what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Back in Romania

Bucharest is in full spring growth – so male testerones are obvious in the drivers (a stand-off within minutes of arriving - with a driver unwilling to back the metre needed to let me access my street). The stupid arrogance of a young (female) Vodaphone staff member who can’t answer a simple question (about the term-date for an internet payment) ensures gender balance. I advise her on the answer she should have given and add a comment that she lacks listening skills and seems able only to use formulae they’ve been trained to use. When I leave, she utters a “Good Day” and fails to appreciate the irony.

Romania’s honour is saved (as always) by its older generation – in the shape of a wood sculptor from Targovishte (80 year-old Marin Manea) who has a stall at the Easter Fare at the Peasant Museum here in Bucharest.
I could not resist this traditional "dresser" which he had beautifully carved (and embossed) from Tei (Linden or Lime) wood. For 60 euros. Perhaps "dresser" is not quite the right term since what he had carved was the upper part which holds the plates and cups (almost a metre in depth - with 3 levels).
I expressed my admiration and envy of his skills – and he offered to teach me. An idea worth thinking about – and appropriate on the day I read this section of a late Updike short story ("Personal Archeology")
an utterance…gouged with effort from the compacted accumulation of daily pretence and accomodation
Updike did not win the Nobel Literature Prixe - and this reflects badly on that Award.

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