I got back to Bucharest last Wednesday.
Since my last post from Enderlin, North Dakota, I traveled to New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago. I met and stayed with friends who were difficult to part with, saw places that left me staring into space and heard stories that made me wonder about the way our world is going.
Here is one of the most epic experiences:
Patrick, my host in New York and a great musician, introduced me to Jake and Eleonore, an American couple who lived for a while in Botosani, the Romanian city where I was born.
Botosani is not on anyone’s “top 10 places to visit in Romania”. It’s more like you end up there. It’s literally, at the end of the road. But it’s an unusual, beautiful place and I should write an article about what to see there.
When they were in Botosani, Jake and Eleonore learned about our Jewish culture (we had a huge Jewish community until WW2), traditional Romanian music (with the local band “Rapsozii Botosanilor”) and how life unfolds in that part of the Romania. I found Eleonore’s blog in French (read it here), where she wrote about her experiences in Botosani. She shared her pictures too.
The moment that made my heart beat faster, and my eyes glow like in Japanese cartoons, was when Eleonore, Jake and Patrick grabbed their instruments – flute, violin and accordion – and played some “Botosani tunes”.
It was hard to believe I was hearing Romanian music in Brooklyn so I had to record it. I was already thinking about how I will play the recording to my friends back home and tell them: “You know the music that they play at wedding parties and that we don’t really care about? These musicians think it’s awesome and play it in New York! And they lived in Botosani! And they like Botosani, and came back several times!”
You can listen to the recording here:
Now I’m slowly moving back into a new reality.
Yesterday I went to the supermarket for the first time since I got back and didn’t know what to buy — I came out with an avocado and oatcakes. I’m still living out of my backpack while looking for a new place to rent. The roofs are covered with snow and the traffic is hectic. Old buildings, new restaurants.
I miss the US. I miss jumping in the ocean waves, reading in sunny back gardens and quiet basements, cycling along the levy, admiring the big city skylines, driving through hundreds of miles of desert, being exhausted from seeing too much artwork, squash soup, musicians improvising at parties, jacuzzi conversations, kittens and dogs, old train stations. And most of all, I miss many of the people I met and really hope to see them again.
What will the future bring?