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Word for the traveler

A Day in Bucharest
I'm woken up early by disco-like noises. Oh, it's again my neighbor above ... Even early on Sunday he plays loud music. Usually I wake up early, but this time I would have liked to sleep longer. Shall I knock at his door ? I did that before several times and without result.
I get up and look out of the window: there are a few small clouds, as for the rest it looks good. I eat a little, dress up and I'm about to leave. I see the clouds are building up, but I don't think it'll rain, so I leave without an umbrella. I choose the stairs, because the elevator has been broken for over a week and this is not the first time.
I wait for the bus something like an eternity. Even though it's the last stop and there are four buses waiting in the station, none of them seems to be willing to depart. Finally, one of them decides to leave, the driver yawning like after a sleepless night. As soon as I get in, the driver accelerates as if he's in a race. Maybe he wants to wake up. Or to retrieve the time wasted in the station. I call him names silently and try to focus on something else. At a stop he closes the doors just in front of an old couple trying to get in. I shout at him to open, but nothing. He can't hear me or pretends so. Stupid bastard ! He pisses me off, I call him names again.
The clouds are building up while the bus gets crowded. The wind gusts and moves the dust around. And so it starts to poor. I get off, I have no umbrella and I'm soaked after only a few steps. I take shelter until it lulls a bit.
I walk again on my sidewalk and suddenly a brand new BMW speeds by through the newly formed puddle, splashing me from head to feet. I swear like a trooper, I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The BMW leaves behind loud noise of bad music and I think I could hear the driver's scornful laughter.
It stops raining, but the clouds continue to build up like black giants above the city and it's almost getting dark now.
At a traffic light, an old lady is waiting for the green light to cross the street. Two guys swear each other from their cars, the tires screeching, in front of the policeman. The clouds are increasingly threatening. The old lady drops a matchbox with some coins inside. I pick it up and return it to her. She couldn't be more thankful, I feel overwhelmed. I go my way but after less than twenty steps I hear a voice behind me whispering: "Sir ! Wait a minute." I turn around: it's her, the old lady with the matchbox. Radiant, she gives me a small paper bag with some pretzels and tells me she was going with alms to the church. And then the sun shines again above the departing clouds.

For those who believe we witness miracles every day

Sorin-Alexandru Cristescu, October 2006

For any comments, suggestions, ideas, stories, please contact me at sorin AT incogniterra.com or leave a message below.


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