Thursday, August 25, 2005


It's been a bad year for flooding here (at least I hope and assume this qualifies as a bad year). As I got back from parched and burning Spain, Romania was being hit again, this time much closer to home. We drive through the village of Farkaslaka (Lupeni) every time we go to visit Erika's family, as it is just on the other side of Udvarhely (Oderheiu Secuiesc), which is the nearby town just over the mountains to our West. On Tuesday night Farkaslaka was hit by a flash flood which swept away 16 people. On the news they showed a picture of a bus in the river. Some relatives of a friend who live in another nearby village said they woke up on Wednesday morning to find two more houses than there had been previously on their land. I don't know if they started charging rent. Harghita county is in a state of emergency, and various politicians are visiting.

In another piece of news, which I cannot yet find English language information on, a Hungarian woman from Romania who has access to political power in Hungary (there are fairly lurid rumours round these parts as to what she did to get there, but not knowing what the situation is regarding libel and random bloggers, I'll steer clear of repeating them). Anyway, she has just been charged (at least in the Hungarian press) of spying for Romania. I really want to find out more about this as it sounds fascinating.

Not news, but I just wanted to point out that at Barcelona airport, which is like a vast shopping mall, they have opted to go for the standard trick at such shopping places and removed all clocks. Obviously believing that those people not burdened with time will more likely spend money and browse longer. All very well, I suppose, but it doesn't work quite so well at an airport where keeping people aware of the time is fairly important. I'd love to know how many people have missed flights there due to this, frankly, stupid arse policy.

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