Product: Fabricated in Romania. Refined in the UK.
This is the story of a crossbreed journalist. Distinctive Balkan features in a pairing with a new British behaviour for the last four months and eight days.
On rewind. On my BCH-LND way, I wrote on my phone: “It is the day that separates the past of the future” – read it in some Hesse-ndless book and promised to use it one day.
It was just before I got my “one way” ticket. Before I shared a house and my habits with three strangers and their habits. Mostly habits of unwashed dishes, gravy souce and Sunday roasts on top of morning-Nirvana drum-songs. It was before I Mingled my breaths with other 13 million Breath-outs. It was before London.
22nd of January. The after London and its exhausting “thankyous”, door-holding for ages, obsessions with being rude or offensive, “yalrights” and greedy tube fares. This consuming-lover, blood and time vampire, this shreading life-storm and wish-mill of fools. It’s London, baby, right?
Pause. No rewind. Take a bit of time to listen to the silence. I hear myself thinking: “you’ve carried all this stuff: 29 kilos, woman! The audio kit is killer! You need a bellboy ’cause You smell like a fish pond. Like a… Biban?! Biban… What’s the word for “biban”? “Baib^n?” “Biban” is a fish in Romanian. So, I found myself fishing some Romanian.
Signs of not being in all your Romanian senses:
- Thinking in English. This is the first sign of Romanian-weakness. Never found out what’s the word for “biban”. Need help!;
- The next step of’pairing’ with London is when You feel THAT confident that you naturally start adapting words. E.g. Furculition for ‘fourchette’. So, you find yourself saying synapses (surprise: it worked!), stipulated (worked) or “cats” as a swearing (which makes sense in Romanian);
- You start teaching your colleagues: “poop” (kiss in Romanian), “da” for yes and You convince them that Romanians are “Crazy” – ‘nebu’;
- You don’t have the patience to wait for the escalators to “move!”. It’s like crawling in slow motion;
- Your intimate space in the street is reduced to centimetres and feel comfortable; also, your face gets stuck on the Window of the over-crowded tube and it’s almost relaxing;
- You take a nap in the tube;
- You have no problem with happily accepting a date at x place which is JUST “only one hour” Away?!
- You hold the doors for people who are ar least 10 metres Away from You making them sprint;
- You know more about the health system and politics of the UK than your own country’s;
- You become obsessed with BBC Weather app;
- You start watching livestreams of your hometown.
It’s been four months and eight days since my Romanian pedigree made love and war with the London-breed. We shall hope for the ‘one of a kind’ result.
N.B. Hesse was wrong: it’s not the day that separates. It’s the day that unites the past and present for a new future.