Oraşul Bucureşti e o capitală europeană foarte diferită de alte capitale europene pe care le-am văzut. Şi anume, pentru că nu pare să aibă un centru. E un oraş destul de îmbârligat, ceea ce nu e un lucru aşa rău cum pare pentru cineva obişnuit cu o zonă organizată, dar Bucureştiul parcă nu are cel centru în care să se poată opri turistul să contemple măreţia oraşului lui Bucur. E un oraş în care sau intri undeva, sau te mişti pe stradă. Nu există un spaţiu non-parc în care să te poţi odihni după o cursă aglomerată într-un autobuz blocat în trafic. Stai o secundă, tocmai am descoperit că această metropolă seamănă cu alte capitale europene.
E de înţeles de ce Bucureştiul e dezastrul urbanistic care e: o ţară care e obişnuită cu oraşe mici cu o stradă principală va avea probleme să organizeze o metropolă aşa mare şi în continuă expansiune cum este Bucureştiul. Am mers prin oraş şi mă tot gândesc cât de fascinant trebuie să fi fost totul când era nou. Eu locuiesc la etajul patru într-un bloc cu zece etaje în care spiritul comunismului dâmboviţean este extrem de prezent. Blocul e ca o scenă din filmul “Midnight in Paris”, doar că nu ajungi într-o epocă de aur a Parisului, ci într-o pseudo, nu, epocă de aur a Bucureştiului. Cât de uimitoare trebuie să fi fost toate aceste blocuri când au fost noi. Cred că oamenii din vremurile acelea rămâneau fără suflare la vederea şi contemplarea lor. Cred că Bucureştiul ar trebui să facă ceva ca să îşi recucerească cetăţenii, vizitatorii şi să îi facă pe cei ce nu l-au vizitat să vrea să vină să vadă ce se găseşte aici. Sunt multe lucruri minunate în Bucureşti, dar sunt şi multe fascinante să zicem, ca să nu vorbim urât.
A început să se construiască şi aici o circumstanţă, un mediu, aşa cum s-a construit şi la Cluj încet. Locurile cheie pentru mine deocamdată nu sunt decât Universitatea, Facultatea de Istorie,Carrefour-ul din Piaţa Unirii dacă nu greşesc, supermarketul de lângă Filosofie, blocul şi camera mea, şi în general centrul pe care l-am văzut în mare de câteva ori. E dubios cum în centrul istoric nu am găsit mare lucru istoric, decât Hanul lui Manuc, dar nu sunt sigur nici de acela că e autentic. Sunt curios cum arată Bucureştiul pentru un turist.
În zilele noastre sunt foarte multe detalii care mi se pare că se vor pierde în timp şi care însă au compus o mare parte din cultura modernă. Printre ele sunt săpunurile şi în general produsele ieftine, faptul că am văzut o babuşca care plătise pe un domn să îi cureţe pantofii, referinţele oamenilor pe care de multe ori nu le înţelegem, şi alte elemente.
Masteratul pe care îl urmez se arată destul de interesant. Am învăţat despre ideologia politică integrată în “Columna Traiana” la cursul de Principii Estetice, Iconografie şi Iconologice În Arta Şi Arhitectura Romei Antice, am învăţat despre cum se obţinea un vas în China la cursul legat de extremul orient, am discutat despre iconoclasm şi la cursul de “Istorie Şi Imaginar În Artă” am aprofundat semiotica şi istoria socială. La început eram chiar obosit la sfârşitul unui curs, şi poate asta împreună cu alte cauze au contribuit la probleme legate de vedere şi ochi, numai că încerc să le ţin sub control.
În mare, Bucureştiul după puţin timp de stat aici e un oraş care se bazează foarte mult pe trecut şi în care găseşti multe tipuri de oameni şi de existenţe, un lucru găsit destul de rar în România. Ar trebui ca acestea să fie mai diverse şi atunci am putea să ne îndreptăm spre o capitală care să însumeze o Românie în miniatură.
I decided to go to Bratislava, which is Slovakia’s capital and one of Europe’s touristic cities. It is situated in Central Europe, so it has a history of different nations crossing each other here, making it a mix of cultures even since very early times. After World War II, the balanced changed as more than 90% of the city’s inhabitants of today are Slovaks. The language spoken here is Slovak, which is part of the same family as Czech. Did that make it any clearer? Czech is a language that has many consonants and signs on their letters.
In order to go to Bratislava, I had to take a City Shuttle train from the Hauptbahnhof in Vienna, Austria. The Hauptbahnhof is still under construction and I have been told it is planned to be one of Europe’s biggest railway stations.
There are many people on the train, even though not as many as I would have expected. There are sixteen trains going back and forth between Vienna and Bratislava every day and when you buy a ticket, it is also good for public transportation for a day in the Slovak capital. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like at the border, but I imagine I’m not going to be asked for my ID.
I have never been to Slovakia or any of the surrounding countries before (the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia etc), so I don’t know what to expect.
The journey lasts about one hour from the Austrian capital to Bratislava.
There are some tourists on the train as well, so I’m not the only one. I don’t like to call myself a tourist, let’s say a traveller. Fine, tourist is OK too. By looking out the window you can really see these people like to work a lot. After Simmering, which was the first stop, I saw many cranes, many constructions and many new buildings. Interesting how nobody asked for my ticket, I could have ridden fraudulently one station. I noticed a few days ago that I has some Slovak Euros. For those of you who don’t know, many countries in Europe have the same currency, called the Euro. However, each country has different-looking Euro-cents, which are the coins. Even though they are different, you can use them in any country that has the Euro or change them in countries that do not.
On the way, there are many, you guessed it, constructions. I also saw a bunch of wind turbines, which are a very Austrian thing.
Minutes later, you are in Slovakia (nobody asked for my ID), where everything is a little different and in Slovak language.
This city is red and punk. It is really a bright city with a population of a litle over 400 000 inhabitants. I visited the Hrad castle and saw the panorama of the city. I then walked around and enjoyed it, but got lost, so I had to follow a tourist bus to get back to the city’s center. It is a very nice city, unlike Bucharest which is dirty and dangerous. I’ll admit, I got lost again and asked for directions, but people don’t much speak English here. Or at least the people I talked to.
Enough fluffy tourist. Now I’m going to the real Bratislava. I took a bus because my ticket had public transportation included.The bus was supposed to take me downtown, but I got lost even more. But I didn’t mind it, because it’s a nice city with nice people. or at least this is how it appears. I finally got to a place I had seen before and took it from there. And I have to say it worked, as I finally got to the historic center.
Even though Slovaks claim in their city guide that Slovakia is a blooming democracy, I’m sure they struggle with the remains of the communist regime, as the country, which was united with the Czech Republic and named Czechoslovakia, was under USSR rule until the big year of 1989. To me, even though they had a hard time, it appears as if they did their best.
I also noticed that they have beautiful words. If you take the time to look on the walls, you can see their beautiful words. To me, they seem to be like miniature melodies.
And then, besides the bridges, I discovered the boats. The boats on the Danube… You could build me a house there. The sun was making the water spark, and the soft air made it perfect to take pictures. There’s a lot to see in Bratislava, but my day came to an end. I took a bus to the train station, which they call Hlavna Stanica. All the streets here end in the the letters “ska” or something. I bought lunch from a supermarket and walked around the town.
I’m ready to go, even though I would have stayed longer, to be honest. I am getting on the train which comes at track 1 and cross the border the second time on a day. Breaking the border would be better said though.
Ghost chasing in Paris
Charming as it may sound, Paris is a dirty, crowded, loud metropolis. With all that, it is the international capital of art, culture and love. Why has this agglomerated city become the most visited city in the world?
The first impression one can get of Paris is that it is truely big, calm and cosmopolit. Two out of these are true, Paris being anything but calm. It is a city of millions which, one can never stop seeing it, as things change every two weeks or so.
The first impression of Paris can vary from place to place, and time to time. Getting around Paris is actually easy, the RER and other public means of transport are easy to use. Anyhow, you might need some guidance. Although everyone sais that they speak English, German and Spanish, they speak only French and some get offended if you ask them wether they speak English or not. Being Paris, pretty much everything is Eiffel- tower based, from souvenirs to commercials.
I went to the ‘la Conciergerie, a former parisian prison and felt strange and intoxicated by the events that had taken place there. How many people spent their time behind bars, people getting executed with a guillotine and so on. Then I went to a hotel which was very, very old, from the 1700s or so. I had a chat with someone who worked there in the bar, about nothing and learning French. Later, I tried to buy a subway card, but they wouldn`t take fifty euro bills, so I went in circles around the arrondissments, trying to change the bill (although I guess I should have called the Police, as it might be illegal to say “change only”) . Anyway, Paris is a haunted city if you only look at all the catacombes and Memorial Landmarks.
Diana is still the most known person who accidentaly (the debate however continues) died in Paris. The place which was hit and caused the death of Dodi and Diana is still marked, and on some days you see candels and flowers brought at Diana`s landmark.
How did Paris manage to become such a city? A place which hosts places like the Pere Lachaise graveyard, which I have also seen, where people like George Enescu or Jim Morrison lie (I know I shouldn`t put these two one next to another), but at the same one of the most alive metropolis` of the world.