Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Snowing Like Christmas Cards



It's less than two more shopping weeks till Craciun.

Little children are on their best behavior. An unwashed gypsy boy no more than ten stands in the middle of Strada Glinka at rush hour cradling a tiny lamb in his arms for city dwellers and small children in cars to stop and pet for a few RON (bani) (money) donation, of course.

The nearly biggest Christmas tree in all of Europe - well they missed it by a few meters according to one of the "investigative" newspapers - is aglow right in the middle of the biggest shopping center.

Everyone in all the offices is biding time and imitating working as they secretly scheme to leave at three to get to any mall in Bucharest traffic and home on the same day.

I know that this year I will be without family and hearth. No chestnuts roasting by any familial open fire. Yes, friends, of course, but here, like there, this is the holiday for family trees. Still, with all the red and green, all the cushy-warm Christmas commercials to rub your hands together in front of, even the family umpah band playing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Away In A Manger yesterday outside the eventide bloc, it's hard to ignore the ho-ho-holiday spirit.

Almost perfect.

But there's just been one thing missing. Until now.

I looked up from my screen out of the window that faces the parc between the back of the blocs, and it was snowing like Christmas cards.

The big fluffy flakes that 1st graders draw in their coloring books, no two alike, like fingerprints, if you could only get them to hold still long enough to get the ink rollered on without melting their identity all over the Ident cards.

From this post-socialist country that never tore down all the churches, may the old guy in the red suit (Mosul Craciun) find your balcon and fill it with your heart's desires.

Fericit Craciun, to all and one. And to all o noapte buna. (a good night.)

Snowing Like Christmas Cards


The Politie (police) delivered my driver's license to the US Embassy. And it is in my hot little hands, er, wallet even as I type.

My plot to call American Citizens Services at the embassy every two days or so, asking if the license had arrived yet, obviously paid off. First, they found it. Secondly, they didn't send it to Arkansas where I won't be for a long, long, long, did I mention loooong, time. Or probably ever again.

And, third, when I stepped up to the window at the embassy to say I was there to retrieve my license, the sweet man there, who obviously recognized my voice, (which was my evil plan all along) said, "Oh, did it finally come in?" It did. Yay!

Am I driving differently now that I know how long it takes to get your license back? Yup!

Am I now carrying a photo copy of my license instead of the real thing? You betcha!

SES provided by distance learning technology group.


Sahara Penguin said...

Vremea :P

I now have a brazilian coleague - he is my team mate actually, and I am doing my best to teach him romanian. He also has a blog, in portoguese though :D - and he also does this thing with the word of the day. Nice.

Anonymous said...

stumbled upon your blog by mistake today and just wanted to say kudos. I'm a Romanian living in the US now but lived in Bucharest for 7 or so years. It's interesting to see the things through your eyes. I enjoy reading it.