Friday, August 19, 2016

Love, Bucharest

     How much had I come to detest this town after less than half a year after I moved there (Quick hint: I moved alone to Bucharest in September 2014) Nearly two years after that moment full of hatred, here I am with my eyes weeping, not necessarily because I will leave soon, but for the fact that I’ve never foreknown how much it will mean to me.

     An excessively idealist child who grew up in the province (who is still an immature idealist), believing that the world is a dough waiting to be kneaded by no other than herself, that people are always outspoken and, in a blink of an eye, they will take you in their arms if they catch you smiling at them, that you learn valuable things at school, that each person waits his/her turn in line and so on. Well, Bucharest has destroyed all illusions and for that I will be eternally grateful.

     This capital, where dirt entwines with history, disgust with the absolute and smiles with anger, where masks underneath faces wear... masks, where respect is reduced to the stage of garbage or is raised close to heavenly glory, this capital where all oxymorons spin in a wild dance made me love its charm. 
     This place where you can find the beauty and the art buried under mediocrity and contempt made me who I am today. It did not make me whole, but it gave me birth. Bucharest is my second mother, a mother I chose with no idea of who I will have become. This inexhaustible spring of facts and personalities gave me the opportunity to meet extraordinary people – at high school / museum / MUNs / workshops – who each impressed me with their own je ne sais quoi: ambition, kindness, courage, style, creativity. And beside them, I met limited, pathetic people who happily sleep in the pit they dug, people who do not know when to speak and what to say, people talking over you when you expose your thoughts in front of them; I met slammed-in-your-nose doors, but why does it matter?

     Bucharest was the teacher I had been dreaming of and I thought I would detest because it did not teach me what love is. Instead, I learned how love is NOT supposed to be.

     Swinging (started from the second year of high school here) between the capital and my home town opened my eyes even more, but I could not get rid of my ability to make mistakes, which I now equally regret and accept. I took an oath to never repeat them and since I suffered for each, I will carry all of them with me.

     Oh, I have lost.. how many things I have lost! My illusions, many hopes, a part of the soul, faith which I packed when I left home, a dose of righteousness and immeasurably.. some love. But how many things I have acquired!  Definitions for life's most important concepts, definitions which could decade any time, appreciation for each decay; courage, strength and confidence, the ability to read people as open books and to be aware of their presence; soul, too much soul; a voice - hoarse at the beginning; a chest fraught with scars, a goal. Umm, more goals..

     Dear Bucharest, I am looking through the window, sitting down where I used to watch the sunset which, spectacularly, changes its nuances every night; now I look towards the sky and I visually embrace you, Bucharest. I cannot promise you will be missed, I actually hope to forget about you the moment I step on foreign land, but that does not change the fact that you gave me birth, that your harsh slaps left marks on my cheeks - like the tears you saw me pouring down during sleepless nights; that you are my third parent and that I now bow to you. I am leaving, dear Bucharest, and I hope to come back to you with more meaningful stories than the ones you have kindly gave to me.


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Maira Gall