Part 3: Friends
I am a bit scared of elevators, and on one of the first evenings I decided to
walk up the stairs to the 6th floor instead of taking the elevator. But between
the 4th and the 5th floor I was in for a little scare: Two people were sleeping
between the stairs, covered up with some dirty old blankets. When they saw me
they made space for me to pass, and apologized, and so did I.
day I was a bit nervous about taking the stairs, but did so anyway. This time
they had not laid down yet, and so I greeted them friendly and then continued
to my apartment. Thus, I saw them almost every evening, and while sometimes they
were already asleep and I tried to sneak by them without waking them, at other
times they invited me to sit down and talk to them for a while.
in their fourties, I estimate. She was short, with a wrinkly face, a former chemistry
teacher, she told me, until they lost their house. He was quite tall and with
a grey moustache, tried to speak English with me all the time, in which I could
understand him even less than in Romanian, and had been a boxer and a tour guide
in the mountains, if I understood him right.
They became friends of mine,
and while I can't keep contact with them now, that I have returned home, I will
always remember them.
But of course I had more friends: I already mentioned
the family that picked me up at the train station - and through them I got to
know some of my best friends: Cindie from Australian, and Irina and Betty, two
Another group of friends I had met through an Anti-war
demonstration: One day after university I saw a little group of just six people
demonstrating on piata 21 Decembrie. I joined them, and took part in organizing
bigger demonstrations, and founding an association. And while these efforts eventually
were hindered by the police and Romanian bureaucracy, they formed a kind of family
for me during my time in Bucharest.