18 January 2016

Once upon a time...

Munich skies...

...and fairy tales

14 December 2015

We decided to go out the next day and spend some time in the fresh air of the region's countryside. One of the best, if you asked me. We jumped into the car the next morning, picked up a friend and his family and took off. The three of us, Ana, her mother and I, were sitting on the back seat, watching the landscape and chatting from time to time. Ana was eating some junk food, as one often does on a road trip. We all know how time passes a lot quicker when you have some chips or some chocolate with you. Although, in our case, the trip didn't last very long because this marvellous place I was telling you about was at almost two hours from our town. We got off the car, stretched a little and glanced at the sky. It was cloudy. I didn't care about the weather conditions, even if I wasn't wearing the right shoes. I hadn't been there for a long time, so I was feeling like a woman in a pastry shop after a very long diet (I should know)! I always enjoyed hiking, probably because I was not doing that very often. Anyway, they had some work to do and we stopped in front of this sexy rock on the left of the path. I don't exactly recall when the word "snake" popped up into the conversation, but I could hear it out loud in my ears for the entire time. Sometimes it is best not to be aware of these things.
"We stop here for a while. You can go for a walk to the old house, there down the hill. Or you could stay here in the hammock. These trees are perfect for it."
"Thanks. How long would the trip take?"
"Probably about an hour. It's not that far."
"I'll go for a walk. I can call you, although there may be no signal over there."
Ana said she would come with me too, so we started walking through that field, full of grass and blooming flowers, while the valley was opening in front of our eyes. I didn't know what 9-year old Ana was thinking at the time, but I was actually praying not to step on anything crawling our way. While trying to keep this fear under control, I took out my phone and thought of practising my skills as an amateur photographer. Between you and me, I haven't improved that much in this sector. But I was taking pictures of everything I could see on my way.
"I am going back to get my phone. I want to take photos of these flowers," Ana said.
"Sure. I'll wait here for you."
She came back with her phone, ready to take the best shots she could.
"Can you believe how many wonders you can see in one day?!" she exclaimed fascinated by everything. I couldn't agree more. Then she started telling me about her school, camps, climbing and riding, and her dream about flying.

20 November 2015

"Why are you complaining? You've known this from the start. You've checked the weather and everything."
"Well, I haven't thought they would give an accurate prediction."
"Looks like they've improved their technology. Next time you should believe them."
"Well, next time I won't check the weather at all. Now, what shall we do?"
"We wait for the rain to stop. We have a tasty lunch in here and I will write my story. Why don't you watch TV or read one of your magazines?"
"I don't feel like it. Let's eat."
They sat down at the round table, reading the menu.
"Can you find a menu in a language we understand?"
"Sorry, I picked up the one at hand. I didn't know it was in German. Let's see. Ah, there's one in English."
"What are you doing?"
"We are having lunch! Can you let that thing aside for half an hour?"
"And what am I going to do? Talk to you? At the moment I'd rather do anything else but that."
"And you are saying everything just like that..."
"Sorry, there's no other way."
"Ok, then. Have lunch by yourself."
"Where are you going?"
"Away. Maybe I'll come back later for my luggage. If not, take it home."
She put on the jacket, took the umbrella and left. It had been raining heavily since morning, so the pavement looked like a flowing river. "Nice day for a walk. I need some rubber boots." People were looking for a place to hide from the showers falling out from the sky, but she was heading towards the big tower on the left. She remembered a restaurant in that area that she thought she had seen the other day. Unfortunately, there was only a cafe. She opened the door and looked around. There were two empty tables, one by a window and another one next to it.
"Would you like a table, miss?"
"Yes. The one by the window, please."
"How many persons?"
"Just one."
"Ok, here is the menu."
"Thank you. And, please, take the ashtray. I stopped smoking some time ago."
"That's what they all say."
"What's up with you?"
"Nothing... What shall I bring you?"
"A coffee for now. Thank you."
Nothing to eat, except peanuts. She placed her phone on the table and leaned against the back of the chair. No one was passing by. The gallery opposite the cafe was empty. A woman was getting ready to close her gift shop. She looked at her phone. It wasn't ringing. She contemplated calling him, but changed her mind. She covered her face with her hands.
"Would you like some napkins with your coffee? I can bring you a box."
"No, thanks. I'd like you to leave me alone."
"Fine, but I'm sure you can get over anything that is bothering you."
"If I want your input on anything, I'll ask for it."
"You don't have to be so grouchy. It's just rain, it'll stop tomorrow."
"I'm leaving tonight. In fact, I'm leaving right now. Have a nice day."
"Have a..."
She flipped a coin and opened the door. "Heads. I'll go left." A few steps later, her clothes were wet and she couldn't keep her eyes open as the rain was pouring on her face.
"Chris, I've found this at the table by the window."
"It's hers. Shall I go after her?"

30 March 2015

and a thing of beauty

Sensational Carturesti bookstore in Bucharest (RO)

17 November 2013

She took a book from the shelf and came back downstairs. In the living room, everyone was watching Jamie Oliver cooking something delicious. At least, that's how it looked from where she was standing. She sat at the kitchen table, lit up a cigarette and opened the book. For five or ten minutes, everything was the same. Then mom entered:
"You're smoking, again. You said you'd quit."
"Oh, mom, don't start again with the theory. I didn't quit. I was just on a very short break."
"But, you know how bad it is for your health."
"I know, mom, all these facts. They are everywhere."
"So what? I'm smoking now. That's that."
"Promise me you'll smoke less."
"Oh, mom, don't start again. Ok, I'll try."
Her mom left the kitchen in a hurry to catch the end of Jamie Oliver's show. She remained at the kitchen table with the book opened. She didn't feel like reading. She wanted to do something different that afternoon. Closing her eyes, she started browsing her mind for an activity that could entertain her for a few hours, maybe even get her out of the house that was pressing against her shoulders every minute. Going to the mall, some window shopping popped up.
"Mom, I'm going out. I won't be long."
"Where are you going now?"
"To the mall."
Her mom returned to her show and didn't ask any more questions. She was focused on the cooking and couldn't process other information. She wanted to tell her mom a few things, but gave up quickly when she saw that no one was interested.
A few moments later she went to her room, took a shower and put on some clothes she found lying around. Luckily, they were clean. She grabbed her purse and left. She reached the bus station, thinking of calling someone to join her, but her phone wasn't in the bag. The bus came after five long minutes. She got on and sat on an empty chair by the window...They were moving slowly. The bus stopped at a station, more passengers got on. '4 got on the bus, 2 validated. Validate now!' said the electronic display from behind the driver's seat. Of course, this was inaccurate. More passengers got on. Who knows how many validated!? Not being a life and death matter, she focused again on the outside. More grey blocks of flats.

13 November 2013

"Trying to change some things. This could be an objective to consider. Then the question is what things to change. One moment you make a list of four or five or six aspects important to you, the next minute you draw up another list with million other entries. Then you change your mind again. And you continue spinning 90, 180, 360 degrees with the speed of light with no result. Then you give up, you don't decide to begin, you leave everything as is. But nothing is the same, whether you want it or not, the circumstances are changed. You open the blank page and start writing what crosses your mind. Suddenly, a quarter of a page is filled out with nothing in particular, only with words that do not serve any purpose or anyone, just hanging on the white background. They do not even comfort the writer or the reader, whoever he/she is. You never know that. And it is not important. Maybe nobody should read, they do not mean anything to anyone anyway. Just a few lines left for a while there and meant to be erased a while later."
"What the fuck is this? You were supposed to write a paragraph on the war in Afghanistan."
"Shut your mouth! Let me think for a few minutes."