Bucharest. The capital of Romania, the Carpathian country. Despite of
this, there are no mountains here, just an all-round plain.
Nevertheless, the region itself is rather seismic. Everyone remembers
the earthquake which happened in 1977, whose echoes were felt in whole
East Europe, and particullary in Kharkov, Moscow, Kiev, and many other
cities. The appartment I rented here is in a block built in 1982, so in
case a new powerful earthquake takes place I'll do my best to survive.
So the readers of thekonst.net shouldn't worry too much about it.
Finally, the long-awaited move happened. Now I'm in a big city where you
can find a lot of houses, streets, shops, shit, clubs, females,
computers, homosexuals, backstreets, money, cesspits and architectural
masterpieces. A lot of everything, like in any other big city, like in a
capital of any country with population over 20 millions. In Romania
about 1/10 of population lives in the capital.
Bucharest doesn't look similar to Kiev which was recently made spotless
including suburbs and other distant areas. The visual difference between
districts here sometimes astonishes. Like, the area of the notheren
railway-station (Gara de Nord), there you can see gipsies, vagabonds,
garbage and once again gipsies. At the other hand, the Victory square,
equipped with animated semaphores. When they're green there is a walking
figure on it. They also show how many seconds are left until the light
changes. The central areas are very clean and tidy, though sometimes
they're rather smogged up. Pavel Kiseleff road is also a nice place.
BTW, it was named in honour of the Russian army officer who served as an
ambassador of the Russian Empire in France; during the Russian
occupation of two Romanian principates -- Moldova and the Romanian
country, he was a general guvernor and participated in adoption of the
two countries' first constitutions. On the road you can see indicators
showing speed of each car passing under it. Actually Kiseleff road is
one of the most expensive areas. It mainly consists of houses in which
various embassys and political parties offices reside.
Street names in Bucharest are quite diverse: Finland, Brazil, fall of
Bastilia, Rakhmaninov, Chile, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Airplane, Dam,
Chaikovsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Simphony, Kiev, Turgenev, Mahatma Ghandi,
plus a plenty of streets named after various Romanian cities. As to
Russian names, there are dozens of them. If you look better, you can
also count in Michurin junction, Mendeleev street, Sevastopol str., etc.
Contrary to expectations, looking for an appartment in Bucharest was not
an easy task to accomplish. Probably because of the season when students
come (on the 1st October studies start), a good appartment is difficult
to find. In more distant areas the offer is more than in the downtown,
which is caused by bigger amount of living blocks there. But I wanted
downtown, so during several days I had to study news-papers thoroughly.
The majority of ads there were posted by agencies, but sometimes I saw
particular ones too. By the way, real-estate agencies operate in an
interesting way here: first they take you to various appartments for
free, and then if you decide to rent something, both landlord and you
have to pay them half of the first monthly fee. Let's say, there is an
appartment which costs $100/mo. Agency will charge both the tenant and
the landlord by $50. Looks like making money from air to me. Their work
doesn't really cost it. During the 3 days for two times I faced
situation when agent took me to see the appartment which I had already
seen with landlords who I contacted directly. So when the guy in a green
suit told me he had "thousands of offers" in the database at the office
I couldn't hardly help laughing hysterically. The circle closed too
Nevertheless, on the 3rd day of searching I found a very interesting
variant with one-room appartment in the downtown, in the same
neighbourhood with the office of my new company. Titulescu str, near the
Victory square (piata Victoriei). $150/mo, plus utilities, phone and
stuff which I have to pay myself as well. The appartment is cool because
from the balcony (with suicidally low railings, the 10th floor) it's
possible to see whole Bucharest, including the famous People's house
(Casa Poporului), -- the biggest building on the continent, and the 2nd
biggest in the world after the Pentagon. By big I mean not its height,
but massiveness. Also they say the People's house has the same amount of
floors underground. Well, I have really never checked that. Anyway,
there are a lot of interesting things from the balcony. Maybe I should
buy myself some good binoculars.
Another important announce from the editorship of thekonst.net.
Big thanks to buddy Viorel and his wife Elena who sheltered Konst during
his first days in the capital. Thank you, guys!
I have already noticed that one should have a photo camera when moving
around the Romanian capital. Sometimes you can see absolutely amazing
things, like, for example, the guy on the picture to the right.
Actually, all of photos made by me till this very moment in Bucharest
can be viewed in the respective section.
Meanwhile, I'll try to start writing about Crimea, while I still
remember something about this incredibly beautiful peninsula. I wish I
write down all of the first impressions in a very detailed way, at least
for myself to get back to them sometimes.