Bucharest – Berlin – Bucharest
This entry covers 10 days.
It started on the 12th, when I was so excited to leave on vacation to Berlin. However, a gloomy piece of news dampened my sunny disposition. My beloved Terry Pratchett left us for good.
Suddenly this planet is not so jolly any more. I wept and sobbed until late in the evening. I promised myself my first meal in Berlin shall be sushi, in his memory, as he loved this dish so much.
The next day I left with my bestie to the airport, where we parted for a while, as she wanted to eat and I wanted to smoke. You shall see that smoking is a leitmotif of this entry.
It was fun that we started dialoguing on FB, so people were confused: “why do you speak here, aren’t you together?!”
We looked like idiots, not that we’re not used to it.
Moving on, we traveled to Berlin. Yes, the first meal was sushi, honoring my beloved departed Sir Terry.
The trip was a complete success in every aspect. This time, my feet weren’t swelling like balloons, the weather was welcoming and everything was great: food, shopping, walks…
In one of the days we visited Charlottenburg, a castle where Sophie Charlotte lived a short but full life.
She collected china and fascinating people like Leibnitz or Corelli. She convinced her husband to support an Academy of Science. She played the
harpsichord and she held music in high regard. I’m sorry I didn’t write down her quote on music, which reminded me of the lyrics of a Marilyn song: “Men grow cold as girls grow old and we all lose our charms in the end.”, though it was about the power of music. I’m trying to approximate from memory: “lovers grow cold, friends become lukewarm, but music never lets you down.”
Both me and my friend shook our heads vigorously in approval of this statement.
Moving on, we lived in a rented apartment that allowed smoking inside, quite a rare gem these days. Well, surprise, surprise! I didn’t like it at all! I’m not used to the lingering smell of cigarettes inside anymore. I stopped smoking in my house since 2012, when I was on holiday in Stockholm, visiting friends and nobody is smoking inside there. Coming back home, I brought the good practice along, mostly because my beloved ALF was slightly asthmatic and I wanted to protect him. Though he’s gone, the habit stayed. Anyway, Joop can’t stand the smoke, she runs from the kitchen the moment I light a cigarette.
So now, though I’m a chain smoker, I HATE houses that stink with burned tobacco.
You’ll see I’m getting somewhere with this smoking thing.
Getting back to our trip, the apotheosis of the holiday was a mesmerizing Sting & Paul Simon concert. We sang our hearts out, we charged from Sting’s positive energy that radiates wide enough to cover the O2 Hall and we were happy as kids on Christmas morning.
OK, so we got back in Bucharest, only to attend two more concerts. One at my favorite concert hall in town – Ateneul Român, the other in a very unconventional space – a villa where there’s an art gallery, a minute concert hall and a space to enjoy delicious food. There I met a very special lady. At first, I thought she’s a Chef, but she started telling me about her projects and her foundation that preserves local traditions and values. I was wondering while talking to her how many special people are in this country that are trying to save our treasures of the past?! They have my entire veneration.
Oh, getting back to the leitmotif, it was interesting that in this location, though there were ash trays on the tables, nobody lit a cigarette until the host lighted one. After that, at least half of the audience started smoking. But in moderation, though the wine was pouring generously.
And we arrive on this Saturday when a friend of mine posted an article about banning smoking in bars. Bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, whatever. The law that is applied already in US since the 90s and in Europe since the 00s. The reason my friend posted the article wasn’t the actual content, but just one thought: “guys, we have more important things to fix in this country, this shouldn’t be top priority.”
I read the article because, as a smoker, I’m curious to find some solid evidence supporting smoking, because until now I couldn’t find valid reasons. I WANT to support smoking, but I can’t find the right arguments to support it.
Anyway, when my friend posted the article, he was flooded with comments. I’ve never seen such a demented debate, even during elections or any other local subject. To my surprise, the argument continued for almost two days, from reasonable pros and cons to personal abuse, invectives, accuses, offenses, and curses. I couldn’t believe my eyes people would spend such an amount of time and energy for such a trivial matter. I mean, for Christ sake, I haven’t seen such a war when animals or people were killed or abused, when flagrant illegalities were committed… Such anger, such hate…
You know what’s funny? The smokers were the balanced ones and the non smokers were aggressive! So smoking keeps you calm and level headed after all! OK, I’m joking, kids, don’t smoke.
Anyway, I’m done with the smoking trip. Getting back to my experiences, I bought a book I love. I heard about this character years ago, but now I’m reading the story and it’s amazing. It goes like this: a homeless recovering drug addict gets saved by a CAT. A ginger wise Tom that saves his life every day since the day they met.
I highly recommend this inspirational story, it warmed my heart beyond words.
Especially as I’m a firm believer in being saved by animals, especially a ginger Tom.