human behavior

Eerie Romania

Posted in Art, Foreign Impressions, Travel by humanb on March 21, 2012

My husband and I went on something of a whirlwind holiday last year.  Over four weeks, we travelled to 10+ cities. This was a new form of travel for me. Whenever I’d travelled before, I’d gone to one place and squatted for at least two months. How else could you come to know a place, its rhythm, the priorities and perspectives of its people?

Well, as it turns out, it doesn’t take all that long to get a sense of a place. And there’s something to be said for first impressions. 

The Itinerary:

Beijing – Paris – Munich – Budapest – Bucharest – Istanbul – Israel (multiple cities) 

I’m neither a tour guide nor an historian, so if you want to understand these cities properly, buy a travel book. Or Google them.  Or better yet – visit them and squat for two months.

These are just some of the images that struck me – that helped to shape my first impressions. I think they speak for themselves.

*    *    *    *    *    *

Bucharest, Romania

From Budapest, we headed south to Romania, and in a train that had seen better days.

Our conductor had a similar look about him.

Kidding. He looked sweet, and he did a fine job in getting us there.

Our sleeper car looked slightly more modern.

And we fell in love with the passengers in the sleeping car next door.

They were well-behaved over the long journey, until we finally arrived in Bucharest. One paw off the train, and the bigger one was taking a massive dump on the platform.

The train ride was wonderfully old-fashioned, with views of the countryside as romantic as I’d expected.

But on arriving at the station in Bucharest, there were ominous signs of what awaited us.

Much of inner city Bucharest looked post-apocalyptic.

With other areas evocative of a more familiar urban decay.

Though we walked the streets of Bucharest in the late afternoon, the city felt somehow abandoned.

And there was an almost palpable despondency to the collective mood of the people.

Bucharest is stunning and stark. Dark and crumbling. A beauty because it is fading, if that makes any sense.

And it’s undeniably depressing.

And yet, I would love to come back to this city and country. Give an artist two weeks at least, and a paint brush and canvas, and he’ll make you a dozen masterpieces.

Had I better skill with a pastel or paintbrush, I’d be booking a flight back next year.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: