Bucarest (from the plane)
I had a two months break which haven't brought many news. The winter cold joined to the lack of general heating in most Barcelona homes tempered my initial enthusiasm that gave way to reason and pondering. Against all odds my good mood stands still, facing the gloomy situation. I live with little, but enough for housing, food and going out every now and then. I suffer for having lost my routine, soon there will be a year since then. Mornings are terrible, I stopped enjoying having them to myself, I need to be active, to have something to do, somewhere to go to , that's not the library or the seaside. Nevertheless, I can't stop enjoying Barcelona, disfrutar is a good word. Just the way you enjoy an exquisite meal, Thai for instance, every bite it's an opportunity to savour the different flavours reaching perfection.
Luckily enough, I go on with my Catalan classes three times a week and my poetry group performances, which got great press coverage lately, partly due to my efforts to get in touch with the local newspapers and people interested in poetry. I keep meeting fantastic motivating people and this keeps me convinced that I made the right choice, even if my job search seems a neverending job itself.
Even the apartment I live in now it's a life lesson per se, I found an announcement in the Romanian goodies shop. I love my room, it has a balcony , the light I was longing for and enough space for a desk, beside the big bed and the huge closet (plenty of place for all my skeletons). My roommates are the most unusual I've ever had, they belong to the Romanian working class and came here from different smaller cities, like many others, to make money they invest in housing in our beloved country that we don't live in. Or to bring half of their family here, if it's the case. So they don't care much about going out or doing things, as they care about saving to the limit. Enjoying life is a strange concept to them. They're people I had very tiny chances to meet anywhere else but here and now. It's touching and a bit scary at the same, to see how different we are, and to notice that I am so lucky after all to have studied and traveled the world. Having enriching friends and relationships and good interesting jobs on top of it.
Christmas home was delightful, after 6 years of absence at this time of the year. And still, the gray Bucharest, the general feeling of laisser-aller that reigns in the streets and most public spaces filled me with sadness and disgust. Even the Health Insurance Bucharest headquarters were a shameful mess, bordering an area of dull apartment buildings and humble houses where street dogs still roam dangerously free. On the other side the first shopping mall that opened in 2000, Bucharest being the same patchwork of miserable baroque post-communist post-modern post-civilised world. I managed to feel the season's joy only by leaving the outside behind the closed doors, sharing with very special friends and close to my family, now richer with my sister's new born son. Although I don't have a home there in Romania anymore, our home is now rented and I had to run between four houses at some point, looking for my winter clothes, staying over with mom and visiting my sister and the baby. In a way it's better to know that somehow I cut my way back, didn't I always wanted to live by the Mediterranean, cradle of European civilizations and cultures? Well, here I am, now I have to live up to it, or better said, to work out my place here.