20121127

Romania in photos


Constanța, October 2012, 7.26 am.

Sunrise boulevard - I love the sun rising.

Dedicated to M, with love.


Kindle your mind.

20120706

Protests in Bucharest

Piata Universitatii.



Piata Victoriei.


Kindle your mind,

20120705

Bucharest in photos

Intermezzo. G'n'R in concert, last Sunday.

Pictures from current protests coming right up.


Kindle your mind,

20120703

week'toriAl. X day

Today seems to be the X day. That is, the day when the government tries to take, by whatever means necessary, including the full range of illegal means, a full control of the state. If they make it, the very next step will be attacking the freedom of speech, and I believe that will also include the internet this time. I remember the good old times of the Nastase era...

I saw that coming, the question is what should be done now. There is no place for fear anymore. I guess the plain answer to my question is: back on the street. The situation of democracy in my country is not worsening every day - like it happened the past few weeks - not anymore. It is worsening every hour, now. I cannot stand this outrage.

What happens now is very, very serious and does not look good at all. We are going back to 1990 and 1991. That is, we are going back to a kind of situation which may require sacrifices.

Keep an eye on this place. I'll carry the camera with me permanently from now on. And keep your fingers crossed for our democracy, or for whatever is left out of it.


Kindle your mind,

20120619

week'toriAl. Prime minister of Romania charged of plagiarism

Nature magazine informs that the Romanian prime minister is accused of plagiarism. Victor Ponta has been accused of copying "large sections" of his PhD thesis from other authors. The information has been also shared by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

This comes only one month after the appointment of Mr. Ponta as prime minister of Romania, one month after the charges of plagiarism against the former Romanian minister of education, Ioan Mang (appointed by Mr. Ponta), and one week after the modification of the Romanian Research Ethics Council's componence by the new socialist minister of education. This council should judge the charges against Ioan Mang and, it seems now, the charges against Mr. Victor Ponta himself.

Here is where you can compare the incriminated thesis with the original texts. Trivia: the one who conducted the thesis is no-one else than the former socialist prime minister of Romania, now accused and condemned by a preliminary instance for corruption, Adrian Nastase.

The reaction of the pm to the charges brought against him were limited to derision, calling "Nature" "the magazine where Mr Funeriu (former Romanian minister of education, who tried to improve the academic standards) gives interviews".

If the charges prove to be real, it is simply UNBELIEVABLE (yet very plausible) and we are facing an international scandal. As far as I know, Romanian politicians do not resign on charges of plagiarism (not to mention corruption - see the case of Adrian Severin), even if there is strong evidence for that. They just claim innocence and try to avoid the subject with arguments ad persona. Victor Ponta will try to stay pm as much as possible, ignoring in good science the fact that he will have no longer the moral authority to represent Romania in any international forum.

Not directly linked with the subject of the article, but rather an over-all conclusion concerning our present government: so far, in little more than one month, the socialist-liberal government has harassed justice, begun the demolition of the educational system and tried to change the cultural politics. Of course, they have no plan in the economic fields, and thus there are no measures taken, to address somehow the still rampant economic crisis.

I don't know about you, guys, but when a new government tries to control education, culture and justice, and ignores the fundamentals of economy, I have the reflex of remembering a not-so-evolute period I wrote a lot about: Communism dictatorship. The basic principles are identical in both these cases, you know. And besides, I noticed on several occasions that Victor Ponta loves a good lie - another inheritance of our glorious not-so-evolute past.

I cannot understand how we have to face such things with our country a member of the EU, when absolute priorities should be addressing the economic crisis and modernizing the country, instead of turning it towards its most obscure past, like these guys try hard to. It is not for this that people spent weeks in the cold of January in Piata Universitatii, but exactly the opposite.

Kindle your mind,

20120612

Bucharest in photos

Hypnosis.

You don't have to like it, just to understand what I'm trying to say. A lot of people look for enlightenment, but most of us do not know where to.

Kindle your mind,

20120604

Earth

A part of the Pyrenees, to be more precise. Enjoy. This is my birthday gift to you.

I love that deep blue something.


Kindle your mind,

20120601

Bucharest in photos

Alternosfera concert opening sequence.

One of the best Romanian (language) rock acts of 2012, so far.


Kindle your mind,

20120427

Back

Hello all,


Considering the fact that Romania will have most probably a socialist government from now on, and considering the fact that last time when my country was governed by the socialist party there were very serious democracy issues, I decided to come back.

I shall continue posting images and writing about Bucharest, however, I'll try to write a bit more about freedom. In my view, democracy is regressing in my country, and unfortunately quite few people actually do care about it. Most of us just care about our daily ration of food.


With love,

20120314

Personal

Due to personal reasons, I am taking a blog break. I do not hide I start questioning the orientation of my blog. I need to figure it out.

My Romanian speaking friends can find me here from time to time.


With love,

20120302

My impressions about Madrid

I arrived home two weeks ago. It is the delay I needed to structure my thoughts and ideas. I guess I finally got them into a more or less definite shape.

First of all, if you've never been to Madrid, you should do it. Go see Madrid; you will lose if you don't. The city is splendid and, with a little effort, a week should be enough to visit a good deal of it. What places come straight to my memory : Sol, the opera, the royal palace, Parco del Retiro, the royal theater, and the museums Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia. By saying this, I must specify that my visit to Madrid was conceived around visiting these museums.

I liked the fact that many Spaniards practice sports. I saw many people jogging in center Madrid and many people on the sports fields. Believe me, I would like to see more of that at home. I also liked the fact that many people use bicycles and bikes. Not as many as in the Netherlands, OK, but, again, I would like to see more of that at home. And by saying this, I didn't forget that, going from west to east in Europe by car, bicycle tracks disappear when you leave the city of Szeged, at the eastern border of Hungary.

If I would have to characterize normal Spaniards in very few words, these words would be : good willing. Normal people are not always educated (superior education is paid, so not everybody can afford it), but polite, civilized and, from my point of view, they lack a certain cultural arrogance you can find sometimes in other Occidental countries. They do not lack distinction, instead. It is not a problem if you go to Madrid and people know you are Romanian; they will not treat you differently, unlike others. I like that, too.

The only problem is that very few people actually speak a foreign language (usually, English) at an acceptable level, which was very surprising for me, so you have to use the few Spanish words you get to learn within a few days. A conversation guide is welcome if you go to Spain. You can do without, but it is much more difficult. Put aside that, I saw three main groups of immigrants: South American, Eastern European (Romanian mostly) and Chinese.


The impact of the crisis is rampant. Normal people you can see in the underground, for instance, are tired, look sad and concerned, and they are not very carefully dressed. I saw more people begging in the underground in Madrid, and I mean normal Spaniards, than in the underground in Bucharest. But the biggest problem, visible if you want to see it, is that over 5 million people are jobless, an historical maximum, and most affected is the youth.

Put in perspective, I'd say things in Spain are overall clearly better than in Romania, for instance, but the economic climate seems to be worsening in 2012. Unlike the case of other countries, the economic situation in Spain was not caused by politics of a government, it was rather the pure result of conjuncture in the evolution of international markets. As a sort of conclusion, I was surprised when I saw Chinese stores in Oradea in 2010 and in Cluj Napoca last October, but it seems that I have to get used to it, as there are quite a lot of these in Spain, and they do not lack costumers. Explanation: costumers of these stores being primarily people with low incomes.


This state of affairs has an impact upon people who were not accustomed to this kind of surviving troubles. There were protests in Madrid while I visited the city, and I believe that more jobless people and lower wages can only lead to more social unrest and less optimism. Personally, I do not believe that the economic crisis will end soon (if ever, in the predictable future), but I hope things will get better little by little.

A few words about my fellow Romanians established in Spain: they are many and you can hear a lot of Romanian words in the buses or on the streets. They mostly have unqualified jobs, but this changes along with the degree of integration. The way I saw it, the older you are, the slower is the process of integration. The crisis has definitely changed their status in the Spanish society: there are people who do not like anymore to see jobs granted to foreigners and some legal measures began to be taken, so many Romanians came back to Romania, while others tried to move elsewhere and most try to resist in place, as returning home is seen as a step back. I believe this will continue in the near future, at least.

I keep my fingers crossed for Spain. I hope I'll get to see it again soon. I also hope this post will help you decide that a visit to Madrid is worthy. For it truly is.


Kindle your mind,

20120301

Madrid in photos

Kindle your mind,

Madrid in photos

People protesting in Plaza del sol. If I understood well, it was a protest of the conductors of the underground railway of Madrid, caused by a drop of wages.

Salaries are going down in the country and normal people do suffer, so keep your fingers crossed for the people of this country, this year will be rough for many of them.

Kindle your mind,

20120228

Madrid in photos

Art exhibit in the Reina Sofia Art Center.

I dedicate it to all of us, normal people, working on a daily basis on a typewriter or a computer. Personally, I spend 8 hours a day doing that, occasionally more, and a typewriter going by itself (like the one in the picture), sets my computer operator day-to-day condition in a certain perspective. Somehow, it makes me think of the movie The Apartment.

PS. I took quite a few inspiring pictures, in my view, at the Reina Sofia museum (I am grateful for that). I would've done just the same in Prado and Thyssen, if taking pictures would have been allowed there. On the other hand, if you look for contemporary art in Madrid, this center is the place to be. It gives you the headache (in a good way) if you stay there more than an hour. There is a lot of information to process.

Viva Madrid.

Kindle your mind,

20120224

Madrid in photos

Showbizz. Seen by an artist, at Reina Sofia Art Center. I was shocked when I saw first this exhibit, but I got to say I agree with it. Makes you think, doesn't it ?

Kindle your mind,

20120208

Personal

24 hours from now I'll be on the plane to Madrid. I don't have expectations, I just hope everything will be fine. I think I'll be back in Bucharest before the end of the month. It is for the first time that I go to Spain.

I promise pictures and impressions.

I am so tired, I really need a break away from everything.


With love,

20120126

Bucharest in photos. The city by night


Winter is finally here (and protests go on, attended by ~ 100 people, as far as I could see it), but my mind goes back.

Picture taken five years ago, on January 9th, 2007.