Friday, January 12, 2007

Travel notes in Romania

Notes from a foggy winter journey through northern Transylvania.

It's funny but every time I come back I feel more and more stranger to my native land. The grey, the fog, the country side striped by winter of anything vivid or beautiful, all pictured a cold and estranged Transylvanian reality that you probably experience best in stupid Hollywoodian vampire movies trying to impress viewers with shocking close-to-reality footage of such villages. But it is a first for me to perceive it in this way. New founded exogenous instrumental variables for econometric analysis such as the average heating intensity in commercial spaces in a city (as well as the average air conditioning happening in the summer time per capita) could easily proxy for economic growth or income per capita if we wouldn't have such available data. Unfortunately, we do and it's easy to see correlations with the above which also in the same lines.
Romania, forget EU! forget this crapy fantasy and false hopes that have been fed to you for decades. No americans are coming! no Europeans will save us, but ourselves. Stupid New Year parties all with blue and stars flags; yeah, it's good that we got it the Union but that doesn't do it all for us. Big struggles are just ahead. And today's reality bites hard indeed. You just need to have a morning cruise into any city and have the same picture: retirees with 20 years old coats carrying their heavily dressed grandchildren to schools. The morning chill take its toll. Cold indeed. Everywhere. Houses. Schools. Stores. Just the wise ones are better off. And of course, wise usually doesn't coincide with honest which always has pissed me off. I soon remembered why I decided to go. Grey is omnipresent dominating my thoughts, views and obsessing me with its heavy presence so hard to ignore. However, somehow, people still smile, children spread their candor and hope gets wings from the ashes of sweat and fight of generations most quickly erased by just a signature of a corrupt minister who can barely know how to power his 3000 euros powerbook. Today's big scandals reveal a huge amount of taxes illegally placed by such local bureaucrats (this guys can barely speak and write correctly) Mairs in their greed for deeper pockets from where it is easier to steal. Transylvania is a nicer place than the rest; people here have more decency than the average Romanians. However, a sheep among wolfs..eventually starts to bite also. I am also totally disappointed in the brainwashing undergoing by all the press overstating the joy and happiness around Romania's ascension to EU.
Uncertainty is a tricky business, it can get you through the day but it can drive you mad in a matter of days, just as well. Depends on the scale and on which side of the glass (the full or the empty one) is your God given subjective observing power. ..:)) The crayon in my hand is trembling tremendously as our bus from Cluj Napoca is heading towards Sighetu Marmatiei. Our roads:))..dancing and swirling in numerous curves, defining the long and bumpy (plenty of holes in some portions) but excellent scenic-wise road to home. I have to struggle quite a bit to keep writing but I am exhausted as it is and I think I'm gonna quit now. It has been 4 long days without sleep and I feel like a zombie, slowly sliding into its own mute personal reality. No power, no will...just a cool pencil in a shivering hand while the greyness embraces me in an attempt of a quick but refreshing nap.

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