Thursday, August 2, 2012

country living

After asking three girls from Hong Kong why they chose the back country of Romania to spend their holiday, they explained that the last place they wanted to be during their break was in another city. Although my city is a fraction of the size of theirs, I couldn't agree more. And that is exactly why I chose for us to stay in guesthouses located in the tiniest of villages.

En route to one guesthouse I glanced up and noticed a larger than life bird's nest situated atop of a telephone pole. In the nest stood a stork, tall and frozen.

"Is that real?," I asked my mom, who was driving.
"No, it's fake," she replied after taking a quick glance.

I turned my head towards it as we passed the pole. Half a second later I saw movement.

"It's real!!" I exclaimed, "I just saw it move."

Turns out, what I thought was a rare occurrence, was anything but. Romanians love of the stork is so great, they erect pillars just to entice the birds to nest there.

But the Romanian country folk do more than build potential stork dwellings in their spare time. They also wait for their cows to come home. 

You read that right. Every evening at 8, people begin filing out of their houses and sit on a bench, chatting with their neighbor until their cow meanders down the road. And like any child having been with the babysitter (or cow herder) all day and wants nothing more than to go home, the cows are prone to be impatient while waiting for mom or dad to finish their conversation, and make it known - loudly- until their owner has to apologize for cutting things short in order to let their cow inside.

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