Brussels was our adventure

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When I finished my last post saying that „we are going on an adventure”, I had no idea how true this statement was going to turn out.

It all started last friday, with us in a taxi in a very crowded Bucharest, with me checking my watch every 10 seconds and with Diana saying „relax, we are going to get there on time”  over and over again. And by some miracle, we got out of the huge traffic lines and we did. We did make it at Otopeni Airport in time to catch the plane that was going to take us to Brussels. Smiling we got out of the cab and made our way to the check-in desk. We were indeed running a bit late, but not more than usual.

„If you want to fly with us today, you will have to pay for the check-in. ” (Translated: You will have to pay more than the flight itself)

This was the first blow of the day. Yes, you read that right, there are more to follow. We did not do our check-in online, that is true, but we did not expect *this* amount of money for the check-in at the airport. We were shocked. No, we were more than shocked. I looked over at Diana, inhaling and said as calmly as I could. ” We can pay. It’s no problem, we got the money, we will go to the cashier and pay. We will be fine, everything will be fine. „

„Your return flight has been cancelled.”

This was the second blow. Before paying for the check-in, we did have the inspiration to ask about our return flight that was still unsure due to a huge national strike in Belgium. The airlines told us that our flight *might* be affected, but it was not sure. Apparently they decided now that it was. Well, I guess worse things can happen. I mean, an extra day in Belgium is not the end of the world, right?

„The only available flight back is on the 21st of december”

Aaaand here you have the coup de grace.  Staggering back Diana and me looked at each other completely lost. This could not be happening to us.  But it was. And as if it weren’t enough, we only had 5 minutes to decide, because our gate was closing in 15. And this is the moment where I thank God for the existence of smartphones and esky. While Diana talked to her mother on the phone, I managed to find a flight that was landing in Cluj tuesday. There comes that moment when we can choose between want we want to win and what we want to lose. So we decided we wanted to get the memories and lose the money for tickets instead of losing the memories and not having to get new tickets.

That said, five minutes later, we were running like crazy through the airport, heading to our gate, which ( Murphy, we do hate you) was the farthest one possible. Out of breath, we managed to finally get to the gate and board the plane.

Well, I daresay our weekend and quite an interesting start.

Stepping out of the shuttle bus and seeing Brussels for the first time was a dream come true. Brussels was and is amazing. Our first evening made up for everything we lived to get there. We met some of the ELSAnians from Germany and made our way together downtown looking up and admiring everything along the way. Bourse was beautiful and every single thing was spectacular.

The joy of seeing everyone made a day that I don’t know if it were to possible to go worse, end in the very best manner, talking and catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in more than two months, enjoying the goodies that Delirium Cafe had to offer.

I will not tell you more of this night, neither will I of the Christmas Cocktail, because, even though they were two absolutely amazing nights, they are mine, ours, for the keeping. Even though we were so many of us, they were so intimate, that telling them almost seems like I would pry on something. I was just overjoyed and ecstatic to finally see my girls again, whom, despite talking to them almost everyday, I missed terribly.

We had decided that Saturday, up until the Christmas Cocktail was going to be a day for visiting Brussels. So Diana and me, together with Jualian, set out, at morning to see what Brussels had to offer.

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Escapade in Bruges 

„I want us to go there. Everyone, especially Bea, told me it was beautiful!!” This was the start of a conversation I was having with Diana over some delicious Belgian waffles Sunday at breakfast. She smiled back and answered.

„Fine, how do we get there? Do we have any trains?”

„Of course we do, we just need to get to the train station”  I smiled. When Bea told me that we had to visit Bruges, I had already wrote it down on my list. And this was one of those moments, where you just take your best friend, hop on a train and let it take you away. One hour later we were sitting in a train, that was windingly taking us to the little town of Bruges.

The excitement flowed all around us, and despite the weather, which was not really the warmest, we were incredibly happy.

Bruges was absolutely amazing. A little fairytale town, with tall and slim houses made of brick, with beauttiful Christmas decorations and Chritstmas markets and with people, tourits like us, or not, walking up and down its crowded streets.

” This feels just like Diagon Alley” Diana commented excited. And she was right. Yes, Bruges was a city of my liking.

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At one point, after walking the beautiful streets of Bruges, hunger set in, and we had to go somewhere to have lunch. Waffles with Ice cream are not really the ost nourishing things out there. We settled for a little restaurant on a nearby street and went up to the top floor to get a table.  The place, as you can see, was more than cozy, it had the most delicious food and the friendliest waiting staff, reason for which I just had to tell you about it, and advise you, if you ever go to Bruges, to go there.

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Tuesday ,4 in the morning found us waiting at Etterbeek Gare Bus Station in Brussels. But with no bus. That was one thing we did not take into consideration, but it was ok, we were going to call a taxi. That was, until we couldn’t. No taxis were available. *Really??* As a last resort, we went to a gas station and asked a lovely clerk to help us. She did and we soon found ourself sitting in the back of a car, taking us to Brussels Midi, from where we would board the shuttle for the aiport. At 7.20 we were sitting in the plane. Smiling and relaxed we sank into our seats, with the headphones on our ears, music loud, gradually falling asleep and waiting to wake up in our beloved  Cluj.

Woken up from terrible headache about three hours later I payed  attention just in time to hear the captain say that we were not able to land in Cluj for the time being, and that we had fuel to fly over it about thirthy minutes in wait for better weather, and if we wouldn’t get it, we will have to land somewhere else.

I looked over at Diana, who had in the meantime dropped hear headphones as well, and as if on cue, we both started laughing. A pure, uncontrollable laughter, which probably made some of the passagers think  we were crazy. But despite the heavy fog, God decided to have mercy with us and we landed in Cluj.

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Upon setting foot on romanian ground, we could not help it, but feel relieved. We were ready for an adventure, but nobody gave us the terms and conditions to read before. Though probably, much like Bilbo, we would have gone anyway. So, yes, we were  had been on an adventure. We were there, and back again.

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Anunțuri

A long-expected Journey

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I am once again on the road. I can’t even say how many times I’ve been on the road in the last months. I am tired and I am looking over at Diana who writes a civil procedure course and I have a strong feeling of deja vu. The only noteworthy difference is probably the size of my trolley. Except that, it’ s the same skeleton upon which we will build our mutual story. The first stop is Bucharest. We have our flight from there tomorrow at noon. To Brussels. To the ELSA Christmas Cocktai . I still can’t believe it. We bought the tickets on a moment’s whim, but I don’tregret it for a second. These past two months have gone by so fast that it seems we were getting back from Turkey only yesterday and now we’re off to a new destination.

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I’ve always loved to travel. I find it one of the greatest experiences a human being can live through. And while when I was younger I didn’t really satisfy this hunger, I more than made up for it in the last years and it seems the pace will continue to grow in the years to come. I am so excited to be once again in a place I have never been before, to meddle in all the Brussels related clichés and to experience some of my own, personalised, that these 24 hours we have left seem like an eternity.

While I love chocolate probably just as much as Willy Wonka does, I daresay we share the same feeling of trying to stay away from it lately. It is not easy and fruits will never replace its taste but in Brussels they will not have to. I will drop all my restraint because pretty much everyone knows that Belgium, alongside Switzerland are fighting for the title of  world’s best chocolatemakers. And while I did taste the swiss one in it’s country, I cannot add my contribution to this competition without trying the belgian one in it’s homeland as well.

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I’ ve been googleing Brussels over the last days months to check what I want to see and I came up with the most „unlikely” answer imaginable: what don’t I want to see? Starting from Brussels and all the way to Bruges, because yes, we are planing on going there as well.( Thank you Bea for the suggestion)

I feel so so lucky. Actually, I think I can say that both of us do. We have so much to be thankful regarding ELSA that if we were to start a list, we would probably still be writing on it by the time we got to Brussels tomorrow evening. I personally, am most thankful for my best friends, whom I met three years ago, and one of whom is currently sleeping across from me in our compartiment. And while there are also downs ( my phone just buzzed because of some problems that rose up with some of the work I did last night for Diana) there are so few of them that they are extremely insignificant.
We’ve been on the road for over six hours and there are still three left, but while I am looking out the window into the gloomy december landscape, I know that this time it’s not really about the journey but about the destination and the person you share it with. And even so, our journey has been rather fun, we just closed Dianas laptop after watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the n-th time while reciting the lines alongside the characters. Figures.  Yes, the journey could have been worse. And our destination is absolutely amazing.

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The prejourney packing stress

Fast forward a few hours since the last paragraph.
As a little explanation: I am not good at packing. Actually, I am a disaster. When I pack for International ELSA events it takes me from 5 hours up to manage to pack a max 20 kg trolley. Last night I said it was going to be different. Which is why I am sitting on the floor in Diana’s room in Bucharest right now and I am trying to fix my bagage. 1.2. 1.2 kgs too much and I have no idea what to do with them. Diana is looking at me amused while slowly shaking her head.
” You know, I remember this exact scene 2 months ago, but we were in your room in Sibiu”  she says nearly laughing.  Ha, very funny. And in fact, two months ago I was trying to get the weight down from 21 to 20, not from 11 to ten. I am really proud of me this time though, despite this tiny problem  I managed to pack in about over an hour. I sense progress. Though for three days, so there might be something to that as well. Well, as far as I didn’t forget anything of utmost importamce, it’s all good.
I finally closed the suitcase, relatively satisfied and looked over to Diana laughing. „Well, I would say that went according to plan.” Well, besides Diana having to rush to the store to get a new suitcase, but that was a crisis pretty well handled. We ‘re both tired after the long journey. Bucharest is lovely on a winter’s night. As we both crawl into bed to get some badly needed sleep,  I can’t help smiling to myself.
Tomorrow, as a hobbit I am very fond of would say, we are going on an adventure.

Back to December

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Noi plecăm, mai dormi?  m-a întrebat mama în dimineaţa zilei de 1 decembrie.

Mmmmhm…, am mormăit de sub plapumă, ascunzându-mi faţa şi rugându-mă să nu mă întrebe altceva la care să trebuiască un răspuns mai lung. Mă durea gâtul şi îmi era groază de posibilitatea de a fi nevoită să vorbesc. Nu a fost cazul. A închis uşa camerei şi m-a lăsat să mai dorm.

Treizeci de minute mai târziu m-am ridicat din pat, trântind telefonul de parchet. Din nou. Ridicându-l am vazut o sumedenie de mesaje şi notificări. Ah…adormisem azi noapte cu el în mână. Din nou. L-am aruncat pe pat zâmbind şi m-am îndreptat către uşa de la balcon, am tras draperiile şi am deschis-o larg.

E decembrie. E frig. E iarnă. Toate gândurile acestea m-au năpadit odată cu vântul de afară. Melodia lui Taylor Swift ” Back to December” îmi răsună puternic în minte. Am trântit uşa, lasând frigul în faţa ei  şi m-am aruncat în pat înapoi la căldură închizând ochii. Da, se simte că e decembrie, întâi decembrie.

La mulţi ani România! Îmi eşti dragă! mi-am zis surâzând Probabil că nu se vede. Nu mă aştept la altceva. Vorbesc germana de la 4 ani, gândesc în engleză şi vreau să locuiesc la Viena, până şi titlul acestei postări e în engleză,  dar chiar iubesc România şi nu cred că aş fi putut primi un oraş mai bun în care să cresc şi să îmi încep viaţa. Cu bunele şi relele ei, e România noastră şi asta nu vom putea schimba acest lucru. E ca familia pe care nu ţi-o alegi, ci care îţi este dată, la fel nu vom putea schimba nici aptul ca ne-am născut aici. Chiar dacă ne mutăm, chiar dacă o părăsim, ea tot a noastră va fi, şi noi ai ei. Gândurile şi melancoliile blegoase îmi sunt întrerupte de zgomotul unui planor care zboară deasupra caselor, probabil pregătit pentru paradă. Da…parada. Mama şi tata sunt acolo. Mie îmi era prea frig şi nu vroiam să răcesc. Voi iubi România din casă.

Asta a fost ieri. Azi e doi decembrie. E frig şi eu sunt iar la Cluj. Pe drum încoace am văzut primele semne ale iernii, dealurile fiind presărate cu uşoare urme de zăpadă şi nu am putut să nu mă bucur. Decembrie e o lună atât de frumoasă, cu atât de multă voie bună chiar dacă vremea nu ţine neapărat cu noi. E luna în care parcă vedem totul într-o lumină mai frumoasă. E luna în care un ceai cald cu arome de portocale e numai binevenit în faţa unui film de sezon, e luna în care casele noastre începe să plutească un miros de brad sau de prăjituri abia scoase din cuptor, luna în care o seară petrecută în faţa semineului ne relaxează ca nimic altceva. E ultima lună din an, luna în care avem ultima şansă să ne îndeplinim toate ţelurile propuse la începutul anului, luna care poate face diferenţa între un an bun şi unul mai puţin bun.

La mine în casă momentan se aude Michael Buble, eu stau înfofolită la caldură şi butonez pe Pinterest. Un sentiment de linişte, deşi abia am ieşit dintr-o sedinţă, mă inconjoară. Da, decembrie se simte.

Decembrie, sunt pregătită pentru tine.

Cartea care învinge somnul-Ulimul avanpost

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Despre cartea Laviniei auzisem demult. Chiar de la ea de pe Facebook. Din momentul în care am citit descrierea mi-am dat seama că e exact genul meu de carte. Mi-am dat însă şi seama că nu ar fi ideal sa ma apuc de ea în sesiune înainte de licenţă. Aşa că am păstrat-o frumos pentru un moment în care să fiu liberă. Nu pot însă să spun ca azi a fost acel moment.

Am ajuns acasă obosită şi m-am trântit pe canapea. Am închis două secunde ochii dar doar atât am avut stare. M-am ridicat să verific ceasul. 20:05. „ E ok, mai am timp până la şedinţa cu ELSA Sibiu. Trollerul stătea în mijlocul casei parcă amintindu-mi că ar trebui să imi fac bagajele pentru Bucureşti, dar l-am ignorat cu desăvârşire şi m-am dus la bibliotecă şi am luat Ultimul avanpost de pe raft. Cu cartea în mână m-am întors pe canapea. După ce m-am aşezat m-am mai ridicat odată să îmi fac un ceai negru pentru a putea citi în voie.

Am deschis cartea şi am început să citesc. Ştiam că îmi va plăcea, dar parcă nu mă aşteptam chiar aşa ceva. Cartea te loveşte în faţă cu o forţa de nemăsurat. Prologul m-a lăsat puţin confuză. Nu prea avea legătură cu ce citisem eu spatele cărţii, trimiţând la ceva ce ghicisem a fi catalizatorul întregii acţiuni. Hm… ceva e putred în Danemarca. Nu, nu în Danemarca, în România, pentru că acţiunea are loc în România, pardon, în Regatul Unit al Ţărilor Române al  anului 2046. Lumea a trecut prin încă un război mondial iar R.U.T.R. a devenit una din marile puteri ale Europei. Eroina, Diane Dumitrescu, mi-a fost simpatică de la primele rânduri, la fel de stresată ca mine înaintea unui discurs şi la fel de agitată. Am zâmbit când mi-am găsit numele pe pagina 11. Când am aflat cine e am zâmbit şi mai tare.

  Sonia Vincescu, cel mai bun designer de modă din regat. Creează rochii, haine şi bijuterii de la vârsta de 17 ani şi toţi sunt înebuniţi după hainele ei. 

Încă ţin minte când aveam camera plină de schiţe si speram să devin în viitor designer. Măcar o Sonia a reuşit. După încă trei pagini m-a prins. M-a prins puternic. Am lăsat-o din mână doar pe parcursul şedinţei iar după ce s-a terminat şi aceasta am luat-o din nou.  Fiecare pagină mă fascina din ce în ce mai tare şi în acelaşi timp mă şi tulbura. Lavinia face o trimitere cutremurătoare la comunism, mai mult decât atât, îl reînvie în anul 2046. Nu mă născusem pe vremea comunismului, dar am auzit poveşti de la mama, poveşti pe care le vedeam scrise pe hârtie în faţa mea, într-un timp care ar fi trebuit să însemne evoluţie iar România a făcut fix opusul.

Pe la ora 12 m-am hotărât că nu voi dormi în noaptea respectivă. Aveam de prins un autocar la 6 dimineaţa, nu aveam bagajele făcute şi să pun cartea jos nici nu se punea problema. Am căscat puternic şi m-am dus în bucătărie să îmi fac o  cafea. La 12 noaptea. Sunt normală, ştiu. Am luat cana frumos cu mine pe canapea şi m-am întors la Diane. La 01:52 am terminat cartea.

Pe cât de simpatică mi s-a părut Diane la început, pe atât mi s-au diversificat sentimentele faţă de ea pe măsură ce înaintam în carte. E un personaj excelent construit şi atât de complex încât nu ai cum doar să o placi sau doar să o urăşti sau doar să îţi fie milă de ea. Şi nu, nu îţi va fi milă de ea la început, ci pe parcurs, când îţi dai seama ce rădăcini adânci poate avea trădarea suferită de ea.

Probabil cel mai cutremurător lucru e chiar draga noastră Românie a anului 2046. Gradul de control în masă a populaţiei, cruzimea fără margini şi întinderile până la care poate merge mintea umană pentru putere se potrivesc perfect în universul distopic creat în carte. Răsturnarile de situaţie şi surprizele te aşteaptă la fiecare pas şi te conduc pe un drum întortocheat către finalul cărţii. Mi-a plăcut fabulos de mult folosirea numelui Escu. Diferenţa dintre simplitatea numelui şi magnitudinea ideii din spatele lui m-a impresionat din primul moment în care am aflat la ce se referă.

Cartea e excepţională. E genul de carte ale cărei drepturi de autor ar fi fost déjà cumpărate de ceva studiouri de film dacă ne aflam în State sau Anglia. Poate le va cumpăra cineva şi pe la noi şi va face un film. One can only hope.

Tinând cartea în mână şi uitându-mă la copertă mă gândesc că ce ma bucură cel mai tare nu e faptul că e o carte extraordinară cu un potenţial de fenomen, ci faptul că numele pe care îl văd deasupra titlului acestei cărţi aparţine unei românce. De foarte mult timp nu am mai dat de o carte scrisă de un român care să ma facă să uit de somn, ultima cred că a fost Adam şi Eva, a lui Liviu Rebreanu şi nu pot decât să mă bucur că mi s-a întâmplat din nou.

Are în schimb un mare defect: Nu are continuare. Citind ultima pagină am râvnit la mai mult, am vrut să îi vad pe acei monştri suferind şi să văd ce se va alege până la urmă de delicata Diane. Doar cartea asta nu îmi ajunge dar mă mulţumesc pe moment! Oricum, felicitări Lavinia şi aştept cu nerăbdare Copiii Întunericului!

P.S. Vă spun sincer, postarea nu e scrisă azi. E scrisă joi dimineaţa când moarta de somn încercam să fac orice şi să nu adorm ca sa pierd autocarul. Am reusit să o corectez abia azi motiv pentru care abia acum apare pe blog. Sper că v-am trezit măcar puţin interesul pentru carte. Merită:)

Descrierea cărţii:  Al treilea Război Mondial a luat sfârşit, iar România anului 2046 este Regat. Logodită cu prinţul Alex şi fiică a Ministrului de Interne, tânăra Diane trăieşte o viaţă luxoasă şi lipsită de griji, ocupată cu discursuri, dileme cu cea mai potrivită garderobă a zilei şi păstrarea aparenţelor cuplului regal. Printre petreceri, călătorii obositoare, speech-uri învățate pe de rost și accesele de furie ale prinţului, Diane contemplă fără prea mult entuziasm un viitor previzibil. Însă viața i se schimbă complet într-o singură noapte, atunci când este răpită de către un grup de rebeli, pentru care guvernarea autoritară a regatului întruchipează răul absolut.

Al patrulea copoţel care nu sună pentru noi

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M-am trezit azi dimineaţă la 7  jumătate. Nu din cauza alarmei, nu pentru că mă grăbeam să ajung la bibliotecă şi nu pentru că aveam vreun examen de penal special pe care trebuia neapărat să îl iau. M-am trezit pentru că era 15 septembrie, prima zi de şcoală pentru cei care încă se află pe băncile şcolii şi mă hotărâsem cu fetele să trecem şi noi pe la liceul care ne-a suportat atâţia ani.  M-am ridicat încet din pat şi m-am indreptat spre dulap. Am deschis uşa şi am blocat-o din prima încercare. Râzând m-am chinuit vreo cinci minute să o deblochez ca să pot ajunge la pantalonii care se aflau în spatele ei, mulţumind în sinea mea că nu am problemele astea la Cluj.

Continuă lectura

Some things are meant to last forever

Some things are meant to last forever. Others are there to make the best of memories. But either way, they make  you the person you are today.  Because each and every step you took, could have made you end up somewhere else.  Each person you met, each place you’ve seen, each thing you’ve done, they are significant details that make up your universe.

You wouldn’t be the person you are now, if you wouldn’t have lived the right things at the right time. It’s all those little things, to which you never really paid attention, but that seem so big right now.

And of course, not everything was good and simple, but that’s not how  life’s supposed to be, because only then do you get to appreciate those rare moments when everything is perfect that much more.

 And while taking a walk down memory lane, pay attention, because you will notice how everything you’ve lived so far has had an impact on you as a person.

And so, even though moments are fleeting, they will last forever, because they are imprinted on you as a person for life.

So  smile. Because life is beautiful and because you know, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

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