(for some unknown reason my spell-check does not work on this computer! Apologies for errors now!)
Well there is no other reason for the delayed blog report, other than I have been enjoying the simple pleasures in life this week, and it's been every bit as pleasurable as my recent roaming adventures. I decided that after several weekend trips I needed to stay in here in Tarnaveni this weekend and enjoy life's simple pleasures. On my weekend agenda, was shopping, house cleaning, and looming in the back-ground the possibility of going to a visiting Circus, aptly named Circus Barcelona - more of that later. I have often talked of the amazingly friendly, people here in Romania, and certainly my neighbours sit top of that category. Take this week as an example, Tuesday night I headed out to watch one of Liverpool's 2-0 losses, (which is a very traumatising experience for me), with my good friend Giany. This was muchly appreciated as Giany is not such a big football fan. Wednesday night I went to my neighbour Sari's home, where I spent a couple of hours talking with her and her mum, getting something to drink and relaxing in a lovely homely setting. Thursday night, I headed to another neighbour's house just to pop in and say hello! After helping one of the kids (Noami, 14) with her English homework I stayed to watch the football on tv with Deli and her boyfriend Emanuel. Now on both these occasions I had simply turned up and walked in the door without planning the visits! To many of you reading this, this might be a normal occurance for you, but I really cannot remember the last time I randomly turned up at a friend's house without any warning, and just walked in the door.. O k I live in Manchester (UK) so people ALWAYS LOCK their doors! But hey it's a fantastic feeling of community here!
Now many of you might know by now that I like taking pictures of sunsets, and I don't just mean sunsets on nice beaches, but just everyday sunsets, so here are some recent Transylvanian sunsets that I want to share with you!
Ok so by the time Saturday rolled around I was ready for a serious session of cleaning! After cleaning up more mouse poo from the shelves two weeks ago, than I want to even try and describe, I set about the kicthen and bathroom, in preparation for the new volunteer's arrival on Wednesday. All cleaning was completed pretty quickly, though our mop seems to have been 'stolen' - we can't find it anyway! I set off to town to find a mop, and ran into my friend Alex and her son David... (pictured), David is six or five, and he mentioned the circus, so I thought 'oh perfect' Taking David would be the perfect excuse to go there, without looking like a seriously suspicious 30 year old, surrounded by crowds of young children! Especially as when you don't really speak the language you can seem to inadvertantly try and make conversation with hand gestures.. I though this would not be the best thing to be doing on my own in a Circus. The circus, named 'Circus Barcelona', had absoultely no resemblence to my memory of Barcelona. Firstly, no one spoke Spanish, secondly, I don't remember seeing any snakes or camels there, and thirdly the people who were on 'exhibition ' around Barcelona, were tanned, toned and pretty good looking, - something I can not apply to the company of 5 circus performers. Their rather 'average appearance' did not stop them from wearing revealing clothing, (revealing more wobbly flesh than anything else), and they were certainly lacking any 'gusto/showmanship' in their performance. Indeed I think it was fair to say that not one 'performer' actually performed with any form of charisma. You could have just imagined these acts being performed in their bedrooms, infront of a small mirror, (with the exception of the camel and snakes!) Still, there was certainly an element of entertainment about the show, with seriously large snakes and a small crocodile being taken around the audience of very small children, and one thirty year old! (where was the health and safety officer I hear you scream!). The snakes and crocodile part of the show was 'performed' by a kid of about 15, dressed, and introduced as Indianna Jones, though clearly the circus 'researcher' seemed to have forgotten that Indianna Jones hated, no had a phobia of snakes... here he carried them around as you can see in the picture below...A rather large oversight I thought! The other acts, included an acrobat, who stood on ever increasing amounts of rounded household objects (no expense spared) to perform balancing acts. The lady who had sold me popcorn, was soon transformed to the exotic dancer... carrying scorpians arouns in her hand, and the girl selling raffle tickets was almost naked whilst hoola hooping several hoops around her rounded figure. She wasn't so bad, but I thought her ample belly was unfairly aiding the hoops staying up in the air! More circus pictures below.
After the circus I headed into town to watch the Bolton vs Tottenham game. Midway through the game I received a text from one of my neighbours here in Romania, who was now living in Geramny. The text said, ok, we'll be home in two hours, you want to meet for a drink? In true Romanian style, almost FOUR hours later we were out drinking until close to five in the morning! The culprits were Csilla & Joseph, plus friends. See below.
My Sunday was effectivley a non starter, as I was too tired, and feeling rather sick. This was before Liverpool's second defeat of the week, which made me feel worse. I had just eaten, when another text message arrived inviting me for lunch at the neighbours. Ok so despite having just eaten a plateful of pasta at home, I couldn't refuse such an invitation, as Mama Hadnagy's food is never to be passed up. I joined the family dinner with a total of 7 diners for the first sitting, and another seven for the second sitting! They even gave me Enlgish Breakfast tea afterwards! Simple pleasures! - That's all I have to say.
Ok so just one more paragrapgh. I was going to write a little more about my expereince at the hospital last week, as it's been pretty tough for me and Ali. There has been an increasing number of agitated, and quite frankly, seriously ill patients on the wards. It's the closest I have come during this stay to being smacked by a very poorly and angry, old man, who has been getting steadily more agitated. Me and Ali (co -volunteer) have witnessed violence between patients, agressive behaviour towards ourselves, and had to deal more emotionally charged behaviour of patients relating to their various illnesses. All this definately can take it out of you which does take it toll. We frequently have to deny patient's requests for money, help to go home from the hospital, and access to objects that are simply not permitted for the patients. I think the last few weeks of working in this environment have definately started to effect me more recently, perhaps because I am leaving in two weeks, and inevitably now think about the things that can't be achieved here, instead of what can be achieved. Still, working in this enviroment continues to demonstrate that even the smallest changes in people's lives can be of great benefit, simply having a safe, secure and supportive environment enables the patient's to escape from the institutional life for a short time each week.
Oh just one more final thing I promise. I wrote an email last time from Romania about the search for decent public toilets in bars. Here is the toilet that greeted me in a local bar here (an old man's pub).. so you can see what I mean!
Regards from Romania