I’m on my way.
I’m on my way.
A hell of a day – that’s what today was.
My entire social bubble was expecting the sentence of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea (also president of Romania’s Chamber of Deputies) as he was tried for instigating abuse of office and intellectual incitement as president of the Council County Teleorman. It was for the second time that the Supreme Court had postponed the pronouncement in this particular file, and frankly, we were quite nervous waiting for any news.
More context: The file was sent to the court by the DNA (National Anticorruption Directorate) in July 2016, and the trial started in January 2017, about the same time the leading party in the Parliament started messing with the justice laws to relax them. This led to massive protests in Romania in February 2017.
The sentence was published a few minutes ago: 3 years and a half in jail.
Now let’s celebrate the trust in Justice that has not yet been lost.
Keep a dampened smile, though. It’s surely not over yet. The sentence can be appealed.
It was so hot this year, the temperatures rising to about 35 degrees Celsius, but that never stopped the people from joining in a record number of 2 500. Bucharest Pride had it all, you name it: music, rainbows, balloons, happy faces, glitter, love signs and banners, young and elder together, solidarity, it was really something beautiful! Amazingly good energy!
The breakthrough of this year was Andreea Balan, a young pop star whose songs I basically grew up with, that decided to SHOW UP and SUPPORT the movement. You may not understand how powerful that is, but let me put it brief: in the conservative orthodox influenced culture of Romania this has never happened before. Ever. No artist has ever endorsed the event, none has recognized their diverse public or stood up to fight for equal rights for them. Many were escaping to face the crowds of the ‘other Romania’, the ones who consider the parade to be one of ‘sickness’.
But Andreea? Andreea is an amazing human being who decided to use her fame to do good. Her act is a stepping stone in the direction of enabling the LGBT community to speak up and demand equal rights. More than that, she has posted a wonderful message on her Facebook and she is constantly responding to all people out there who are trying to set things ‘straight’. Her follow up comments are disarming with kindness, understanding and sharing of LOVE. She reinforced the idea that all humans should be entitled to having a family and that to love and be loved should be accessible to all. Her gesture should be seen as an example to all other artists and public persons of Romania.
Other important names that joined the parade this year: Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office, Carla Antonelli, a noted LGBT rights activist and politician who maintains a large support website for transgender and transsexual people, also the first trans person to serve in a legislature in Spain (she had such a powerful speech and sent a lot of energy to the crowd), Great Britain’s ambassador to Romania, Paul Brummell, Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy of US to Bucharest, Dean Thompson, and last but not least, our very own Minister for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue, Violeta Alexandru.
Happy to see so many people attending the event. Happy to share the joy with so many open-minded countrymen and friends. Happy, happy, happy.
I can only wish that things will only get better from now on. Last year I saw the Stockholm Pride in late July and it made me realize how much further we have to walk, so keep it up! I feel we have reached a breaking point on Saturday. Everything was perfectly organized, we all had been given water, the street was full of people, the police supervised from every few meters, the music was energetic and fun, we had a blast!
Ai mei ca brazii.
Întâlniți pe străduțe în ultima zi a festivalului urban, Femei pe Mătăsari.
La mulți ani, dragilor!
I met a friend. We walked around. I met a cat. He owned a bike.
I met some kids doing their homework on the streets.
A lot of ‘I’s were flashed along this journey. Don’t worry, though, my soul was rather stormy.
I met a stranger who kept me well outside of danger.
Thank you. ♥
Bucharest. I live here. I love it.
Late April with long awaited sunny days. The mornings are particularly gorgeous. Crisp air with sharp light, vivid green starting to dress up the city with a sense of calmness.
No, no, no. I’m totally wrong, here comes the chaos. Morning traffic, angry faces, dark circles around hurried people’s eyes, honking, pedestrians going around the mud. Ah, they are digging up again. In the middle of the street. I find a sense of lyricism in these layers of Bucharest that are starting to show up. Let’s see: improvised mini markets behind cars with fresh fruit from gardens and steam in the air. Yes, that sounds very much like it. Like the crazy mix of the beautifully repainted theater and the mess and mud in the intersection, with the smoker woman inviting me for strawberries grown in her greenhouse and the supervised workers looking at my ass while i am crossing the street. The swearing words of the taxi driver rushing almost on my steps on the zebra and the journalist in smart clothes bumping into an old lady walking her blind dog. All of this. You have to feel it, I can only offer a glimpse.
Bucharest. I live here. I love it.
My first trip across the ocean and out of Europe: Don’t be nervous, everything will be just fine! I kept saying to myself. And then this became an involuntary soundtrack before my actual flights. Cheers, brain, I know I can always count on you for messing up my sleep and bringing up weird songs before any kind of travelling. 🙂
But now I am here (OMG!) and everything is so great and exciting and new and crazy different, but sometimes also out-of-this-world similar to the Romanian culture. It’s so hard to put in words. Maybe something of a harmonious chaos that we also master in Romania.
One other surprising thing, I understand a lot of the language, it’s incredible! It feels like it was all the time asleep inside of me. This learning process is very exciting for me. I only need to listen carefully and I understand the use of expressions. Love it so much! At times, I even keep up conversations for so long that I forget I am speaking Spanish. Now that’s really something 🙂
The people. Oh my, I don’t even know where to start on this topic. They are very hospitable, kind, patient, welcoming but also curious to know about you and your country. Here in Antigua they get a lot of tourists and they are used to sharing their lives with them. I have been welcomed with open arms into their houses (thank you Charly, Luis, Majo and Elizabeth), I met the extended family with aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmas. I’m enjoying small talk during meals at my wonderful home and I have the perfect view on the terrace of my room. Antigua is surrounded by volcanos (Volcan de Agua, Volcan de Fuego and Acatenango)and I am lucky enough to see them all 🙂
What can I say, guys, it was love at first sight with Antigua. Here, el Volcan de Agua, first thing in the morning.
Volcan de Agua is the most beautiful one, standing alone with its blunt peak sometimes wrapped in white clouds. The more cheeky one is called Volcan de Fuego. As his name hints, he is still active and kicking. Sometimes more than once per day. It’s far away so we can’t even hear the explosions many times, but you get such an adrenaline rush to see it by night! Mirna from Probigua Spanish School took a great photo of it the other day. I was overwhelmed at its sight to even move a muscle, but she managed to capture it! Such good timing! The Spanish language schools here in Antigua are renowned all around the world and have become one of the main industries along with tourism.
So enough about how amazing this entire trip is for me, let me walk you around the places so you can get the positive vibes in wonderful Antigua. The city has well preserved Spanish colonial style buildings and many ruins of churches. During the colonial times it also served as the capital of an administrative region that covered most of Central America.
La Merced church.
Antigua is well known for having elaborate religious ceremonies during important Catholic events such as Cuaresma (40 days before Easter Sunday), the Holy Week (Semana Santa), Easter. I will be here just before Easter time so I will document all the flowers, fruits, pine needles and paint artworks made by the artists to celebrate these events. Here you see Cathedral of San José which is located in the Central Park.
The main market. Love the colors of everything here. So many new veggies and fruits I had no idea about. Now wish me luck learning their names in Spanish with no Romanian equivalent. Quiero un camion de nisperos.♥
As for me, I wait for good light and spy on people, I’m really enjoying myself out here. 🙂 This is fast healthy food on the street. If you like how one lady is cooking, you usually stick with her. Guacamoooooleee tortilla wrap, yum! ♥