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!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Intimations of mortality

Yesterday was a practical and aesthetic rather than an intellectual day. First an attempt to get some information about the role of the Embassy in the event of my decease here leading to an unpleasant telephone encounter with an arrogant young Romanian (Anca) in the consular section of the British Embassy. She informed me there was no need to come to the Embassy and that she was capable of giving me the relevant information over the phone. This she was not – when I wondered how the Embassy would know who to inform in Britain when they had no information about me, it was I who suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea if I registered with them. And she did not take kindly to a question about who the „authorities” were in London to whom the Embassy would pass the information about my death and what they would do with it. I remarked that she did not have a customer-friendly approach – to which she (typically for this sort) replied that she had come to work with a positive attitude (it was 09.15) and thought she did a good job! I duly made a complaint on the Embassy website (although it gave me no confirmation of the sort one normally gets!) and on the larger UK site – which did confirm receipt. My next task was to make an online registration – which did, however, not seem to fit my case of being resident in the country (It asked me when I would be arriving and leaving); was not designed to deal with the case of both Daniela and me deceasing at the same time (space for only one „next of kin”!); and was a global data-base rather than one of the Embassy here in Bucharest (presumably they are cpable of accessing it?).
Then on to the CEC Bank where we have one of our two local deposits. Although a joint account, it is D’s name which leads the account and we were worried that her relatives might be able to claim a higher right. This time, a very friendly and helpful (older) woman – who confirmed our anxiety. Rather than lose 250 eurpos in interest, we will return in mid-January when the investment matures and switch the account name. Then off on the search for a fotoiu cover – which led us through the string of art and antique shops and in the charming, restored Gabroven St in the old town. Most of the art shops had modern kitsch stuff – but there was one small place which I would deign with the name painting gallery with reasonably original modern stuff (including a painting of what looked very like Sirnea – but overpriced at 500 euros).
Then the 21 tram throu Mosilor street – with sadly decaying terraced merchant houses - to the Obor market. Apparently the street is so called (old man) because the annual celebration of dead people (Mosii de iarna in late October) linked to a huge fair which was held then at Obor (which is a Romanian word for fair (which, in Slav, is known by the wonderful word „Trg” – hence the towns of Targoveste in both Romania and Bulgaria)

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