Romanian Living Blog

An expats working, socialising and living blog of thoughts and adventures delved within Bucharest and further afield in this alluring yet often baffling country.

RLB 8: Snow joke; The Opera and Joyous Reports

Time period: 2nd January – 31st January 2017

As the New Year rolls in and I return from a mini vacation that occurred in Budapest these first days in Bucharest seem quiet – eerily quiet. I of course expect many people to be with their families at this time of the year but alas as I wandered the streets of Bucharest hardly any other residents seem to be in presence. Not that I am complaining, I much prefer the silent stillness of these days.

What was noticeable to me though in the calm of these days was yet another mall having recently been opened. Veranda mall I believe but could be mistaken is the 10th mall within the Romanian capital to open, maybe this seems a rather small number but for a capital with a rough population of 2 million that equates to 200,000 people per mall.

This number may seem ridiculous to me but I guess post communism consumerism is on the rise and increasingly popular in Romania.

I did not partake in too much shopping as I returned to work however, a joy; wait, joy, I mean a sorrow of teaching is completing reports.

Reports, reports, too many bloody reports, over 100 reports completed during this time period from various employers, even from employment not undertaken anymore.

A least I can take solace in the fact they are now completed, until the next time they are due however when the joy will return once again.

As the reports faded away a new substance brightened up my days animating the city of Bucharest; Snow, such beautiful powdery snow. I am not unfamiliar with the concept of snow, there have been a few rare winters in England where white powder transforms the country; a rare occurrence but a pleasure to behold.

Similarly in Bucharest the ugliness of the city became brightened by the onset of snow; however what occurred once the snow had settled seemed highly questionable, such chaos and panic was stirred by a substance surely not uncommon to Romanians.

Schools closed, people avoided work and a fear of leaving one’s home surfaced through the city because of extreme cold temperatures, well supposedly extreme cold temperatures.

I myself as a person raised mostly in England found this all rather amusing, I thought it was just the British who panicked at the possibility of snow yet in Bucharest the same pattern of disarray and turmoil that afflicts the English seemed ever present.

Although it is arguable post-holiday season certain Romanian patrons wanted to have a few extra days’ vacation; whatever the case may be this snow joke was not a laughable matter for me; I was still able to move around quite freely and with appropriate attire also I was warm enough to navigate myself outside to get to any desired locations.

One such location was the Romanian national opera house. This was my first time attending an opera performance here in Bucharest as well as in my life to my knowledge; therefore I awaited with anticipation at what would occur.

On the day of the performance I arrived eagerly to the emphatically detailed and exquisite opera building. I did not realize my seat was up in a balcony which was splendid offering a lovely view of the mighty stage.

The show soon ensued and my first experience of the opera began; voices bellowed powerfully producing illustrious vocals, feet roared wonderfully across the floor and the operatic spectacle delighted the senses.

The show was sang in Italian with subtitles in Romanian; as my Romanian is basic and I am unfamiliar with Italian I was not exactly sure what was being sung; however as the play was about Don Giovanni whilst watching the actions and reading some words in Romanian I was able to understand the general gist of the performance.

As enjoyable as the opera was at about the 2 hour mark I was needing a break to stretch my legs; I found it rather unusual no interval had taken place yet and in my mind I thought the show must surely be ending soon. Much to my surprise these two hours were act 1, after a short break act 2 would commence which would be around another hour/hour and a half.

Despite aching legs I persevered on watching and thoroughly enjoyed my first operatic showcase. Certainly I would return to an opera performance again somewhere in the world, until then though I feel highly satisfied at having witnessed this electric performance.

On-wards with the show of life……

“I do not mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand.” (Edward Appleton)



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