Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a curious behavior in bucuresti

And by that I am referring to a certain inclination toward different degrees of nakedness. So far it seems to be mostly limited to the parks. The first thing I noticed was guys who would go find somewhere to pee (sorry!) in broad daylight. In both cases of course their backs were to me, but they were definitely close enough to me to have called over their shoulder. The second guy was the craziest though. I was walking down one of the parts of Herastrau that's alongside the road, and there in the middle of the street on the median with the (really skinny still very young) trees, his back to me but his other side most definitely facing the other half of traffic was a guy who apparently either couldn't hold it or...

Anyway, no surprise that people here would be more comfortable/open with this sort of thing, if I can generalize far enough to associate Spain with Romania. Two years of Spanish professors and a semester with one especially crazy one taught me that. And no worries, I come from the great, wide south where everything is bootleg and out in the open and unpredictable. It would seem I have this to thank for the ability with which ma descurc, as the Romanians would say. To manage, or maybe more loosely, to roll with it, "I got this."

So the eight naked kids playing in the fountain at Tineretului was mostly just amusing. And it seems it must be perfectly normal as no one seemed in the least bit concerned as they chased each other up the sidewalk naked as they came.

However there is another curiosity in this park. He's an old man who has a couple of friends, all of whom like to lay out in nothing but their underwear, clothes hung in the tree nearby. I've walked past three times now in the last few weeks and every time he is there, and the most recent time, let me tell you, the man was dark. A little observation reveals that he doesn't like to sit still too long. Every so often he gets up and does what can only be described as calisthenics. I'm telling you, this sort of thing (all of it, not just the old man or the nakedness, mostly how strange and interesting people are) will keep me people-watching as long as I'm alive.


  1. ha ha... funny article :)
    Bucharest is a little bit stranger than the other cities of Romania because it doesn't have too much green space or places where people can go for a tan. That old man and his friends most likely stay in the sun because here in Romania people believe that it's healthy to get a little bit of tan...
    Regarding those kids that were playing in the fountain... most likely they were gypsies... that's why nobody was acting as there is something strange... nobody ever told those kids that it's not nice to play in the fountain so nobody cares what they do.
    As for the guys that piss in public spaces... I didn't see to many of them... actually I don't remember seeing some in the last years... Probably they just couldn't hold it anymore...

  2. love this. love this. love this. i hope you are taking advantage and fully immersing yourself and walking around pants-free all.the.time.

  3. and i want you to know that the word code to type in to post my last comment was "vaganem." appropriate.