Wednesday, 29 January 2014


I think it was Princess Martha Bibescu who said that the Romanians are a Latin race whose home should be in the South and every winter seems to strike them with horror and astonishment. Or words to that effect.  This winter came in late January so the surprise was greater than usual.

Winters have been mostly rather mild in the last fifteen years here, at least in comparison with my first two: the winters of 1990-91 and 1998-99. The streets of Bucharest near my office in Piata Victoriei, opposite the Prime Minister in the Victoria Palace, become unfordable rivers when it rains. When there is heavy snow the snow is piled up to a great height on the pavements and these embankments of snow, put there by the city council workers who nowadays clear the main streets with snow ploughs, are much more of a hazard to the long-suffering pedestrians of Bucharest, the poor bloody infantry so to speak, than the snow itself or even the treacherous ice. By tomorrow morning crossing the roads to get to the office  will resemble a 1970s disaster movie.

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