I’m in Romania again! More than that, I’m in Sibiu! In the old internet cafe! Hooray!
[That’s quite enough exclamation marks thank you. -Ed]
And I have all sorts of emotions churning up at the moment. To deal with the easy stuff first – Sibiu. There are a few changes (the big stage and the topiary have disappeared from Piata Mare sometime in the last 2 months and aren’t there any more) but basically it’s pretty much the same place (the giant egg is still in Piata Mica and I had delicious pasta and wine in the cool restaurant this evening). I’m disappointed to be missing some great culture later this month – “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” is on general release at the cinema from the day I leave (crappest of crap timing there), a few days of World Music in a couple of weeks’ time, and the (well-established, not just Year of Culture stuff) anthropological film festival at the end of the month – maybe after I’ve finished the PhD and having to teach by the end of October I’ll try to make the film festival a regular pilgrimage – a whole week of documentary films from around the world, in one of my favourite towns, how wonderful is that?! But – I feel ever so weird, typing here just a stone’s throw from my little flat, and – it’s not my flat any more and I have to turn right instead of left when I leave the internet cafe and go to a hotel instead. I guess it’s just tapping into this huge longing for “home” – and let’s face it, I’ve got less than a week before I’m back in the UK and it’s officially The End of fieldwork, so it’s not the most traumatic experience, but it is very real nonetheless.
More obliquely, when I arrived in Bucharest yesterday and was on the bus to the hotel, I had the strangest feeling (especially given that I’ve never been particularly fond of Bucharest), that I was somewhere familiar – “home”-like almost – it felt like I could breathe again, for the first time in a couple of months. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Chisinau, and have many friends there, and having been there 2 months I was really starting to get a feel for the place. But (and I think this relates to my last post) I think that living with a family rather than in my own place, and in a society that is generally more conservative, had started to become stifling. And then leaving Bucharest today, on the bus heading for Sibiu, that feeling was even stronger. I’ve reflected more than once since being away that if I was still resolutely single (as until last year looked like it was going to be the case) then I would really seriously consider at least buying a flat in Romania, if not moving. There’s something about the place which is very “me”. Mind you, if I was still resolutely single I wouldn’t be able to do much about it anyway without also being resolutely rich, and that’s never going to happen.
Anyway, all this is idle talk – less than a week and I’m properly “home”. I can’t wait.