A certain compact, rambunctious busy-body here in Iasi has repeatedly raked me over the coals about the fact that I only write in this blog about who’s pissed me off lately in Romania, never writing anything about incidents where people were nice to me. This is true, once I commit to a pessimism dive, it’s very difficult to pull me out. I freely admit this and don’t see any reason to change (stupid Berlin).
That said, in the interest of getting this little vampire off my back, I present the following:
A swanky new mall opened across the street from my building in recent months. This mall has a food court and this food court has a shawarma stall – ‘shawarma’ is a loose term applied to a number of meals featuring meat/chicken, cabbage/veg, with French fries or rice, often on a plate but also served wrapped up like a kebap.
I go to get a kepab-style shawarma on days when I’m editing like a ‘caine nenorocit’ (miserable dog) and don’t have time to walk down to the Chinese restaurant to get a plate of rice and pig assholes, fried in dog fat (extra spicy), which one impish local assures me is what I’m being served when I order my favorite beef and Chinese garlic hotplate.
In other words, I’m at the shawarma place at least four times a week and at this stage they diligently start to make my usual order the moment they spy me stepping off the elevator.
The same cute girl and friendly guy are always there. They are always kind to me and we occasionally chat as much as my Romanian language skills will allow;
“Hello, how are you?”
“Fine, how are you?”
[five minute awkward pause]
“Somethingsomethingsomethingsomething” (I never understand this part)
The other day, the guy had a surprise for me. When he handed me my food, with a giant, proud smile on his face, he said in careful English “Enjoy your meal. Have a nice day, goodbye!”.
He had clearly taken pains to memorize these phrases and was giddy with excitement to try them out on me. It was so cute. Erm, no, I mean it was adorable. That is, as adorable as one adult male who is totally comfortable with his sexuality can find another adult male. Yes, that’s it. No funny stuff here.
So there you go. Not all Romanians in every day settings are rude and malicious toward me. Occasionally they are very sweet, in the coolest, manliest way imaginable.
By the way, I like girls very much. If only the feeling were mutual.