The beach in Helsinki

I stayed up until late and ended up looking at pictures taken in an amazing part of Helsinki.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about feeling free is that night in the Timisoara railway station. I had returned with Bogdan from a trip in the Balkans, and our connection to the Cluj train was some hours away. So we waited in a stationing wagon. Bogdan drew a portrait of me. I felt like he was a bit sad; but I also felt intimacy, as we just stayed there, some dim, yellow lights from the railway station covering the wagon. I remember that I wrote him a note telling him that I wanted to kiss him on his cheek, but I asked him to read it only later. We also played a sort of game - each had to write a line, then fold the paper, the other one would write another line- and so on, and eventually we'd have a sort of poem. But more than anything, there was the feeling that I could stay there forever, with him. At some point, I went to the bathroom. I got off that wagon and I noticed that the pavement had little squares, hundreds, maybe thousands of them. And I remembered this children’s game hopscotch (sotron), where you'd have this pattern. I jumped as if there was an imaginary sotron, and then I realized that there could be any pattern, any game invented. That you can create uncountable new games, with new patterns and new rules, or no rules at all. That there are so many possibilities, that life is infinite. Looking back, it felt like being on drugs, but I wasn't on drugs.

The second memory of feeling free is when I got to this beach in Finland last summer, not far from where I was living. It was very empty, and already past 10 pm, but the Airbnb host, an introvert Turkish girl, told me that this beach is fantastic to see the sunset. I found a huge meadow, with wildly colored flowers, fir trees, wooden cottages, the sea. I could see some people and a fire in the distance, but apart from them, it was totally empty. It was almost 11, and still bright. Euphoric is not a word enough for how I felt there. I don’t know if I’d seen before so much beauty, so unexpectedly, so wild, and so available at the same time. I didn’t have to climb rocks and walk 20 km. After an hour maybe I returned to the main road and bumped into that amazing meadow again. And I realized that I could run, not just walk and take pictures, but actually run in the grass. I felt happy happy happy like I haven’t been in a long time and free. It’s like I have forgotten about this person inside me that has a lot of energy and vitality, who wants to run and be happy. 

As a kid, I would always run if my mom sent me to the store to buy something; for any kind of activity I would have to do, I’d run. but maybe I was just an anxious kid :)

In the morning,  Bogdan and I finally took the train to Cluj. I think it was raining. It felt comfortable to be in a nice, warm wagon after staying up all night. There was some music playing, and one of the songs was Miruna from Pasarea Colibri. Bogdan told me that his mom liked this song, or that a boy was calling her Miruna.

Then we got off the train, walked through Cluj. We had a coffee in a Hungarian cafe. Bogdan drew something for me on the back of a card. It was a map of the Ohrid lake, and two people swimming towards each other. But they never meet, just get very close to each other. Bodies were sketched funnily. We looked a little bit like frogs, but you could tell which was the girl, and which was the boy. We had coffee with rum.

Then he walked me to the place where I could hitchhike to Zalau. He laughed and said something like: let me kiss you on the cheek. He had read the note that night, although I told him not to. Then I got in a car, and I turned to wave him, and he stayed behind. He waved back. We laughed. I laughed. And then I was struck by the idea that our trip was over and I would not see him again. For two weeks, I had kept that thought in check, and didn’t allow myself to be sad, or think about what would happen after the trip. 

Last summer we met again after seven years. I had some work in Buzias, near Timisoara, and I gave him a call. I hitchhiked from Buzias to Timisoara, and we hadn’t decided very clearly where we’d meet in Timisoara because I don’t know the city. I told him that I’d maybe get a cab to the city center. But right when I entered the city, he called me. He had come by car and was waiting very close. I asked the driver to stop the car, crossed the street, and there was Bogdan. 

I was nervous. I was fucking excited, even happy; particularly in those minutes between his phone call and me getting out of the car and crossing the street to meet him. 

We drove to the city center, to Unirii square. It felt good to be in the same car with him. Bogdan told me that we had a Pljeskavica in the Unirii square in our trip (or that we just sat there) but I couldn’t remember. There was something about him that was still the same. I could recognize him-the big head, blue eyes, his fingers; 

We had a drink, talked bullshit (some words to fill the moment), cause what else can you talk with a person you have no active relationship to, a person you only shared one thing with- but that thing happened to be the best trip of your life; and of course, it wasn't just a trip, just going from a place to another; it was a sense of adventure, intimacy. It felt free, and we  felt very young. I remember humming that song from the Cure- Love Song- you make me feel like I am young again- as we were walking around the Ohrid lake.

Then he drove me to the train station. I had completely forgotten that it was the same station where we stayed for hours waiting for the Cluj train nine years ago, in the summer of 2007.  I’ve remembered this just now, while writing. 

We hugged and said goodbye. It was a real hug, better than the conversation. It was our real conversation in our short reencounter

Morning, again; 7am

I was returning home and it was the toughest cold I've experienced this winter. I remembered when I was in school and I used to go through this unbearable cold every morning. Haven't felt that in a while. It was also very pure and the song of the birds was amazing- so potent and clear through the cold morning. Now I'm in my bed, listening to Sirens. I would have taken some pictures of this morning, but my phone was dead. So I took some pictures when I arrived home. It was funny when me and a friend stayed on a sofa and talked and he took his shoes off. I was on the hunt for people to talk to. Even in the subway- I approached this guy, some two chairs away. Hey, do you mind if I talk to you? I also talked to a very young Syrian guy with nice teeth, who told me that what's happening in Syria and the Middle East is a game (of the big powers), and that Syrians feel that they've understood how the world works (power, politics); like a secret the others don't know. At a certain point, I saw a guy wearing my yellow hat. Maurizio. His boyfriend is a teddy bear, he told me, and he's still in love after six years. We talked a lot. He called me several times stupenda. He liked when I said that shame is our parents' gift to us. He bought me two glasses of wine. Towards the morning I talked to a guy who came to sit on a bench next to me, and I asked him what was the best thing that happened to him last year. He said that it was the fact that he had fallen in love. She didn't love him back.


I went to the office today and saw an amazing pink sky. The grandmother of Ruxandra, one of my colleagues, told her that the sky is pink when there are winds blowing (e vremea vantoasa).

Morning, early 2017

Waking up at 6 am every day comes with a short moment of horror. (Probably also because it's after only a few hours of sleep, sometimes as little as two or three). It's like having a few seconds when your mind sees with high clarity where you are, what you are. It's anxiety combined with huge alterness. It's like seeing yourself for who you are, without any layers. I see myself lonely, afraid of getting old, afraid of dying. I think of my parents, my friends. In those few seconds, I know who I am- or at least that's the feeling. Then I normally turn on the laptop, maybe get out of bed to make a tea. That's always calming and nice because it reminds me of my life with my parents. That's how every morning would start at home, with tea boiling on the cooker, them getting ready for work, me preparing for school. Then I check Facebook to see if I have any messages, I look at Sumi, who is  still sleeping. Or she may already be awake, asking for food.

And sometimes, I remember to look outside the window. It's still dark at 6am, but an hour later, it's day again. By 9am it's already too bright. It's my favourite moment then. I am done with work, so I pull the curtains and get in my bed for the sweetest three-hour sleep. The phone is on do-not-disturb and nothing can be more important than sinking into a deep sleep.

Frasinet, 2017

Adina turned 30, and she threw a party in Cluj. I arrived on Friday evening, slept at Alexandra Gavrila (& Ale Cosma & Arpi), drank beer, talked, listened to Ocean Drive. Slept until 2 pm, then went to meet Adina. Goga and Edi had come from Bucharest too, but they weren't at Adina's apartment when I got there. They arrived a bit later with a lot of presents and flowers. Adina was very happy. She also received from them a silver bracelet with a small heart. Party in Papillon, then some more party in Shelters, then I slept at Ciupe's place. I was tired and drunk, and I fell asleep immediately. I woke up in the morning at 12. Ciupe's dog Gustav got in the bed, and was all over me, the most affectionate & crazy dog in the world, huge, loving and extremely enthusiatic. I turned my head and I saw Ciupe with Sara on his chest kneading her paws (facea painici). It was extremely sunny, and his room is so much bigger than mine. I had a glimpse of what happiness looks like. To wake up like that, in a room with many animals (or at least a dog and a cat), with your partner, and the animals equally distributed between you two; and of course, a big room and a lot of sun. I was hungover, but not feeling bad at all. This was the morning's soundtrack: Heartless Bastards - Only For You [HQ]We went for a walk with Gustav- Cluj was cold and sunny. After some small, narrow streets, we were on the main boulevard, then right on the shore of Somes. Gustav was excited and playing in the snow, not so much snow as in Bucharest though. And Ciupe told me a great story, that he once spotted a white hamster on the shore of the Somes river. The animal was carrying some big piece of food. He showed me the exact spot where he had seen it. No coffee until two hours later when we arrived at some restaurant with Hungarian decorations where Adina will organise her wedding. But until we got there, we went to Decathlon to buy some swimming suits. Then we joined the others at the Hungarian restaurant and talked about last night. I ate a gulas, which was really tasty, and I also bought a coffee and a beer. I had some doubts about that, but one of the guys said don't worry, it's not such a bad combination. Then we continued our drive to Frasinet- where we stayed for almost two days in a wooden guesthouse, with a pool room.
The pictures are from the last day, when we took a short walk in the village. The light was incredible, and so were the hills. On the second day we stayed in some jacuzzi-like thing, outside, at -15 degrees, and it was so nice. We drank some wine, not a lot though, cause it was hot inside, and even got outside a few times to put some snow on my face and hands, then returned to the jacuzzi (it used to be a more traditional ciubar, but the owner had replaced it).

Sumi Jo

Some afternoon with Sumi in late 2016.


Some pictures from Pristine and Prizren, in Kosovo. The first two pics are from the oldest cinema in Prizren.


These days I spend a lot of time at home watching TV series, reading some articles, eating seminte. I like it most of the times. Sometimes I hate it. These are some pictures taken from my apartment.