Please excuse my prolonged absence, but nothing much of note took place in the meantime. However, I got to re-live snippets of my childhood last weekend, at the Mures Valley Festival. As some of you may know, Romanian villages are becoming increasingly deserted, as everyone seeks the comfort and buzz of the city. Festivals like this seek to resurrect half-forgotten traditions and pump some life into those somewhat idle villages. As I grew up mostly in the countryside, being there just gave me back some of the bliss (not to mention the tastes!) of childhood. Each village had its own house of sorts, decorated with specific items, showcasing specific costumes and offering visitors their own special foods and drinks. Like so:
The "hosts" were of course all dressed in the proper garb and either chatting to visitors or engaged in some old craft (weaving, woodcarving, basket making etc). Or just happily dancing, like these two ladies!
Old gypsy dude making baskets. I loved the look of benevolent concentration on his face.
A lady interrupted her weaving to answer a visitor's question, so I couldn't photograph her at work.
Let's not forget the friggin ponies, which were available for friggin kids to ride on.
The villages also had folk dance and song performances all weekend, and that felt like going back into a clean and secure time too. Not to mention merry :)
After wandering though those houses and talking to the villagers (one of them even proved to be an American who spoke funny, but efficient Romanian), it was time to visit the looong row of food stands, all home-made and freshly cooked. And this is where the tastes of childhood come in; I stuffed my face with things I hadn't eaten in years and years: the red, heart-shaped gingerbread with a little mirror in the middle, roast corn, sarmale with corn instead of meat, twisty donuts...and OH, the trout. Sorry, NZ, with all your interestingly-named fishes, trout is still the best fish ever!
Life size masked dude offering pancakes and donuts:
Eating my langos in the shade (I do sit like a lady, don't I? lol):
Biting, chewing, devouring, making love to the trout :D I can't even begin to tell you how tasty it was.The weather was super-clear and extremely hot all weekend, so ending up in the middle of the river was inevitable. We even invented a new extreme sport which we decided to call belly-rafting. Well, it's neither a sport, nor is it so extreme, but a Transilvanian's gotta have his/her fun, no?
And some more expressions of my boundless talent! Traditional loom woven towels (nothing spells freshness to me more than rubbing yourself with one of those after a bath in a cold river)
And some bits from a traditional woman's costume:
Gourd and salt flowers:...and this was my hot, full-stomached, merry weekend :>