bullet holes from the revolution

Part 5: What I saw when I read the newspaper

I already mentioned the Cismigiu garden. It was about a five minute walk from my apartment, and I went for a little walk through it almost every day on my way home from class. In the morning I usually bought a newspa-per, and on the way home I would often sit down on one of the green, wooden benches in the park and read it. When I arrived end of February, the park was still grey but nevertheless pretty.

Soon enough though spring introduced a multitude of flowers in the park, at first the patches of grass turned yellow, later purple, and then bright red tulips appeared. In May, the trees started blossoming, and for some weeks it seemed like it was snowing again, because every other tree was so full of little flowers, it seemed white.

The warmer it got, the fuller the park was. My impression is, that maybe because the apartments most people in Bucharest can afford are small and run down, it is more common there than in other countries to spend time in the streets, and even more in the parks. Sometimes I almost had difficulties to find a bench quiet enough for reading my newspaper. But instead I could watch grandparents taking walks with their grandchildren, people walking their dogs - and trying to keep them away from Bucharest's numerous strays, and old men or women sitting in little groups and talking about the past. In between all this motion, people were selling roasted sun-flower seeds or cotton candy, and a man with a very old-looking photo camera and a big stuffed reindeer waited for people who wanted their picture taken.

Sometimes though, instead of going to the park, I went to the fountain at piata 21 de decembrie, right next to piata universitatii. There was more noise from the streets, but I could see the faculty of architecture, where, during the revolution, people had written "jos Ceaucescu" - "down Ceaucescu" and similar things. Yet the walls have been painted over just a year or so earlier, and a plaque has been installed instead (to me it seems, everything in Romania is commemorated with a plaque).

In the walls of some houses, bullet holes from the revolution can still be seen, and in the middle of Bulevardul Magheru, just before the intersection, some stone crosses remind of the historic importance of this square, where a lot of young people had died during the revolution. A friend of mine told me once quite impressively about how he saw the puddles of blood on this square when he was 14 years old.

Part 6: Street children and churches

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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