Vaverite, or Latvian little birds  

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"Little birds" is the English mot-a-mot translation of bijboace, clampacioace, fofoloance. Just the other day, a Latvian friend visited me and brought me as a gift some candy from her native country. And as she explained laughing and blushing, the candy name had a dual meaning.

Theft, Commons and Antiziganism in Romania  

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I have a ton of things to do so that I can leave. However, part of the preparation is to look through local stuff and one such thing is this. The theft of a tablet in a small town, used subsequently to publish photos of the new owner, is a good opportunity to explore questions about policing, bias, antiziganism / racism and herd mentality.

death and peace with grandma I  

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Contemplating the inevitable death of a relative is tough. It's been on my mind for the past few days and I can't shake it. Death is inevitable in itself, but when the sand in the hourglass has accelerated its fall due to a voracious cancer diagnosis, for many it becomes far scarier. I tried to take it in stride, but its unavoidability is still depressing. Even the Simpsons episode with Homer dying with a bucket list containing “make peace with dad” is not as distracting as it could be.

frozen green peas–mazare cu carne  

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One of my favourite recipes from childhood was 'mazare cu carne' or green peas with some kind of meat, usually veal. As I (re)discovered two bags of frozen green peas in my freezer, I figured it's time to either revisit those or try something new.

MH17, again  

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Discussing the tragedy is inescapable. I had started doing this a few days ago, focusing mostly on Andrei Anghel, but didn’t have the time to say all that I wanted to say, which is why I’m continuing here.

things that cloud my mind and tabs  

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I've a bad habit of opening tons of tabs as I research topics, then forget to close them as I move on to new knowledge pastures. I was yesterday greeted by a loud motherboard alarm as it was overheating. Normally, I just dump them into my various Tumblr blogs, but today, as I close my tabs, I'll dump them into this article.

Med School or Masters Studies in Romania  

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While writing about Jihadi Jay Abdo, I had started writing about foreigners who study in Romania and half-way through I realized that this deserves a separate article. I had previously assumed (nature) that the Romanian prime-minister’s (Ponta) many scandals, some centered around his plagiarizing of his doctoral thesis will taint Romanian education and significantly decrease its appeal. Further investigation revealed that many are still interested, although it is hard to determine to what extent the scandals have caused the Romanian tuition fees to be the lowest in Europe, or that is due to other market forces. As usual, the links are listed at the end.

Jihad Jay Abdo, Cluj Engineer  

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@JihadAbdo is an L.A.-based actor with more than 43 films, tons of TV series and lots of plays in four languages. One of those languages is Romanian.

Andrei Anghel and the end of pax americana  

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I have been staying away from the news of the moment, but this recent tragedy hits extremely close to home, whichever way a member of the Toronto Romanian diaspora (including myself) chooses to define that notion.

How I met Gabriel Liiceanu  

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Though inordinate, this childhood memory was quite far from being an extraordinary event, and as such, I wasn't going to write about it. But a recent, excellent article but this quasi-famous disciple of an even more famous philosopher caused me to reconsider and share this story with you.

Moulea Was The New Black  

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This is another one of the stories I’ve postponed telling because it’s not easy and I had yet to feel “inspired”; then again, this blog is getting old and I’ve given myself yet another deadline to tell the stories that are important, inspired or not.

w/e lecture: Fanfan by Alexandre Jardin  

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Questions of marriage preoccupy all of us, at one point of our lives or another. I for one was forced to face them head on back in my undergrad, when during a French course I had to write a quick essay on getting married or searching for pleasure. Recently, a monologue about marriage came to my attention and I hurry to share it with you, primarily for the pleasure of the female readers of this blog, recently tortured by a long list of articles on politics and MEP 2014 elections (results I, II, III, UKIP, Toronto, TestVote).

MEP 2014 election results III – Balkaniada  

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Now that are known and Euroscepticism discussed, after a short detour through Canadian visas for Romanians, we will finally take a look at the Romanian politics.

Today I met another European woman. Originally from Spain, she told me she worked in the Czech Republic for a while as a translator. Upon learning I'm Romanian, she also felt the need to share with me that there were "a lot of Romanians" in the Czech Republic who wanted to come to Canada but couldn't, because there is no visa treaty. When I told her that there were some problems here with Czech Roma getting visa through fraud and the visa had been suspended, her reaction was to remove her Czech work experience from her resume, out of fear that “Czechs now had a bad name.”

MEP 2014 election results II – monkeysphere  

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I continue to struggle to express my frustrations with the status quo while also presenting the election results. Here I'll start with the facts, hoping that the rest will transpire effortlessly.

MEP 2014 election results I–euroscepticism and nationalism  

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It is almost painful to discuss the election results, chiefly because nothing is unexpected, most voters see a completely different reality than I do (or, if you will, they see the same thing but interpret it differently) and there is no way I can ever bridge this gap. Not only that, but it's virtually impossible to do so, even if I tried. I gave up trying long ago.

Doors Open Toronto Voting  

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Writing about the voting experience would be way too uninteresting even for me, especially since it was straightforward and uneventful, so rather than doing just that, I’ll be telling you about how the voting went, some food I bought and my “participation” in Doors Open Toronto 2014.