Part 6: Street children and churches
gang of presumably homeless kids did hang out at piata 21 de decembrie, and often
I looked up from my newspaper to watch them quarrel with each other, or beg food,
cigarettes or money from people passing by, while every now and then taking deep
breaths out of the dirty plastic bags with glue they carried with them. Because
of that glue their eyes seemed to always have a distant expression, and their
faces seemed scarred and old for children their age - they were maybe between
8 and 14 years old.
would in full or part of their clothing jump into the fountain, fight in the water,
which was quite amusing to watch, until the police would come and chase them away.
One day I watched a police officer get into a more serious argument with the oldest
of them, and at some point I saw the boy lying on the ground and the police officer
hitting him, but some seconds later the boy was gone already.
it wasn't too hot I liked just walking around town. Bucharest is said to be an
ugly city, and in some aspects this probably is true. The air is dirty because
of traffic, and the ground is not really clean either, houses are often run down
and the walls grey. Yet I kept finding corners I loved:
view into the gap between two houses, sometimes old villas that someone had taken
a bit more care of, but just as well villas that were falling apart but gave the
place a decadent charm of having once been great.
I also loved the small
churches, especially the beautiful Stavropoleos church with its little courtyard
in which ivy grows around stone crosses and grave stones. Romanian orthodox churches
tend to be a lot smaller than catholic or protestant ones, and once someone had
explained to me that this was caused by a different approach to how people should
feel in the church. A catholic church, was said to me, is supposed to make you
feel small, so you can feel how great God is, and how you as a human are nothing
in comparison with him, while an orthodox church wants to make you feel enclosed
7: Walks through Bucharest