Category Archives: Moments

Random thoughts on random occasions.

How to lose a wallet and 200 euros in 10 minutes :)

The story is quite simple and goes like this. I had a plane to catch fromDortmund,Germanyto my home town inRomania. Nothing complicated, right? Wrong

So here are the facts:

–         we get up at 7.30 am with my girlfriend at her place inMaastricht(theNetherlands)

–         we take the bus to the main bus and train station inMaastricht(first bus)

–         I say goodbye, hugs and kisses, be back in 12 days and all that J and I take the bus fromMaastrichttoAachen(second bus) at exactly 9.01 am

–         I am on the bus, it is already 10.13 am and we are still not at the train station when the driver tells me…”Oppss…This bus does not stop at the station”. “What??? It always did before. I have a train to catch to Koln and thenDortmund”. Nope…

–         so he puts me off at a secondary train station, I get on the 2 min train to the central station and on the train I realize two crucial things: I lost my other train and I lost my wallet

–         I get of at Aachen Central (Hbf) to discover that I have one passport on me and the pre-booked train and plane tickets, but no wallet and money on me

–         so I go to the information centre and bag them to let me use the ticket on the next one as I will miss my flight, I lost my wallet, the only ID I have is a passport, and I don’t have any money, credit, debit or whatever card

–         the lady in typical German office worker style raises her shoulders: “So what should I do about it? U booked it, you didn’t catch it. Bad luck!” So I raise my voice, I start yelling at her, she is on the verge of calling the police and I say u go “F…ck yourself” and a couple of more epithets

–         so here I am, 10.30 am. I lost my train, I will lose my plane and lost my wallet. I call up my girlfriend who had an interview at 13 am for a job. I tell her to go wait for the bus to come back, as I most probably lost it on it, when trying to get off in a hurry.

–         so she rushes by foot 30 min overMaastricht, waits 25 min. for the buses to come back. She searches 2 buses and finds the wallet

–         sn the meantime I am looking at the last option I could use to get to theDortmundAirport, a train that leaves at 11.39 am. My girlfriend found the wallet at 11.15 am in a different country.

–         so I call up my parents, and tell them not to wait for me.

–         my girlfriend gets a cab, pays 50 euros for the guy to come down toAachen. In the meantime I am bargaining on the phone with her taxi driver to take me toDortmundstraight. How much in total? 280 euros from Maastricht-Aachen-Dortmund and he can take me there in 2 hours. So we settled for 250 euros.

–         the rain starts poring, at 11.55 am my girl friend arrives with the taxi, I get the wallet, take out 300 euros from my bank card, kiss her in a hurry and take the taxi

–         I give the guy 250 euros as negotiated on the phone. He takes it. My girlfriend sends me a message that she already gave him 50, so we start quarreling and I told him that 250 was the price for both trips. He conceded. So I took back 50.

–         we are 40 km from the airport when we reach a 7 km long traffic jam (sorry AutoBahn, but you are not as good as people say you are)

–         in the meantime the rain is poring down, it starts hailing as well. I say to myself, why the hell is this all happening to me?

–         the minutes go buy, the check-in will close soon. Finally the cars start moving. We were stuck for 25 min.

–         With 80 km/h on the renownedGerman Highwaywe finally get to the airport

–         More than 2 nerve wrecking hours and 200 km after, I reach the airport at 2.35 pm, just 5 min. before the check-in closed.

–         So now I am here back home and waiting to celebrate my brother’s birthday.

 

The price you pay to see your family once in 6 months doesn’t have limits. The thank you I owe to my girlfriend right now is limitless. Without her I couldn’t have done this. And because of me she had to postpone a job interview (student assistant at a prestigious institute). Unfortunately I got even more disgusted of the rigidity of the German system (no offence to my German friends), but in such a situation, when I already had a ticket bought, but I missed the train and I didn’t have any money or wallet on me, I would’ve expected at least some understanding from the system. To my girlfriend J Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Εφχαριστω!

 

Maastricht-Aachen-Dortmund-Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár 25 June 2011 

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Elmenés előtti kis duma egy újabb generációval…:) Pre-departure chit-chat with a new generation

Holnapi indulásom előtt megkért volt osztályfőnököm, Zsolt, hogy immár harmadik osztályának mondjak egy pár szót arról, hogy mit és miért teszek az életemben és, hogy egy pár jó tanácsot adjak az új generáció 15, 16 éveseknek.

Remélem nem fárasztottalak le túlságosan 🙂 Nehéz reggel kilenckor egy idegen kalapos dumájára figyelni, de hiszem, hogy valami rátok ragadt és sok minden még rátok fog ragadni maradék 3,5 lici éveitek alatt.

Ügyes társasággal volt ma reggel dolgom, habár kissé megszeppentetek. Rájöttem, hogy majdnem tiz év alatt (elnézést, de ezen a billentyűzetemen nincs hosszú “i” 😛 ) sok minden változott és ezek a fiatalok már máshogyan férnek hozzá az információhoz. De valami mindig ugyanaz marad. A szereplők változtnak, de a szindarab (újabb hosszú “i” 🙂 ) nem. Egy 15, 16 éves kamasz gondjai a napi házi feladat, a fizika feladat vagy netán a kórus felkészitő. És ennek most igy kell lennie. Minden kornak megvannak a maga gondjai.

Kitartást kivánok nektek és ne feledjétek, ügyeljetek az apró dolgokra az életben 🙂

Prior to my departure my ex class master, Zsolt, asked me to share a couple of words and thoughts about what, why and how I do in my life, and to give some good advices to the new generation of 15, 16 year olds.

I hope I didn’t tire you guys too much 🙂  It’s difficult to listen at 9 am to the recalls of a strange guy with a goofy hat. But I know and hope that a part of what I said found stable grounds and a lot more will follow in the remaining 3.5 years of high-school.

I had to deal with a wonderful, but somewhat frightened bunch, this morning 😛 I realized that in almost ten years a lot have changed and youngsters nowadays have a better access to information than we did. But something always remains the same. The actors change but the play remains the same (sorry for the cliché). The day-to-day worries of a 15, 16 year old remain the same; homework, complicated physics classes and choir rehearsals. And this is how it should be at this age. Every age has its own problems.

I wish you guys good luck and strength to carry on and don’t forget to always pay attention to the small things in life.  🙂

Gashi

Back in the 21st century…just left the 19th…

People who know me better, know that there is a place on this planet that means more to me than any other…It’s not my home town, it’s not my sole city, it’s a tiny village tucked away in a God forgotten valley. Hardly even visible on google maps… Jews and Christians have their Jerusalem, Muslims their Mecca, I have my own spiritual valley…It’s a place where I go to forget, where I go to remember, where a past world comes to life and becomes reality and where a present world becomes the past…No running water, no gas and only barely electricity. No paved roads, fancy cars, laptops and facebook.

Time stays still, but time passes as well…In the last years I scarcely had the opportunity of spending more than a day in a place where I passed by summers as a child…Now I had the luck of spending three days. Three days where I shed my 21st century clothes, mentality and problems, and I reemerged as one of them. Walking on the streets yesterday someone saw me, greeted me and told me: “Son, you haven’t changed. You’re still one of us”. It’s a place where daily problems are not e-mails, exams, papers and projects, but whether the crops will fail this year, whether the hay dried with all this rain or whether this weather will do any good for this year’s grape harvest…I am witnessing a dying world, a world that struggled and is still struggling to exist, but a world for which I don’t see a distant future. Many people passed away in the last years. People my age, kids who we would roam the dusty allies left to Germany…Time has gotten the best of my old folks as well…They’ve gotten old. I realized this, and I realized how fortunate I am to still spend time with them, to hear their stories and to ask for advice.

There’s a certain wisdom in these people I cannot fully grasp. As a child and now as a grownup I still stare at my grandpa when he rests after work. It is that moment of his being that is his, a moment I can only look at and wonder. With a smoking cigarette in his left hand, he glances into the distance in what seams to be a place of memories, life, understanding and emptiness. It is the glance of a person gone through the difficulties and wonders of life, a glance that holds satisfaction and sorrow and ultimately takes life for what it is…I was fortunate enough to catch this moment on camera. And I want to share it with you…

Kolozsvár / Szászdányán 10.07.2010

I started watching people again….

It’s one of the best things you can do on a chilly Sunday afternoon, while waiting for the bus in a dusty bus-station. I almost forgot how well it feels to stop and look around for a second and just forget about everyday life. Probably everyday worries, because everyday life is what surrounds us, but we just have a natural tendency to avoid what’s happening next to us…Two images caught my attention and both of them put a smile on my face…

Switching buses, I came across this older man with a small child sitting on his shoulders. I think it was his granddad, or probably an older father…Something struck me seeing these two. The older man had some loose pants on, some enormous glasses, scruffy gray hair and a beard to top it. The blond child was sitting happily on his shoulders and grabbing his hair. But it wasn’t the beard, nor the blond child…it was something else… They had the same smile on their faces. No words, no laughter, not even a sound…but the same childish smile on both of their faces….

As I came to the second bus station, two small girls were running around… most probably two sisters still in kindergarten with amazingly beautiful curly blond hair. Be careful girls…stop fooling around. – said a rugged and almost drunken voice. I looked at this older man, probably in his early sixties…small in stature with some shabby jeans on and a face that told me that he used some alcohol in his life. I felt a small outrage in me, seeing this man taking care of these two little girls. Are you hungry kids? – the old man asked the two girls. Both of them nodded their small heads. Com’on. Pappy’s gonna buy you some fries. The two kids started jumping around. He picked both of them up. So, ain’t you gonna give pappy a little kiss? –the old man asked them with a smile on his face. The two little girls kissed the cheeks of their gran’pappy. All three of them smiled. It was the same smile that I saw some moments before. The same childish smile on a chilly Sunday afternoon in two dusty bus-stations…

31st of May, 2009, Sunday – Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca

Marco’s visit, my Mom’s birthday, formaldehyde and human stupidity.

What is the link between my Portuguese friend’s visit to Cluj/Kolozsvar, my Mom’s birthday and formaldehyde, used to preserve corpses (dead people)?

4 a.m. I arrive home. I say good-bye to Marco. He’s leaving to Bistrita/Beszterce today. I can’t just let him go empty handed, so I promise him some good old pear palinka.

11.45 a.m. I wake up with quite a hangover, slowly walk towards the bathroom and I start removing last night’s smoke and booze stench.

12.00 a.m./p.m. I say Happy Birthday to my mom and afterwards start having lunch (or breakfast. I don’t really know which of the two). Around 13.p.m. I should meet Marco and wish him a safe journey.

12.45 p.m. I open the door from the food storage. I forget to turn on the lights. A couple of bottles of pear and plum palinka should be on the ground somewhere. I should check which one is the one I promised.

12.55 p.m. Ten minutes have past since I’ve been holding onto the toilet-seat, as hard as I can. The whole of my stomach and insides are violently shaking while the heretic contractions of my diaphragm increase the urge to vomit, but it doesn’t happen. The finger method isn’t working either. My throat, mouth cavity and respiratory system are burning. No moment passes, without me spitting. My saliva and mucus meet below my nose. My mom rushes with a jar of milk. I drink half a liter of it and take a couple of carbon tablets. One glass after the other, the water slowly starts reducing the pain and burning. It still burns like hell. I start swearing and for the first time in my life I really panic, as I just drank poison. The repulsing vapors that start coming out of me make my eyes water. My diaphragm starts to reduce its contractions. My eyesight is blurry my head starts to spin…I get up, drink another glass of water and finish the milk. In the sink, the spilled bottle of formaldehyde…

13.25 p.m. My brother rushes me to the Emergency. I slowly start to recover on the way and I actually start laughing at the stupidity I’ve just done. Maybe it’s because of the side-effects of the poison ;). I casually walk in the No.1 Emergency hospital in Cluj/Kolozsvar. I talk to a nurse. What happened to you sir? – Oh, not much. I just took a sip of formaldehyde and I heard that it is quite poisonous. – You did what?!?! The nurse panics and they rush me in a room and pull the curtains. A dozen of doctors, nurses and practicing medical students gather around me. Meanwhile I start feeling better and I’m already thinking of flirting with a couple of the young nurses. Well sir. We will have to unfortunately give you an enema. My smile fades in an instance. No thank you. I will not undergo such a violation of my body. The idea of having a couple of pipes going up my most intimate parts quickly put me back on my feet. I explained them every little detail. How much, when and what did I take. They gathered around for a second. Okey. You were lucky this time. You won’t have any further complications, because it wasn’t a big dose. You have to go and get your throat checked.

13.45 p.m. While the doctor is examining my throat, I’m looking at the blond nurse. AAA…EEE…OOOO…I start yammering at the doctor’s orders, while he holds my tongue with a piece of cloth. Hmm…your vocal cords are somewhat swollen. A little Tantum Verde (Green Tantum, or something like that) will get you better. That’s why you have such a rugged voice.

14.30 p.m. We’ve just bought my mom’s present. I can’t yet feel the laxative’s effect, but it seams like everything is just fine 😀

87 késő tele / Late winter of ‘87

Az elmúlt hetek véghetetlen sara átadta helyét az egyre növekvő hidegnek. A Tóköz új szürke blokkjait hetekig tartó sártenger választotta el. Egyre növekszik a hideg. A sár redők betonná fagytak. Egyre csak hűlnek a lakások. Vékony hótakaró fagyott a megkeményedett keréknyomokra.

Recsegni kezdnek a hópelyhek a közeledő Clujeana bakancsok recéi alatt. Gyors léptekkel siet egy fiatal apa. Gomolyag párafelhők hagyják el orrát minden egyes lélegzet vételnél. Egyre növekszik a hideg. Ujjait lilára csípte a hideg. Egy necc lóg jobb mutatóujján. Egy pár narancs töri meg a fakóra dermedt sarat.

A lépcsőház ajtaja is hidegen mereng. Lassan csikorog a lift…Egy égő pislákol a lépcsőház végében. Nem rég adták vissza a villanyt. Haza érkezett a fiatal apa. Kezében a necc narancs.

A szerény lakásban árad a meleg. Égnek a konyhában a gázégők. A falon egy lovas jelenetet ábrázoló bordó szőttes. Szerény fiatal lakás… Az ágy mellett csecsemő hangja hallszik. A gyerekdalt megtöri a háttérben zúgó Tévé. Fekete fehér arccal szól a néphez a diktátor. Legalább ne szólna semmit.

Az ágy mögött egy paplan fedi a beton földet. Alább hagyott a hideg. A szoba sarkában két radiátor önti a meleget a kis szobára. A paplanon egy fiatal anya játszik egy szőke fiú gyermekkel. Még nincs két éves. Fehér kis sapka a fején, fehér zoknik a lábain. Nem érzi a kisgyerek a hideget. Figyeli, amint anyja kezében a kis lovas életre kel. Mosolyog a parányi falovasnak. Fölnevet és kezeivel tapsolni kezd. Alább hagyott a hideg. A szőke fiúcska mellett egy Mózes kosár. Egy párnapos barna csecsemő halk szunnyadása simogatja meg a meleg levegőt. Kis csipkés takaró melegíti a pár napost. Fején halvány sapka. Álmában mosolyog. Alább hagyott a hideg

______________________________

The past few weeks’ endless sea of mud gave way to the increasing frost. The neighborhood’s new concrete flats lay separated by the never ending swamp. The cold keeps on rising. Former mud wrinkles froze to a solid mass of concrete. Cold creeps in the silent homes. A thin layer of snow lies frozen on the solid tire tracks.

Snowflakes start to screech under the approaching Clujeana boots. A young father picks up the pace. Swirls of foggy vapors leave his nose at every breath he catches. The cold keeps on rising. His purple, frost bitten fingers hold a small shopping bag. A couple of oranges break the lifelessly stiffened mud.

The flat’s entrance door wobbles under the cold. Slowly, the elevator screeches its way to the top floor…A light bulb flickers at the bottom of the corridor. They’ve just restarted the electricity. The young father arrives home. A bag of oranges in his hand…

Warmth surrounds the modest home. Gas burners warm up the kitchen. A dark red canvas portrays a battle of horsemen. A modest young home…Next to the bed the voice of a toddler reaches trough the room. In the background an erratic TV set disturbs the childish notes. With a black and white face ,the dictator addresses the people. It would be better if he just kept quiet.

Near the bed, a blanket covers the concrete floor. The cold started to diminish. In the corner, two radiators toss their warmth around the room. A young mother plays with a tiny blond child on the blanket. He’s not even two years old. A small white hat covers his blond head, white socks warm his little feet. He doesn’t feel the cold. With curios eyes he follows her mother’s every move, as the small toy horseman comes to life. He smiles at the wooden toy, followed by a silent giggle among his clapping hands. The cold started to diminish. A Moses basket lies next to the blond boy. The silent sleeping of a couple of days old toddler touches the warm air. A small blanket covers his little body; a pale white cap keeps his little head warm. He smiles in his dreams. The cold started to diminish.

Dec. 3O 2008, Február vége 1987 ; 30 Dec. 2008, the end of February 1987

Karácsonyi angyal/ X-mas angel

Két, vékony hótakaróval fedett, Dacia szunnyad az útszélén. A járdára hullott pár pelyhet még nem igazán taposta szét senki. Egy sáros hó sáv választja el a járdát az úttól. Egy pislákoló oszlop szórja enyhén meleg fényét. Senki igazán az utcákon… A távolban egy lobogó hadakozik a tomboló széllel…Szunnyad a két öreg Dacia. Ki tudja, ha eljön majd hozzájuk is az angyal?

A thin blanket of snow covers two cars, slumbering on the side of the road. Some lost snowflakes lie scattered on the side-walk. No one is there to trample them. A muddy line of snow separates the side-walk from the street. A flickering light bulb slowly casts its warm light. The streets lie empty…In the distance a flag battles with the raging wind…The two old cars continue their slumber. Who knows if the angel will pay them a visit tonight?

Dec. 24 2008