Thursday, December 15, 2011

war is over

A strange thing happened tonight coming back from Mioveni. We went there, five of us in a small group, to have dinner together and walk around and look at the Christmas lights. For those who don't know, Mioveni is a smaller town outside of Pitesti and, let me tell you, their Christmas lights are wonderful. They even have some sort I've never seen before that look like melting icicles.

Driving back it was thick with fog. Another thing I've never seen before, at least not before moving here--fog this thick. It's done it pretty often this last month or two in the evenings. Tonight you couldn't see more than thirty feet through the windows and maybe fifteen in front of us.

And then once we got back into Pitesti, all wrapped up in fog, Happy Xmas (War is Over) started playing on the radio. I wondered what it would have been like living in the 60s and 70s and how it was when the war in Vietnam ended. Or what the people in the streets of London were doing at the end WWII or the people in the French countryside. I thought of Sarajevo the most, though. I'm not sure why, but when I think of this sort of thing, I always think of Sarajevo and an image of that city I saw sometime in college of a sidewalk, a crack running through it and up the side of the wall of a bombed-out building.

And suddenly it occurred to me what I read this morning. War is over. Today was the official last day of the war. Finally. Ten years is a long time (I think officially, the Iraq War, I mean, it's actually eight). So I said something to everyone else in the car, chiar este adevarat... cantecul asta. Am citit astazi ca Obama a zis... and so on (it really is true... this song. Today I read Obama said...).

Anyway, I don't want to get political, but it got quiet again after a little bit and in the few minutes left before we got to the apartment, everything all wrapped around in fog and grimy orange glow, I thought about 9/11. I was home from school that day so my memory of it is so much different than most of friends'. My mom was getting ready for work and I saw the second plane crash live.

But now it's all these years later and everything is so different than I would ever have guessed it. It would be dishonest to say that I thought much about the war, that it affected me in everyday life in ways I could point to. But even being here, that weird morning I found out about bin Laden while walking to my lesson, suddenly hearing Obama's voice in the middle of a crowded Tigani market--there is a breathing out. In sfarsit, I whispered in the car tonight and leaned my head against the window. Finally.

Just thinking about how my friends back home are feeling about all this. And the people heading back now from this side of the ocean to the other.

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