Monday, September 19, 2005

The weekend in brief and fractured form

This weekend (or this week actually) was (is) European Mobility Week, which is all about being mobile without using your car. So we chose not to go anywhere outside the city so as not to break the rules.

Actually there is a local NGO (The Partnership Foundation) who are dead good and they put on various events around town to celebrate. There was an NGO fair in the middle of town on Petofi Street* at which Erika's school had a stall, so we spent some time there, there was a bike race, there was an eco-vehicle challenge, and there was a draw-an-ecological-vehicle-on-the-road-with-chalk competition for kids. So we had a good time just walking round the town participating in an eco-festival right on our own doorsteps.

[*a word on street names - any street that is not named after a person has to be signed in both local languages. Thus we live on Fratiei/Testveriseg (brotherhood) street. For mailing purposes the Romanian name is used. The one exception to this is when the street is named after a person in which case it can't be translated. Thus the main street in town is called Petofi Street after Sandor Petofi, a famous Hungarian poet and revolutionary who died somewhere near here. The street where Erika works was called, when I moved here, Strada Florilor / Virag Utca (flower street), but has recently had its name changed to Kossuth Lajos Utca (after another famous Hungarian revolutionary). It's a game the local government play with the national one. Still, if it keeps everybody happy, and not at each other's throats, then I'm all for it. I think we're about the only town in Romania that doesn't have any street or square named after Stefan Cel Mare (Stefan the Great) either, since he is not such a great hero to the Hungarian community as he is to the Romanian, having beaten King Matthius at the battle of Baia.]

Autumn started yesterday, at about 4pm. After we had returned from the eco-events, the skies darkened and the temperature began to drop. In the early evening, Erika and I went to the cinema, and it was getting decidedly chilly. By the time we came out it was dead cold and pissing down with rain to boot. Today looks and feels like autumn. Bit of a shame, but I suppose this great September we'd been having was too good to last.

We had gone to see Mar Adentro, winner of last year's best foreign language film at the Oscars. This will give you a sense of how long films take to arrive in Csikszereda. It was something of a language challenge for me (being in Spanish with Romanian subtitles), but I was pleased at how much I understood. It was an amazing film and one I can't possibly recommend too highly. It'll be too late for anyone outside of the remotest parts of Papua New Guinea to catch it at the cinema, but go ahead and watch the DVD or download the DVIX file or whatever you modern types do these days. The acting is amazing, and the characters so well drawn. It's about euthanasia but doesn't try to make any political points, just tells a heart wrenching and moving story of people dealing with tragedy. And despite being about someone wanting to die, it's one of the most life-affirming films I've seen. Really.

The other day, Bogi suddenly had a nasty thought, and turned to Erika in a semi-panicked state: "What if the baby only speaks English?"

And finally, from the BBC, man in nylon suit starts fire. I love that story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Andy, in Csikszereda are a lot of streets with communist-taste name, and it's funny because the local people use the romanian name, because the hungarian name seems so silly. The best example it's Fratiei/Testveriseg/Brotherhood indeed, but we have more: Avantului/Lendület/Swing
The meaning of this romanian or hungarian word are something more close to "pace for development"

Or we had a sport-place (tennis place) "Vointa" (will). Nobody called it Akarat.