If someone had told me a year ago that I needed to let go of everything I am and have become just to find happiness…well..I would have spat that someone his or her face…or called them insane. I would have understood changing one element in my life but not all of it, turn my life upside down. It seemed so ridiculous and drastic at that time.
Well, here I am, a year later with a completely different perspective and life. There is still so much to be done but I’m getting there. I guess it sounds easy when I write about it, moving back home, starting fresh…it sounds as simple as watching the ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ movie. But words can’t describe the emotions, the thoughts, the obstacles and sacrifices you have to deal with and make to get to a place your mind constantly questions yet your heart loves and cherishes.
I thought I was happy in Holland…in a way, yet it seemed I had just closed my eyes and wanted to accept my fate just the way it was. Then again, what tells me that my eyes are open now? Perhaps in a few years I will say that these moments were fake and that the life in Holland was better. I don’t know. I have no guarantees. I’ll just have to live and see.
I visited my grandma in the countryside last weekend, in a little place called Fierbinti (not the most beautiful village…excuse me..city but hey it feels part of me so I accept it for what it is). Just being there, tasting the fresh air and watching the autumn coming, it fills me up with such serenity. Then when I left my grams gave me all kinds of homemade stuff like jam, pickles and what we call Zacusca (a mix of vegetables) oh and let’s not forget Tuica. And the most funny thing happened when I felt. I was in the Maxi Taxi (not sure how to explain it, it’s a mini bus/van that travels across the land) and I was waiting for it to leave. Then suddenly my grandma was standing outside heaving ‘cause she tried to walk fast from her house all the way to the Maxi Taxi station (it’s like a 7 minute walk but with my grandma’s health problems it’s kinda far). I got off and she held this package wrapped in newspapers. I asked her what it was and she whispered (like it was something dirty), ‘You forgot the donuts!’ She had made donuts that morning and she panicked that I had forgotten them so she came all the way to the bus station to give them to me. She hugged me and then left. I was moved to tears and felt like crying all the way back to Bucharest. I had never seen my grandma that way and all I felt love and gratitude. I realized she has changed into a more affectionate person because now she has someone to visit her from time to time.
How can this not feel right?
My neighbor knocked at my door once out of the blue. He was holding two huge watermelons (the fruit! don’t go all dirty mind on me now) and he handed me one saying ‘Here, I went to the market and got you one as well!’ I mean seriously? I don’t even know him well.
How can I not feel different?
And when I’m with friends hanging out drinking beer or tea or whatever I drink, I never think of the words ‘I don’t belong here’ just like I used to do so very often in Holland.
How can that not feel great?
Sure, there is the whole circus around the paper work. I mean the moment you need something fixed like your I.D. or bank account that’s the moment shit hits the van. Rudeness, bureaucracy, nerve breaking moments while standing in an endless line, yeah that shit fucks it all up.
And there is the crazy rush hour getting crushed and squashed by people in the tram, metro or bus enjoying the smell of sweat and garlic…as some people are allergic to toothpaste and soap. Or you could go by car if you…dare! But hey if you are able to look past that then it ain’t such a bad place to live in after all.
Where there is chaos there is also possibility and if I have to choose between temporary stress and long live depression, so help me God, I choose the stress ‘cause hey, sure I feel like beating the shit out of some people but at least I feel alive. I’d rather feel something than feel nothing at all. And trust me there have been years when I felt absolutely nothing.
I will end this article with my top 7 moments that can only happen in Romania.
office lady because the mailman had taken her package on Friday and never delivered it. It seemed the man had taken the package home and the post office lady had no idea where the man was.
2. Police station: A sweet old man hitting himself in the head with his own fist shouting ‘stupid, stupid, stupid,’ because he had made a mistake while filling in a form. Now he had to start all over again. He was so angry and he kept on saying ‘this shit always happens to me!’
3. Countryside: An old woman (not even homeless) lifting up her skirt and pissing in the middle of the street…and just standing there…did not even bother to squat…just like a horse…
4. At the metro station: A girl threw her trash on the floor. A young man picks up her trash, follows her, shows her the trash and shows her how to throw it in the trash can only a few meters away. He was really pissed about it. I thought he was !
5. At the supermarket: A woman asks me which Shower Gel I would choose if I were her because there were so many she couldn’t make up her mind. (I helped her of course, don’t get mean on me!
6. In the taxi: the cab driver telling me how disappointed he was in the quality of his new sunglasses he had just bought for 5 RON (meaning 1,25 euro’s)
7. On the street: A homeless guy sitting on a mattress, no food, his clothes all dirty and smelly but…talking on his mobile phone.
And I am sure many more will follow.