Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Old Faithful

I have been lying low since I got back to Iasi, both because I needed some time to recover from so much hithering and thithering and because it's the middle of exams for the medical school, so basically everyone has cancelled everything other than studying. Thus I am writing an entry that I meant to post ages ago, but is perfect now to remind me of one of the many reasons I love Romania. The cute little old men in winter. Now, I have already written about the bunicas- aka, the old women of Romania. But the old men are way more adorable, in my opinion. Though I assume they have a fair degree of sadness about them that they carry from decades lived under communism. But I literally could just watch them for hours, and I would love to be able to speak enough Romania that I could hear their stories. They all seem to have a story.

What's more, they have the coolest hats. This may seem odd (shallow?), but I really love the variety of hats worn by older Romanian men. I think I'm going to add to my list of "Reasons Why I Should Learn Romanian Well"- the ability to talk to the cute old men. There is one man in particular, who I should most definitely have a picture of because I see him so often, who I liked to call Billa Bag Man. I see him multiple times a week- most often sitting in a chair in the foyer of the mall or wandering about somewhere in Piata Unirii, the central area of Iasi. He always has on the same outfit, the same black hat, and he always has two bags- a nondescript white one, and a yellow Billa bag. Hence the name Billa Bag Man. My heart goes out to this man, because he seems like he must just have no place to be, or perhaps no friends/family since I see him at a huge spectrum of times of day/night in either of these two locations, or on public transport between these two locations, and he is always just sort of mumbling to himself, pacing, or looking distractedly off into space. So while I'm not sure what his story is, I do look forward to seeing him around Iasi. Thankfully, there is an abundant supply of older men around this city, so I get my Old Faithful fix each and every day.
On the trolley

Taking a break from gardening

Ooodles of older men playing chess/backgammon

Close-up of one of the chess tables

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