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Showing posts from May, 2013

When Nostalgia Comes To Life

I spent the entire train ride from Blaj to Cluj with my head out the window, marveling at the scenery. I had a very spacious disabled person's compartment to myself (I didn't even know that CFR had disabled compartments). I could've laid down and napped across the three seats, read an ebook, or done about three hundred push ups (I wish!). But I couldn't tear myself from the window, the wind, and the sun. If I had to explain it right then, why I love Romania, all I had to do was point out that window. The rolling hills, all painted in different hues of green and gold. The dark, earthy canvas of arable land yet to yield its fruit. Flocks of sheep and their shepherds - both of  the human and canine variety.  Bright yellow fields of canola. And of course, orchards in full bloom. The entire trip was a portrait, or maybe an ode, to Spring in all its splendor. I couldn't get enough. When I lived in Toronto, all nostalgic thoughts of Romania culminated with an image v

The Best of European Stereotypes

Our compartment was full –it shouldn't have been since we had two of the seats. But two kids were sleeping on four of the eight seats. The family shuffled around to make some space for us. After putting our luggage away and playing musical chairs with other people in the compartment, one of the ladies said, “It’s hard travelling with kids.” “Harder for us than for them” I said, remembering when I rode the train as a kid it was always a bit of an adventure. Then the guy, who I assumed was the dad, said to the still sleeping boy, “It’s only going to get harder from here, sonny, only going to get harder” I doubt that the kid heard, or registered it, he was still sleeping. But it got me thinking. This is a far cry from the way people talk to kids in Canada. Where, ‘everything is going to be okay’ all the time. This is a harsh place to grow up; you’re not one of the lucky few to be born into a relatively well-to-do family, it is always going to get harder. Nobody here has rese