Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Orange Girl

I must admit. The tile of this book, written by Jostein Gaarder, convinced me. So I didn't bother to randomly read some lines, as I always do before buying a book. 
I told myself 'it's about oranges, so it must be interesting'.
So I carried it. 'Carried it' because I put at least 1000 miles between the bookstore from where I bought it and the place I read it. 
Now I understand why I was so fascinated with the clear sky on summer nights, with Venus and even with the Milky Way. 
I will not make a resume of the book because that would be totally unfair. Not to me, but to the people reading the book. 
But I will add, though, that I haven't been so spell-bound since reading 'The truth about the Harry Quebert affair'. I read all of it at once. It fascinated me, it thrilled me, but mostly, it made me remember a long lost love - The Orion's Belt. 
Trying to find out more about the author, I discovered 'The Orange girl' movie. More details here.
Lucky You!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Living like being on a trip

For quite some time now I have been travelling by train. I let myself be spellbound by its magic. From time to time, I got my nose out of the book I was reading and contemplated the scenery passing by in front of the window. Lately, it has been hard not to give in to nostalgia. The trees are to blame. Actually, the green leaves of the trees. Wet with rain and wind-beaten. They made me remember a trip from my elementary school. My first school trip. I was so thrilled to be going on a trip! I had lunch, wrapped in a special box. In those days that seemed rather big since only adults carried around lunch boxes. Every evening I used to watch my father preparing his lunch box and I took it as a great honor to be sharing the same experience with him, even though I was not yet an adult.
The night before the trip was like a train going through a tunnel. One could not wait to go out into the light. In the morning, when I opened my eyes - disappointment. It had rained. I hurried to school even though my mother told me that the trip might be off. In the schoolyard, my colleagues were facing the same worries. The teacher came. She told us to get into the classroom. She explained to us that due to the weather we could not go on that trip. But we would have a picnic together and go home early. Therefore, my first picnic took place in a classroom. As glad as we were to be getting home early, we were disappointed. Still, this could have turned into something worse - a regular schoolday. 
But the thing I remember the most is the sight of wet leaves across the window. Not long afterwards I had my picnic outdoors. But even better, I was repaid for that lost trip - with a lot of trips.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

To be on one's own

‘To be together does not mean to be alike, but to have common aspirations. Because we are parts of the same body and no one is on one's own. As a rule, man is not on one's own. Only a finger or a broken leg could be on its own.' 

‘The box-tree grove’ - Mihail Ancearov 

Friday, 9 May 2014

'Kanfietu vas?'

Some say that a child can connect easier with the ones around it, lacking prejudicies and fear of rejection. Also, they say that a child can find out more accurately what it really wants. Looking back, I must say that there is only one thing that never changed regarding my wantings - my insatiable craving for sweets. After the fall of the communist regime, trade suffered some changes. In the city by the Danube, where I was born, this change was easily spotted. People coming from Ukraine, especially for the Saturday fair, would bring various products to sell. The chance to see something new was one that every Romanian wanted to seize back then. We used to go and watch the wonderful spectacle of 'free trade' (freedom was a word highly used during the first years after the revolution in 1989). Completely different puppets than the ones I could see in the window shops of Romanian stores would arise my interest, but most of all I found myself spellbound by the colored wrapping of sweets. Russian chocolate was the first thing I tried. I didn't like it. But I was not discouraged. I tested all kind of candies. And these were to my taste. Having witnessed such high interest in sweets, a she-merchant taught me how to ask 'have you got sweets' in Russian. If I remember it well, it sounded like 'Kanfietu vas?'. Once the language barrier was overcome, I stopped wasting time scanning the products on the stalls. I used to go from one stall to the other, and I wouldn't stop until somebody answered 'Da' (which is 'Yes' in Russian). My folks would laugh on my expense, but the merchants were much more amused. Nevertheless, they were facing a client who knew what she wanted, not claiming too much. And one knows that such thing is very hard to find. « Kanfietu vas ? »