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Entries Tagged as 'Diary'

“Continental Drift: Colliding Continents, Converging Cultures” – Review by Prof. Thomas G. Gallagher

May 3rd, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Education, Famous People, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Science

Constantin Roman writes with candour, wit, and humility. His remarkable life story unfolds with effortless simplicity thanks to his ability to write mellifluous English influenced by Romanian cadences. It is clear that he wishes to do service for the country he never lost touch with during 25 years in exile. Perhaps one way is to motivate and instruct young people with similar talents and ambitions to the ones he possessed in the 1960s.
The need for Romanians to rediscover the characteristic of group solidarity which Roman encountered in the British university world but which disappeared in communist Romania is a pressing one. That is why his story deserves to be better-known in Romania.

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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART 1 OF 6)

March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos

Sărut mâna pentru masă
C-a fost bună şi gustoasă
Şi bucătăreasa grasă.

Which, in the English vernacular translation, would more or less sound like:

Kiss your hand, Ma’am, for the pastry,
And the meal, which was so tasty,
For the coffee and all that,
As the cook was nice and fat’.

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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART 2 OF 6)

March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Short Stories & Cameos

The King? What King? I thought you were a republic and just shot one president to replace him with another, I said tartly
– This is His Majesty the King of Romania. He is the guest of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Argesh and is coming to visit the royal graves at the monastery in the Carpathians. The King and his family were specifically assigned these rooms and the hotel will be full with the Press from abroad and dignitaries.
The King of Romania! How very odd – he was turned away before by the new Communist President and marched off all the way to the airport under military escort to have him expelled from the country: only the year before! The old commies were still afraid that he might command some unwelcome popular support and overthrow the rascals who usurped the power after Ceausescu.

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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART FIVE OF SIX)

March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

I remember grandfather was telling me that before the war there was a kind of popular bistro across the road from the Bellu Orthodox cemetery whose name was “Better here than Opposite’ (Mai bine aici decat vis-à-vis). This was very handy because the mourners, instead of going all the way to the home of the dearly departed, for the traditional post-funeral meal, they would instead have the drinks across the road from the cemetery, once the funeral was over and the alms given to the poor. And so there was so much merry-making at the bistro, with gypsy brass band and even dancing – all of course in memory of the deceased, that people started complaining for the lack of decorum, especially as the mourners were approaching the cemetery gate with the hearse and all and they were hearing were the fiddles and bassoons playing away drinking songs…
Eventually the police shut the establishment and now it is all history!

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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART SIX OF SIX)

March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Diary, Genealogy, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, quotations

– There was this stranger, who joined us during the service, attracted by Angelica’s surname: she thought that it was the same family as that of “Prince Lambrino” and assumed that you, as chief mourner, you were the Prince himself! So I reassured her that you were, indeed, the real thing!
– God forbid! Perish the thought!
For a split second I believed that Aunt Angelica’s funeral turned into a scene from Eugene Ionesco’s Theatre of the Absurd, one that my Aunt, as a blue stocking, will have enjoyed.
– Farewell Angelica and God bless you!

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BOOK REVIEW: A Romanian close encounter – “The Romanian – Story of an Obsession

February 27th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

A literary critic of “Le Monde” who is quoted on the front cover of this book states that: “what astonishes and intrigues is Benderson’s way of recounting in the sweetest possible voice, things which are considered shocking… ”
If the French are “shocked”, then the Romanians would certainly be outraged, not by the lack of prudery, as by the fresco of the Romanian society of motley pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, bureaucrats, hangers-on, desperate people and the whole gamut of poor destitute of all ages, social background and ethnic origin, neither of whom come out too well, in the end: TOUGH!

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NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA: “Big Tits” – The Story of a Girl’s Private Education in Switzerland

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

– ‘You know?’, daughter told me, half incredulously and half bemused, ‘you know, Pa’ and then she paused…
– ‘Well, how shall I put it, to you, Pa? When we entered class, the other day, the Spanish teacher had already marked in chalk, on the black board, in English, that is, “BIG TITS”, in capital letters
– ‘Big Tits? I asked, ‘What on earth for? It can’t be! Are you serious?’
– ‘Yes I am, I saw it! We both saw it, Catherine and I. We looked at each other and laughed. It was embarrassing!’
– ‘Of course it was!’

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Constantin ROMAN – Book Review: Orwell behind the Iron Curtain

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Communist Prisons, Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

Orwell behind the Iron Curtain
Margot Eftimiu,, my private French language teacher in Buchrest, was educated in Vevay, Switzerland and fell on hard times after being expropriated by the Communist regime. She borrowed these magazines and transcribed by hand the whole of Orwell’s 1984 novel- no mean feat and a labor of love. I had the privilege of being lent these notebooks when I was just 15 years of age, and found the reading fascinating.
As a teenager, during the dire Stalinist years I identified myself perfectly well with the character of Orwell’s book and with the whole atmosphere described by the author, as one which we were experiencing in Romania under a communist dictatorship.

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NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA – The Acid Test: an Interview at Horsted Place

February 24th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

on this occasion she insisted that I viewed the young man, not at home, but at a nearby country hotel. The venue was Horsted Place, in Sussex, an elegant historic manor house, where, in its heyday, the young Queen Elizabeth II was entertained by the Neville family. Now this wonderful Victorian Tudor pile is a country hotel, favoured by Glyndebourne opera patrons. This immensely elegant place, with highly-trained chefs and waiters is offering an impeccable service. I agreed to meet the young hopeful at Horsted Place and asked him to tea.

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Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba, „Rinocerizarea” criteriului biografic la un istoric dilematic

February 23rd, 2016 · No Comments · Communist Prisons, Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, quotations

Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba, „Rinocerizarea” criteriului biografic la un istoric dilematic  Motto: „Gnosticism is a type of thinking that claims absolute cognitive mastery of reality […]. In marxism (its immanentizing form) gnosticism considers its knowledge not subject of criticism, relying (as it does) on a claim to gnosis, a special gift of a spiritual and cognitive elite”. […]

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