Vegetarian Lentil Soup – Ciorba de Linte  

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There was a time when I considered myself vegetarian. It was easy, a very close friend was cooking while I was buying our food. These days I cook my own food and since my time is limited, I gravitate toward simple recipes. With that in mind, there's been a long time since I haven't presented a recipe here, so I'll be telling you about my favorite winter soup (which is more like a borsht), the lentil soup. And since it’s been a while since I wrote in Romanian, I’ll do it again, but you can find the English version below, in Sources.

(Bucharest) N/O Jazz 4 Da Masses  

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N/O stands for Night Out, but you can read it as "NO jazz for the masses" since jazz will never have the same audience and mass appeal as manele, for instance. I suspect that with jazz, you never quite know what to expect (even with a band or soloist you have heard before), whereas manele and other more “popular” genres deliver a more consistent listener / dancer experience.

bye-bye boobs (Simona Halep II)  

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I knew yesterday, when I started to write about Simona Halep, that I won't be able to get into the gist of the matter. I shall finish my expose of Simona Halep's performance by taking a closer look at her breasts, or lack thereof.

Simona Halep and Romanian education  

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As I'm starting this article, there's a ton of things I want to talk about, and I'll be lucky if I have the time to get into 2 of them. First, Simona Halep's amazing win against Serena Williams, then I'd like to talk about Romanian accomplishments, education, verbal aggression, debating skills, and Sfinx / Dan Andrei Aldea. Let's see how far I manage to get.

Irish Travellers and Roma Adoption  

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My resolve to stop speaking about the difference between Roma / Gypsies and Romanians was recently shaken by an Irish couple, one of whom had a Roma sister adopted from Romania.

Ad Kalendas Dacas Guarantee  

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Feeling that the previous article, on how I can help you with your misunderstandings or simply to better understand certain concepts you may be unfamiliar with, was incomplete, I added a few more clauses, mostly having to do with a money-back guarantee and also describing my first attempts at implementing the answer.

Like a Dacian  

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As I’ve been getting closer to a long-planned trip to Europe, I had to face the prospect of more hostility and less-than-enlightened assumptions related to my ancestry. I am quite tired of going through that and have been preparing to start answering the question “where are you from” with “Dacia” – and will be doing so starting tomorrow. With this article, I will answer the follow-up “isn’t Dacia a car?” or “what is that?” or “where is that?” with “look it up!”

Opencube Manowar-ian Existentialism  

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I recently commented elsewhere on the sense of existence and even read a diaspora blog, and before I forget, I mirror here my thoughts for all the English-speaking world to marvel. If I were to summarize the teachings of this Zen piece, it’d be “survival implies constant self-deceit.”

Travel to and Road-building in Romania  

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I recently read a longer article on Bloomberg about Romania and its lagging infrastructure - more specifically, roads and highways. Much to my surprise, all that I was reading on other blogs (or hearing from my relatives) was described and explained as facts. (blmbrg-cows) 

Beligan-Ponta, Plesu-Bendeac  

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A more recent politico-artistico-philosophical scandal, far more interesting to me but, apparently, less interesting to the Romanian public, is the open conflict between Andrei Plesu, my favourite philosesseist, and the PSD cultural wing.

Meleschurian or Turchurian candidate: SRI-racha Fall  

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Sriracha is a 'sauce piquante', SRI is the Romanian Secret Service, fall is autumn, and in Romanian "picant" could also be derived from 'to fall' which is 'a pica.' We look at the consecutive declarations of Romania’s president, an allied journalist and finally, the candidacies of other president-hopefuls, from the head of the Romanian Secret Service, Melescanu and to the former Justice Minister, Macovei. But most of all, the title is a tip of the hat to Vlad Petreanu and his excellent expose, with a title that translates roughly as “The [secret] Services Autumn.”

The Greatest Plagiarizer in SE Europe  

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If you follow Romanian news, you mustn’t have missed how Victor Ponta, the current Romanian prime-minister, leader of the most popular (and also crypto-communist) PSD party and the most likely winner of the upcoming presidential race, launched his candidacy, on his birthday, on a stadium.

Contests and Primus Primates  

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One contest I thought about is superscrieri (superwritings). That got me thinking of other contests, such as fiction in Canada or the US Visa Lottery.

Dan Alexe vs Dacopaths  

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I sporadically come across Dan Alexe's writings. He's a smart dude, he's courageous, and he seems to constantly be bullying "protocronists / dacologists" whom he calls "dacopaths" ("dacopati" cf Romanian original, a term most likely inspired by the derisive and pejorative “psychopaths”). I thought I deconstruct / smite him a bit.

@PepsiCanada #pepsipopup in #Toronto  

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This could very well be a paid post, but it's not (unless you consider a free concert and a couple of Pepsi bottles as 'payment'). I was just passing by their tent and the music caught my ear; I enjoyed it while watching a cover of Talking Heads (Psycho Killer). All in all, a great opportunity to reminisce on what Pepsi meant in my childhood.

Liberté, Égalité, Vaseline  

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One of the things I've been doing with my life lately is moving to a more “mobile lifestyle” (or “nomadic”, as a friend has described it), which includes digitizing my paper archives and moving everything online. Obviously, this involves some sort of encryption before moving stuff to the cloud, but for now, let's have a look at my old passports, which somehow makes me talk about representative democracy and its inherent corruption.