A couple of days ago when I was wandering around the back streets of Sibiu, Transylvania a begger asked me for some money
I nearly always give money, if I am asked for some, so I looked in my purse and gave him a small donation of 10 ron, that’s about £2
It was his reaction that took me back, he was so grateful. He hugged me, showed me his partially paralysed shoulder, kissed both of my cheeks and my hand and then looked me directly in the eyes and said “thank you, God bless you ”
It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had with someone who I don’t know and literally brought a tear to my eye
Why did I feel loved in Sibiu Transylvania?
Was it the people? No , they were pleasant but not loving
Was it the culture? No , it was fun but not loving
Was it the climate? It was warm, sunny but on occasions raining with thunder, not loving
Was it the hotel? It was a nice hotel but not loving.
“So what made me feel loved ?” You ask asking
It was the delightful houses with roofs that smiled at me. Everywhere you went in Sibiu had homes with smiling eyes. I loved them
As soon as we entered Astra, a huge mostly open air museum of traditional living a lovely older lady excitedly ushered us downstairs into the basement to show us a special exhibition
“What was the so special exhibition ?”I can hear you ask
It seemed that I was to be the special exhibition, she insisted on dressing me up in traditional Transylvania clothes,on more than one occasion and in increasingly smaller clothes.
This lady didn’t give me a choice, and on top of that, the clothes didn’t want to fit my larger than a traditional young Romanian female figure, but her enthusiasm and lots of pulling and pushing she got them on me whether I complied or not 😉
Many years ago in the early 70s when I was about 5 yrs old, one of my Christmas presents was an LP Album entitled “Top of the Tots ”
I loved that album and the house filled with the cheerful songs like “chirpy chirpy cheep cheep ” and the “pushbike song ” not forgetting wonderful lyrics like, “Dick -a -Dum Dum” . One of my all time favourites of the early seventies was by Marmade, the unforgettable, “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da “.
Well, many decades later, I did almost forgot it until this short trip to Sibiu, Transylvania
Low and behold my partner and I were enjoying out evening meal, accompanied by a three piece set of musicians, when they started to play “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da”
Well, I never expected that ☺
We couldn’t have choose a better time to visit Sibiu even if we would have tried
We woke up this morning rather tired because we arrived in the early hours
As soon as we started to wander around, it became apparent there was a festival or two happening. Maybe the portable stages and notice boards full of upcoming acts that gave it away 😉
What a stroke of luck we have attived Just at the beginning of variety of festivals the international theatre festival, a music fringe festival and much more. The city is overflowing full to brimming of artsy type of entertainment, a huge inflatable dome, Islamic in nature for you to explore. A huge flower man shaking hands with people, a Brazilian samba band that took the street by storm
What an added bonus to a few days away
People everywhere, this little airport is full to the brim with people
People everwhere my eyes can see, People are standing on mass, sitting on the “rare bread” whuch at tbe moment is ; a seat that is available. People are sitting on the floor, learning on counters, trying to own their tiny bit of land
Tall people, small people, large people, babies
Oversized earphones looking absurd on a business man, who thinks he’s 20 years younger than his age
Nearly as many mobiles on display as people, texting, watching films, listening to music. The mobile phone is the king of communication and entertainment
We arrived too early my people watching will continue
I was in a hurry, I had a plane to catch
I pulled into the petrol station, my thoughts assured me that I could pop in and pay quickly without dragging my bag with me, instead just taking my debit card and car keys
I suddenly noticed my side pockets of my car had become rubbish bins. “Let me pop this rubbish into the bin before paying,” I thought to myself ,” just don’t drop the keys into the bin by accident”
I hurriedly walked into the petrol station, my keys firmly in my hand ..now where’s my visa debit card to pay with. …yes it was….In the bin!
I can see a large man coverrd in dirt from a days hard labour. He proudly walks with his track bottoms hanging slightly too low and his illuminious yellow top slightly too tight, his face healthy but grubby
I can see a heavily pregnant lady with a small child running next to her. Her arms are stretched to the fullest length as she waddles whilst carrying carrier bags from bargin food shops.
I can see a business man going to pay for the petrol he has used in his black ford focus. His cheap but smart black suit jacket is hanging up on the coat hooks inside his car. His white shirt catches the sun as he strides into the petrol station
What can you see?
A huge change had occurred in my world.
Costas is no longer my favourite coffee shop. ..you what? Never! Can’t be!
Oh, yes the decision is conclusive, Starbucks who used to be my least favourite coffee change is now my number one
The reasons being it’s made the unprecedented jump
1) I can my a vegan lunch/breakfast .. only a cake a costas
2) They have fantastic reusable cups at about £1
3)They now have coconut milk, which I love
Costas, it’s time for you to up your ante
I saw it through to the very end
I had huge ups and downs, emotional turmoil at times
Whitnesed unfairness, brutality but also love
Saw loved people hung and gassed
Hours upon hours I spent with these people, they became my second family
But now it’s over. ..”Homelands ” has finished 😢