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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hunger and Hard Times III

Be sure to read the first two parts:

Several years later after doing some growing up and finishing high school I was back in Bucharest. This time the Big Brother has confiscated the apartment where I previously lived with mom who had escaped 3 year earlier to Western Europe.

From what Johan told me about ten years ago, when his mother escaped, he moved to live with his father. He graduated from high school and then moved back to Bucharest.

But they did not let me freeze on Bucharest's streets although for few weeks I was sleeping in my friend's Vlad’s kitchen. It was a small 6 by 8 feet place but had everything... shelves, table, two chairs, sink, stove and a fridge. I believe it was a fridge, but because probably most of the time it was empty I have no good memories of the fridge. I was sleeping on top of the stove and the table next to it, almost enough room for me, but the bad part was the  height difference between the two--about 4 inches, just enough to make my night uncomfortable.

 Most of you are asking yourself by now why 2 friends, boys, did  not share the bed or at least the room--because Vlad was already sleeping in the same bed and room  with his mother even if we were 18-year-old grown ups. ..Strange? Not at the time--those  were sometimes the  normal living conditions in Romania at that time. You will also think-- hold on now!--this is the exception to the rule. Perhaps it seems so. Just often it seems [that it is the exception]. 

I was an integral part of the exception. Before mom got the nice 1 bedroom apartment where so happily I was inviting my spitting/playing buddies, for several months we had only a small room underneath the roof of a five story building without  a lift/elevator. The one room did have a tiny sink and was furnished with a large bed, wardrobe, small table and two chairs and even a two eye electrical heating plate.

When one wanted to walk around in the room the other had to climb on the bed. The toilet had to be shared with some other fortunate people living in the same floor under the roof with five stories below. But it also had its advantages. It was in a nice old building, centrally located almost within walking distance to my high school and mom's working place.

Because we had no stove or dishes, I got to eat out at the restaurant almost every day..  I learned that nothing is forever, but at the time you don't think too much about it, just live and try to make it somehow better.  So, tired of my kitchen  camping, I threatened the government locators to give me a place to stay or I will do it in their office, and shortly thereafter I was assigned a room in a run-down  building without running water or toilet.

To be continued.... If there is any aspect of his hunger, hard times, or a specific issue you would like to hear more about, just include it in the comments. Johan returned to Romania because his mother was ill. I received an email that indicates she is probably slowly dying. He thinks she does not recognize him,  will only eat milk and cookies, and sleeps most of the time.

Your turn
I will convey all messages to Johan.


  1. Oh, Linda, please pass my condolences on to Johan. If there is no hope for her recovery, then I hope his mother's passing is a peaceful one.


  2. Jessica,
    Florica was in the hospital because she was weak and not eating. She was released. Then, she visited friends, climbed to the third floor and joined in lively conversation. A few days later, she was not responsive and sleeping lots and eating little. He is so upset, saying it is the end for her, she is dying. Hopefully, she has been admitted to the hospital and he is just not writing. He may not even be reading his emails. I keep writing and get no response. I will convey your message. Thank you.

  3. This is a strange and sad view of another way of life. I'll follow your blog, and I hope you'll follow mine.

    Janie Junebug

    1. Strange and sad is so true. I just hope we never experience such loss of control of our lives.

  4. A very amazing story. We don't realize how good we have it. Nor do folks realize that this could someday soon be us.

    1. Leigh,
      As I read his words, I just hope the same things never befall my children and grandchildren.

  5. All students should be taught the realities of living under communism. Unfortunately, that might hinder the advancement of leftist agenda in this country. Even back when I was in high school, history ended each year sometime after Reconstruction.

    1. Kristin,
      You are absolutely right. When I was in school in my 40s, I had to take a 101 class in history. The professor was in his 30s. The other students were 18-20. The class was Reconstruction to the Present. I was amazed at how little the students and the prof knew. I had lived the history he had only studied.


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