Sighisoara, the old Transylvanian burg, was very sleepy that day at the beginning of January. But I'm not going to talk about Sighisoara here.
We had visited the town - how many times already ? - and we were waiting for the train, but since we had at least a half an hour to kill, we
took a walk around the station. And then, magically, we encountered one of those places we thought extinct and which recalled us scenes from the
It was a soda water shop (sifonarie), that is, one of those strange places where you go with an empty bottle and you return with the same
bottle full of soda water.
When we were children, it must have been a very profitable business, because all the neighbors' kids, holding bags full of bottles,
used to make daily trips to the closest shop with a simple sign on it: "Soda water".
I don't really know what strange links were between the communism and the soda water shops, but I noticed that immediately after the Revolution
these shops vanished without a trace, the few remaining ones hiding in obscure gangs and passages and continuing their subversive activities
within four square meters. Naturally, they were only known to the connoisseurs and their locations were whispered only in this secret club.
Such a place is the soda water shop close to the Sighisoara train station. As soon as you enter, your senses are all put to trial. You are
dazzled by order in a perfect chaos: the aligned bottles with their colorful stoppers, the acid smells, the gas recipients - also
rigorously ordered, the devilish noises coming from a strange machine that can transform the emptiness of the bottles into soda water.
And everything happens on an area of a few square meters, the salesman manipulating
the infernal machine with gentelness and resolution, smiling underneath his mustache when he asks: "Can I offer you a soda water ?"