more we seemed different due to our cultures, the more I realized we were the same. Like, intellectually I am aware of all the biased or just untrue crap media and society pours into our brains on everything different, but fully realizing it is a whole different pack of lemmings. And it was a great thing to have happen to me, good for my social and mental health. It, to quote a certain YA author, let me imagine people more complexly (which will come in handy while writing, I imagine.) It is probably what I appreciate the most about this trip, retrospectively.

I'll probably write more on our various exploits when I can be arsed, since it seems I will have plenty of time (stupid economy...) Don't cheer all at once.


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