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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Autumn Thoughts
These last few days it’s gotten a little cold. Cold on the street, colder in the office, colder in the apartment… Autumn is showing her best, blowing away red-yellowish leafs from all the trees in its way…I have no idea for what reason some cartoons showed autumn as a season to fall in love…Spring, OK, I get it…But autumn? Maybe its melancholy, the sudden need for warmth and embraces, for something tender to make you forget of the rigid aspect of everything…

I do love sunny autumn days when everything looks shiny and golden, but I ultimately remain a summer person. And I am already starting the miss the heat…I will take these couple of cold seasons as I seem to be taking everything lately: one day at a time.

posted by Alina @ 9:56 AM   13 comments
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Looking for a different sky to go to
Daca azi...
E doar o poarta deschisa spre ieri
Si-o sa faci ce-ai facut,
Si-o sa stii ce-ai stiut,
Dar, n-o sa mai stii sa speri.
Mai stai pana maine, sa vezi cum e
Mai stai pana maine, poate nu trebuie
Sa vrei ce vrei, poate, ai nevoie de altceva
Si nu uita:

Stelele care cad... nu pier
Stelele care cad se duc spre un alt cer
Stelele care cad... nu pier
Stelele care cad se duc spre un alt cer

Daca azi...
Drumul pe care erai s-a inchis
Poate ca nu era, drumul pe care trebuia
Sa alergi spre vis...
Sau poate ca da, si poate ca maine
Se va deschide din nou, -n fata ta
Oricum ar fi, ai in fata o zi, mergi spre ea,
Si nu uita:

Stelele care cad... nu pier
Stelele care cad se duc spre un alt cer
Stelele care cad... nu pier
Stelele care cad se duc spre un alt cer

If today
Is only a gateway to yesterday
And you’ll do what you’ve been doing
And you’ll know what you already know
But you won’t know how to hope anymore

Wait until tomorrow to see how it is
Wait until tomorrow, maybe you shouldn’t
want what you want, you need something else
and don’t forget

Stars that fall down…..don’t disappear
Stars that fall down go to a different sky
Stars that fall down…..don’t disappear
Stars that fall down go to a different sky

If today

To road you’ve been on is closed
Maybe it wasn’t the road you were supposed
to run on towards your dream

or maybe it was, and tomorrow
It will open again right in front of you
Whichever it is, you have a new day ahead,

Walk to it and don’t forget….

Stars that fall down…..don’t disappear
Stars that fall down go to a different sky

Stars that fall down…..don’t disappear
Stars that fall down go to a different sky

Taxi, Stelele care cad

Tags: Songs, Lyrics, Taxi
posted by Alina @ 1:23 AM   9 comments
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Why don’t Young People Party Anymore?
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to finally grow older. When something upset me or my parents did now allow me to do whatever I wanted, I used to tell to myself “Never mind, I will be a grown up one day and show’em!” What exactly was my image of me as a grown up? Well, of absolute freedom of course.

As I grew up, my image of me as a young woman adapted: successful, working a lot of course, happy, in love, with lots of friends, going out to have fun, having lunches and diners in fancy restaurants, going to clubs whenever I wanted etc.

Well I kind of did all that. And I feel now like that period of my life is so over! Who has time for clubs and parties? No one, everyone around me gets up, goes to school/work, comes home to sleep and starts again…Out of different and sometimes stupid reasons, we do a bundle of things at the same time.

The need of independence makes us work and we get full time jobs long before finishing college/university. We work hard to earn more, afford more, be someone in our field (who cares we change field each year sometimes?). Then we barely see our friends who look just as tired as we do.

And we also turn into our parents: all we talk about is work! Movies, theaters, books, all are postponed indefinitely. And when we finally find the physical time, we lack the energy to do anything else. For example it is Thursday today and what I think of is my well deserved weekend which is so close! What is the sweetest plan to my ears and all the rest of my senses: sleeeeeeppppp!!!

I and others like me get bored of just being a little robot doing their task. That’s the moment when you finally get to a club, see friends, walk in the park, take a road trip…The result is a week during which you will feel a little bit more tired and swear to yourself you will get some rest during the entire next weekend…

What will I do this weekend? Fool myself that I will get more sleep and shove 10 new tasks down my throat, of course. Why do people need more diplomas, more things to learn and to apply, more of everything professional? For money, for fame, or only to get by? In a world where we compete more and more, when will we start driving each other crazy?

What if I do if I could just stop for while? Given I’d have the proper funds, travel around the world, of course, writing about the people I meet, places I see, and the experiences I’d actually live. What would you do? And for how long would you last without missing your job and the utility myth?

Oh, and here's another solution. I'm at three cups a day, with milk. You?

Tags: Lifestyle, Youth, Employment, Alina, Alina Popescu

posted by Alina @ 3:48 PM   12 comments
Monday, October 23, 2006
What is it with People and Laptops?

Did you wonder how people you look at, staring, as if they were some freak show actually feel? Let me tell you how: like crap! The reason, my laptop, again. This time it was my management teacher. “Wow, a laptop, that is new!” Tired of all this, I simply asked him if he was bothered by it. He said no, no problem. And told us that when he went to ASE with his laptop, as a student, they used to connect to IM. Impossible here, I noticed, there is no wireless connection to be used by students!

Did I mention all the others were staring at me during this conversation? Well, that was not the end of it!

Later on, he was walking through the classroom, dictating something. He stopped near my desk and told to the guy next to me, who indeed isn’t one of the brightest I met, “Your colleague is typing faster than you are writing!” Again all eyes on me! “Just great!” I told myself…I can hardly wait for some weeks to pass to have everyone used to the fact that I use my laptop to take notes…

Anyway, the teacher seems cool. But of course, too complicated calculus is not given to us in exercise solving methods…I hate the fact this university sometimes has such low expectations!

Now, let me tell you a little about this colleague of mine. I don’t really know his name, actually I don’t know anyone’s name, as I am there a little while and my attention is divided between the actual class, the battery of my laptop and the easiest route to drive back to work. Sometimes even the hour I get home is on my mind…

Anyway, he told me today he thinks I am smart because I type fast and I manage inserting tables in Word quickly. Blink, blink**. Another time he told me that if I had my laptop last year, at the so called “Informatics” class, the teacher would have asked me more questions. Apparently, using a laptop is way more complicated than using a PC. Blink again **. He told me where he works, twice! I actually admire them for working and going to school, and being so fond of his course notebook.

Oh, that reminds me! I took his notebook to copy what was taught during the management classes I had missed and he told me five times not to forget his notebook tomorrow. Apparently he needs it desperately, the notebook, the teacher’s book, as he needs to study a lot. “I am not smart like you, you know”. That we agree on, for different reasons, but at least we agree on something…Blink **

posted by Alina @ 10:11 PM   6 comments
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Of Women and Cars
They say men love their cars excessively. There is no going between a man and his car. Threaten their beloved, and you will get wild beasts on your back. Well women are just the same. They love their cars to extremes, spare no effort on them and treat them like their most treasured belonging.

I took my car to the spa today (read car wash here). Gave her the Exclusive program, had her interior cleaned properly, and decorated it with her new carpets (I have no idea if this is the correct name in English). They are black with red border, to fit her colors.

While it was cleaned, I was checking the whole process closely, with an “expert eye” attitude. You can never be sure with these car washers, it’s not their car, they might not treat my Mushroom corresponding to her high status :P

Weird enough, I chose to call her Little Mushroom (Ciupercuta in Romanian). This was my own nickname in primary school. But while I was called that because I was so short, everyone was taller than me, I called my firey Peugeot 107 that because she looks like those delicious red mushrooms that I saw drawn on children’s books.

I pampered her as much as I could today. The VIP program, no matter how much. And I was being judgmental with people not doing the very best for their cars. Now it’s time for some pampering for myself, just a little bit, while preparing for a new hard week of school and work, work and school! Oh, yeah, and aerobics!

Tags: Alina, Alina Popescu, Cars, Peugeot 107

posted by Alina @ 7:41 PM   5 comments
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Office

It was warm inside the office. Farther parts were dark and desks were empty. Few people were there already. My computer turned on, headphones on my ears, I was listening to When the Body Speaks of Depeche Mode while enjoying my first coffee with milk of the day. It was a quiet, relaxed atmosphere and the music seemed to come from all around, surrounding the entire office and being the best song ever to be listened to on such a morning. Those who were already there also had their headphones on. Each of them listening to a different kind of music.

As we cannot really hear each other, we wave when there’s something to say. Or C, with his distinct manner, would send a “boo” on IM. And then laugh when you take off the headphones. It feels cozy to be in the office in the morning. Silent, peaceful, certainly not crowded. The same happens after 7 pm, but it’s not quite the same, as the whole freshness of the morning is lost and everyone is quite tired.

Someone, an ex-colleague, suddenly asked me how I was doing. We were not close. He asked me if I was getting bored writing documentation. I thought yeah, right! Although it is not true, I felt a little offended. My job, boring? Would I ever choose something like that. Yeah, it’s sometimes tiring and I really don’t feel like writing all the time, but bored? When there is something new, to do or to document, every day? I am waiting for that time, after the release when things will go steady, will mostly write white papers and I’ll have time to learn more on mail servers and Linux/Unix in general.

There is much to learn in each position, I think. Getting bored would mean there is something wrong in your approach. Or maybe just doing something you really dislike could lead to something similar. None of these being my case, thank God!

Speaking of my job, if you are familiar with Linux and mail servers, and would like to win an iPod, try your best!
posted by Alina @ 8:07 AM   6 comments
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Cesaria Evora Live in Bucharest
Monday night was a special night for Bucharest. A great woman enchanting with her voice people within the Sala Polivalenta concert hall. It was not the first Cesaria Evora concert in Bucharest, but it was the first I attended. It was a unique experience that I recommend to everyone. A short, too short visit if it does not last for days, into a world of music lovers, of people finding a perfect state within the music they create and enjoying every moment of it, making you feel there is nothing else they'd rather do.

I bought the tickets to this concert as a birthday present to K. He is simply in love with Cesaria Evora's music. I also enjoyed listening her songs from time to time, but I wasn't what you've called a world's greatest fan. That changed quite a lot since the concert...

Cesaria Evora is one of the very few artists on the international stage that sounds ten thousands times better live than recorded. The vibrations in her voice, the contribution of the band, I don't know what it is exactly that makes you wonder why you were not addicted to such music before. I remember a few years back reading newspaper announcements on her previous concerts. They said her voice had the inheritance and sound of cigars and rum. That is maybe true, or just a way to describe a voice so unique. I believe she also has something God put in her voice to make people genuinly happy or sad, depending on the songs she happens to be singing at a certain moment.

I cannot state I knew all the songs played during this one hour and a half concert. Some I had heard before, such as Sodade, some were alltogether new. I instantly loved all of them.

And I took it as a personal favor that during her encore she sang Besame mucho. This is for me one of the few songs that can describe at once someones ultimate mix of passion, love and fears. That unique moment when you would want time to stop in a moment so perfect you are afrain of what might follow, as you are afraid you will not be allowed to enjoy the same happiness they after day.

The sax and violin players were my personal favorites from the band. They did not stop dancing for a moment and they had such smiles on their face, such a love of life, that they were contagious. I could not help smiling as well for most of this concert.

And then Besame Mucho, the fear of the next day when K was supposed to leave as he came for a quick trip only for this concert...He did not, we had another day togther.

I listened to Cesaria Evora songs after the concert. Yes, they are all great songs, but nothing compared to seeing her perform! It's an experience no one should waste for any reason. We are sometimes close to such greatness that we feel inspired, trasformed, touched. People having such an aura are rare and we are given few opportunities to be near them. No chance should be ever wasted.

Cesaria Evora, born in 1941 in the port town of Mindelo on the Cape Verde island of Sao Vicente, is known as the barefoot diva because of her propensity to appear on stage in her bare feet in support of the disadvantaged women and children of her country.

Long known as the queen of the morna, a soulful genre sung in Creole-Portuguese, she mixes her sentimental folk tunes filled with longing and sadness with the acoustic sounds of guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordian, and clarinet.

More details on Cesaria Evora and her albums here and here

All photos form the concert on Views of a Broken Mirror.

Tags: Cesaria Evora, Concerts, Live Music, Music, Cape Verde, Morna, Bucharest, Sala Polivalenta
posted by Alina @ 11:09 AM   8 comments
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Maiden’s Tower
K is not the type of guy that calls several times a day to talk to me. He’s quite the opposite, I am the one who needs to hear him more. Therefore, I was quite surprised when he called, the second time that day. I picked up the phone thinking there’s something important for me to know.

It was, in a way. He told me to change channels and watch AXN. It was the Amazing Race and the teams were going to Istanbul. More than that, they were going to a specific place where we had been together: Kız Kulesi of Maiden’s Tower. Dating back from 341 BC, in 410 BC it became a customs area on the Bosphorous, but the tower on this structure was built only in 1110. In 1719 it was burnt down by a fire and then repaired in 1725.

More history and photo from here.

Presently it hosts a restaurant, a coffee/tea small shop and you can see a huge part of Istanbul from up top. You can only get there by small boats, which makes it seem quite a world in its own. When I was there, I had a hot chocolate which I quite enjoyed while looking at the sea and the city.

There are quite a few legends about the tower. One of the most famous is that of a princess locked here by her father to protect her from a prophecy that stated she would die on her 18th birthday. On that very day, she was brought a fruit basket and was killed by a snake which had managed to get inside.

I watched the show, seeing people running around Kız Kulesi and looking for clues and gnomes. And I thought to myself: too bad you do not have the time to enjoy it!

Tags: Travel, Tourism, Travel Destinations, Istanbul, Turkey, Kız Kulesi

posted by Alina @ 9:44 AM   12 comments
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Yankee Pitcher Killed in Manhattan Plane Crash
All fears of a terrorist attack dropped

A single-engine plane carrying the Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle smashed into a 42-story building on the Upper East Side yesterday, killing Mr. Lidle and his flight instructor.

The plane, owned by Mr. Lidle, was a Cirrus SR20, a four-seat propeller plane that is popular for its performance and sleek looks. It has a fixed landing gear reminiscent of a stunt plane. With two sets of controls, officials said, either Mr. Lidle or his instructor could have been flying it.

Mr. Lidle, 34, a pilot for less than a year who was traded to the Yankees in the summer, had talked enthusiastically about flying to his home in California this week.

Full story and photos originally published in NY Times.

We can all just breathe now, parting with all the thoughts of a new terrorist attack. I am now pretty sure no air borne object will ever crash into an American building without yielding thoughts of threat and terror in everyone’s mind.

Tags: Plane Crash, New York, Manhattan, Cory Lidle

posted by Alina @ 5:38 PM   7 comments
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
A Laptop? Why I Never…
Universities have reopened their classrooms over a week ago. My university has however used this first week to have numerous opening ceremonies, to make big administration changes and to mess up the existing groups and start all over again. The result: my original 520 group was turned into 531 and moved in a different series. And I really didn’t know any of my colleagues.

Today was actually my first day of attending classes. The plan is to go to school in the morning and then come to work, where to stay till 9 pm. Well, as I am going from one place to another Bucharest-Ploiesti-Constanta (in no particular order), I decided to use my new notebook for taking notes. Why bother with papers that I always seem to misplace when I can have studying material with me, whenever, wherever?

All decided, I got to class today, switched the computer on and was quietly waiting for classes to start. One of my new group-mates, a guy that seemed a bit slow to me, was wondering if I wouldn’t get into any trouble for it. Why would I, I thought to myself, it’s not like I’m playing Solitaire or God knows what on my computer?!?

First seminar: Accounting. I felt great, the same teacher as last year that taught us Accounting basics. She just took a look, understandable as she needed to make sure I was not doing something else. Then I actually took part in the class as I remembered more than expected from last year.

The second seminar was hilarious. The teacher, quite young, entered and at a point asked me “What are you doing?”. I was blocked for a second and then replied “I’m writing” (she was presenting the needed tasks to obtain points). She wanted to know if I found it easier to type on the notebook. I replied it was easier to then have needed materials wherever I go. She paused and then said “But you know, at the exam, you won’t be allowed to take it on your computer!”

I smiled as in my astonishment found nothing better to do. I told her I knew. Although I wanted to say “You know, actually I wanted to speak to the Dean about this. We should have a wireless connection here, take the exam and then email it to you from the examination room!” It is my second year here. How could I not know these details? Oh, and did I mention she also wants a Power Point presentation for our group project?

So folks, although here in Bucharest and in my uni we’re all talk about the information age, about how important computers are, it takes one laptop in one classroom to give birth to a whole set of fears. I first thought to quit using my precious to take notes. Then I thought they will all get used to my bringing my laptop to classes and finally spare me!

Tags: Computers, Notebooks, Technology, Education, University, Alina, Alina Popescu

posted by Alina @ 6:51 PM   6 comments
Monday, October 09, 2006
Anonymous Replay

The “Anonimul” (Anonymous) International Independent Film Festival takes place every year in August on quite a beautiful location, the Danube Delta. Cris and I were planning to go this year, but we missed it. Therefore, we were pretty pleased to take part in two of the three days of festival retrospective organized in Bucharest at the Sudio cinema.

The first day, Saturday, was dedicated to short movies. Out of the about 15 we watched I personally enjoyed only 3, described in the order I saw them. The first, “Love Close Up”, by Sebastian Voinea, won the jury special award. It is a story of love coming your way when you need it the most. A sudden relationship between a suicidal Romanian and a cheerful Russian girl staying in Bucharest for only a day.

The second one was the best animation of the festival, by Clemens Steiger, Switzerland. A story describing people’s attitude to working out cheating and their cactuses, which they tend to throw out the window when upset. The conclusion? Men expect to be forgiven when cheating but leave when being cheated on.

The third one, by Chris Cudlipp, Australia, was my personal favorite. It ironically presents the way hotlines treat their callers. In this case, it is a suicidal emergency line that keeps putting the heroine on hold. And funny pre-recorded messages, such as “If you want to kill yourself with a gun, press 1, if you want to take pills, take 2” or “If you want to kill yourself because your partner cheated on you, press 1, if you want to do it because she or he is gay/lesbian and left you, press 2.”

On Sunday we saw the Best Director winning movie and the film the Anonimul Trophy was awarded to. And they were as expected, one better than the other, to my utmost surprise.

Offside”, an Iranian production, directed by Jafar Panahi, focuses in a few young girls who try to watch the Iran-Bahrain game on the stadium. Disguised as boys, they try every possible trick to see if their team will go to the 2006 World Championships. Some of them get caught and they are held at the stadium to be then given to the Vide squad. The girls’ devotion to the team, the game and their freedom of seeing it all happen on the stadium is impressive. One of them actually plays football in a women team. When asked “what if a man sneaks in, dressed as a woman to watch you”, she says “No, men would never dare do that!”. Of all the girls’ reason, the one presented in the end is the most impressive. One of them says she has nothing to do with football, she only came because the young man she loved was killed during another game, Iran-Japan. If he were alive, he would surely have been on the stadium, thus she chose the most appropriate way to pay him tribute.

They say few people are happy with the film winning the big award. Well, “HEAVEN’S DOORS” had every reason to win this one. Great story, great sound, great acting. Imbricate stories taking place in Morocco’s Casablanca, story of love, hate, betrayal, death, life and everything else. The characters’ lives seem to be governed by the same philosophy stated by a drunk old man: the only way we can come to understand the things of life is the wrong way…Such as the young man misunderstanding his duty to his family and trying to make more money in illegal business; or the woman misjudging her ability of being a mother; or maybe the ex-convict thinking he can kill to revenge.

They all chose a wrong way of life. For two of them, it is possible to reconsider. The other one dies before having a chance to change. All three stories are somehow related, the three characters are connected by a feeble string, without even knowing it, one’s actions influences the others’ lives, all happening in a beautiful scenery, on great music.

The main person in each character's life is their mother. Their relationship with the being that gave them life, who accordign to this movie "hold the key to heaven's doors", is what determins their later behavior. Mothers are very important, one should care for them and always obey, as they are always right. Breaking such a rule or having a mother that does not act accordingly leads only to negative events.

The Noury brothers, who directed this film, Swel and Imad, are quite young, 28 and 23 and amazingly, this was their first long movie. I am looking forward to having the chance of seeing more of their future and past work.

Tags: Movies, Films, Film Festival, Movie Awards, Anonimul, Anonimul Festival, Anonymous Festival, Romania, Swel Noury, Imad Noury, Jafar Panahi, Offside, Heaven's Doors

posted by Alina @ 7:37 AM   3 comments
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Planning and Spell Check Needed

Sometimes I would love some tool to spell check everything I type online. For my posts it’s easy when I actually pay enough attention, but for my comments? I type fast, very fast actually, and then hurry to post my thoughts on someone else’s thoughts and writings. Then, when it’s all done already, I see the typos. They’re there smiling back at me!

Moving one, I am back to my html code writing love. I had to create some tables in Dreamweaver at work and then to modify a little the freshly generated code. And felt a delirious joy to do that. So I am back to sometime learning html, php, java and the whole bunch. God knows when exactly, but I am going to do it! One of the purposes would also be designing my own blogger template that I could then change in any way I would want. Not that I am unable to do that know, but I just lack the needed knowledge.

Autumn is here, school has started, new projects and plans around each corner. They say people in this part of world should be most active during autumn and spring. I think I was born in the wrong area! I am active because I have to, but my high performances are always reached during summer…

So my plans for this busy summer include Turkish, French, reading more, some marketing and PR reading, more on tourism, more writing and all the blogs I’m a member to, more theatre, more ballet, more outings. Oh, and I forgot the 40 hours day that I am planning on creating! What are your plans for the autumn?

Tags: Blogging, Future Plans, Alina, Alina Popescu

posted by Alina @ 9:20 AM   7 comments
Friday, October 06, 2006
Why Should Tourists Pay Extra for Investments?

Radu Mazare, Mayor of Constanta, is going to re-launch his bright idea of having tourists pay a tax to enter Mamaia resort starting next year. According to the big announcements displayed all over the resort this summer, the money would be used to insure the area’s security, keep it clean and other such common sense services the tax payers should already benefit from.

Other than this amazing tax, he also imposed two more, the most revolting one being somewhat of a protection tax. You know, that money you pay to bullies so that you can handle your business safely!

So, if you want to take your car to Mamaia, you have to pay 30.000 lei a day, about one dollar to enter. Of course if you are smart enough to stay in Constanta and walk to Mamaia, you will not pay the tax anymore. Mamaia is already very crowded, so you can choose to pay that tax to have no where to actually sit, or go to the other resorts on the Black Sea seaside. You can get to the farthest beach from Constanta in about one hour. A little more time and you actually get to Bulgaria, where everybody says the services are even better.

Photo originally uploaded by Evenimentul Zilei.

Instead of stimulating tourists to come to Mamaia and spend their money there, to have private party investments stimulates, well let’s ask for a new tax! Not enough we are all tax payers, not enough that whenever checking into a hotel there is another special tax you pay…Let’s add more, maybe we get people pissed off enough to finally go someplace else.

Yes, funds are always an issue, trying to get investments into a certain area and all that is not the easiest task in the world. But others do manage without inventing stupid extra taxes. I for one will go to different beaches this year or take a cab to the resort entrance to avoid the tax. Or go to beaches in different resorts…

Tags: Tourism, Travel Destinations, Romania, Mamaia, Mamaia Resort, Black Sea

posted by Alina @ 10:12 AM   0 comments
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Theatre Night
I got to “Belgrade Trilogy” by mistake. It was the diploma project of young graduating actors/directors and one of them happened to be a friend of Cris. Therefore I found out about it. No tickets, no invitation, just people wanting to see their work and what they’ve learned.

Connected only be a feeble line, the three stories present lifelines of people leaving Belgrade to look for a better life someplace else. The ever tempting “grass is greener on the other side”. Two brothers making a living in Prague so that one of them is not forced to perform military service, two married couples living a dream of fortune in Sidney, Australia and a young actor and a pianist meeting all the way in America.

Explicit language, genuine emotions, real life and its drama, all made fun of on New Year’s Eve. The first part presents the two brothers who were earning money from dancing in night clubs. One of them had a relationship with a girl still living in Belgrade. Ana apparently couldn’t face the distance and has since married and is also pregnant, as the young man will find out in the end. The expected drama is missing, as his answer to the betrayal is to start acting friendly to the girl his brother invited to party with them.

The second story introduces us to the complicated relationship of two couples living in Sidney. They pretend to be friends, although both women state they would never be friends back in Belgrade. One of them is also having an affair with the other one’s husband. As the night between the years is the best time for bad news, she also finds out that her neighbor, the same Ana, is now working for a TV channel. As she had graduated from Journalism, she takes it quite personal.

The third part characters are now living in America. They’re at an LA beach party and after finding out they are both from Belgrade, they share a marijuana cigarette. The girl got to the US after winning a visa lottery. She did not want it to happen to her, as Ana had submitted the papers for her. Because of the marijuana effect, they make fun of the wrong guy, who points a gun at them, beats and humiliates them.

The ironical part of the play is that all the character blame Ana for something, while considering she has an accomplished life. The ending introduces Ana to us, who, at her New Year’s party is sadder than the whole rest, running away from everyone.

Although the frequent swearing might offend some, this comedy with a tragic ending seemed quite genuine in what disappointment caused by chasing fake dreams looks like. People expect too much, but only in one direction. They fear their choices and end up disappointed, although their life is altogether improved from an economical point of view. Those who take things as they are, like to boy from the first part, adapt faster and make the best out of the pieces of dreams they’re left with. Those who have not learned not to hold grudges and always something more than what they have end up ruining their lives and those of the people around them. And they eventually turn to alcohol or drugs if they are weak enough.

The version on Cristina's blog here.

Tags: Theatre, Romanian Theatre, Romanian Culture, Belgrade, Actors, Acting
posted by Alina @ 4:08 PM   4 comments
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Seen any emergency exits lately?
Sometimes you would like to find a way to express everything you feel trapped inside. Good, bad, true, false, just find some method to transform it all into words. And they you do not find the right topic, the right person to say it to or simply the words you need seem not to have been invented yet. And you keep it all inside, restless, hoping for some exit sign to appear at some point on the way.

Feels like being trapped in a labyrinth. You feel what you long for a few walls further. But getting there is tricky and no matter how much you run around trusting one gut feeling or another, you still end up getting lost in the center of the puzzle.

Or like trying to get away from something that appears to be glued to you. You try to wash it off (with real water or tears), to work it off or make it disappear by forgetting about it. But its memory does not get wiped so easily. And when you finally tire of pretending you forgot, you remember being stuck to something.

posted by Alina @ 3:07 PM   11 comments
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Jane Austen's Persuasion

What does persuasion mean - a firm belief, or the action of persuading someone to think something else? Anne Elliot is one of Austen's quietest heroines, but also one of the strongest and the most open to change. She lives at the time of the Napoleonic wars, a time of accident, adventure, the making of new fortunes and alliances.

A woman of no importance, she manoeuvres in her restricted circumstances as her long-time love Captain Wentworth did in the wars. Even though she is nearly thirty, well past the sell-by bloom of youth, Austen makes her win out for herself and for others like herself, in a regenerated society.” (Wordworths Classics edition cover)

Why did I start reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion? It all started with Lake House. I’ve seen the movie and the book is an important part of it. A story of waiting for the right moment talking of a book built on the same idea. I was curious, so when I saw it on a shelf of a bookstore, I took it home with me.

Published in 1817, after Jane Austen’s death, Persuasion is not a long novel, although the impatience for the story end might make it seem never-ending. It is a story of waiting patiently, hidden away from the world, for the moment when your heart will be finally filled with an unworldly happiness. Waiting when all hope is gone.

Anne Elliot, the books heroin, is a gentle, kind, loving creature. All her qualities are better spotlighted when compared with her two frivol, pride and limited sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, and even more when faced with her father’s character, a man of extreme vanity and values limited to rank.

Anne has given up her engagement to Captain Wentworth 8 years ago, as her family disapproved of their attachment and an older friend of hers (previously of her mother's who had died) advises her against such a marriage. The present financial circumstances of her family bring her close to Captain Wentworth again, as his sister and her husband will rent to home of the Elliots.

After eight years of waiting, Anne has to keep waiting silently as hurt pride, confusion and other ironies of life will prevent the two from being happy together. But when they finally reach the bond that has been postponed for so long, all is hastily settled. It seems to be happening a little bit too fast given how cold and few the previous encounters over almost a year have been. But after waiting for 8 and half years, I guess there really is no other way…

I wonder if such a story is possible today. Loving the same person for so long although he/she is not near, not in reach, not in news’ reach. Would that really be possible in the speed-light world of today? Eight years are now enough to meet someone, get married, have children, divorce and start a new relationship. A long distance relationship with a great degree of certainty (compared to just hoping for a miracle) has little chance of persistence…

Is the cause the hyperactivity we are caught in? Or the change of heart over “one love, only one, forever…”?

Tags: Books, Book Reviews, Austen, Jane Austen, Persuasion
posted by Alina @ 9:47 AM   6 comments
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