Home Alone in Bucharest I  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , , ,

The initial motivation in starting this blog was telling a number of "origin" stories. Some I have already told, some I left for later, but for the most part, telling these stories is the main raison d'etre for this collection of characters (i.e., letters, numbers and strange people – the constituent parts of this blog). One of them is the story of my last year or so in Romania, a time when I lived on my own in my Drumul Taberei / Favorit apartment.

home-alone-82-weekReconstituting that time and place is not easy, but it’s not that hard either. I already posted a number of photos, including that of my building, in a collage and quite a number of memories, under guess-what category, mostly in Romanian (might add links later). Getting the facts straight is a tad more difficult, as I am facing an over-abundance of info about things I don’t really need and not enough on things I’d rather see (the story of the Internet, really).

For instance, I used Google Maps to locate my street and I can zoom in to the point of seeing my building and the vegetation. But Google didn’t bother taking Street View photos because – who cares?

Luckily, I can find info about the building I grew up in (dt-tip):

Buildings of four levels with two and three bedroom apartments, type 1 comfort, plus one studio, detached without balcony on the first floor (cf Romanian “parter”). Two-bedroom apartments are detached and have no balcony, the three-bedroom ones are situated opposite on the floor, separated by the two-bedrooms, one detached and the other semi-detached with a total area of 67 sqm, in both the balcony being located on the large bedroom width. In conclusion, on each floor there are three apartments, one two-bedroom and two three-bedrooms, with a variable number of stairs in-between.

drumul-taberei: a closer to street level view in the eminent residential quarter in BucharestThe Romanian real estate terminology is a bit difficult to get, especially since I wasn’t particularly well versed in the English one. I had to learn it quickly back when I sold my childhood apartment, in 1998.

Here’s a quick glossary of relevant English and Romanian terms (as much as I can remember, this is not my business for the most part).
  • detached/semidetached – comandata/semidecomandata. In English, a detached house is separated from others, while “semidetached” refers to a house that shares an exterior wall with another. In Romania, the term refers mostly to rooms in apartments and whether you need to go through another room or they have a separate entrance (usually via a hallway).
  • bachelor/studio/loft/1BR – garsoniera/studio; Loft is a big open space with no wall partitions and high ceilings, usually resulting from converting old industrial / factory buildings to residential properties. A studio is one room with a small kitchen in a corner and a separate bathroom and it’s very small (usually 300-450 sq ft or less). A bachelor is a bit larger (500 sq ft), with a separate kitchen and bathroom. Fewer people consider a bachelor to be smaller than a studio, having a kitchenette instead of a full kitchen (aka “efficiencies”). A one bedroom apartment has a walled off bedroom, a living room as well as separate bathroom and kitchen.
  • confort I/II/III; this indicates the surface range in sq m. The highest is “confort Lux”, followed by confort 1 (sometimes with a “confort 0” as an intermediary. Garsoniera: 33-36, 2-br 44-55, 3-br 61-79, 4-br 80-99, 5-br+ 80-109. In “confort 1”, the kitchen must have a minimum of 8 sq m and if there are more than 3 “rooms” there should be 2 bathrooms.
  • bedrooms – camere; To be more accurate, “bedrooms” translates in “dormitoare” while “camere” means “rooms” (though not necessarily the kitchen or bathroom) and that’s because in English, the living room is not counted as a bedroom for the most part; keep that in mind when looking for a place and translate with +/- 1.
  • Prices (in euro/sq m) vary a great deal with the economic situation, itself quite volatile over the past few decades. For Bucharest, expect to pay 900-1000, less in Rahova, and much more in Kiseleff-Aviatorilor (around 1500); most transactions occur for Titan. In Timisoara prices vary between Dambovita (700) to Odobescu (1000). In Brasov we have the cheapest in Triaj (750) to “Medieval Centre” (2000). Cluj-Napoca has Manastur for the low-end and Dorobantilor / Avram-Iancu for the high-end (1500). Constanta has cheap apartments in Poarta 6 (730), whereas Trocadero, Capitol or Faleza Nord go for 1100. Iasi finally has Podu Ros at the low end going as high as 1000 for Copou.

My apartment, for instance, was a 3-bedroom detached. If you find a mistake above, please feel free to correct me – it’s info I pieced together mostly online, so don’t consider it authoritative, just a good starting point.

20141124-Screencap001I also looked for my school, the base of Ioan Luchian Mihalea’s Minisong, and found 3-4 Facebook pages and groups, each with a different-looking photo, and none looking the way I remember it. And that’s OK, because in my last few years in Romania, I wasn’t attending this school, but rather “Colegiul National Sf. Sava” (the St Sava National College). That search turns a bunch of results as well, but the one with the most likes is “Colegii din Natiunea Sf Sava”.

Now that we’ve found the best sources of memories and localized everything, I can finally tell you the story. Which, depending on how intimate it comes out, will be either left here encrypted or posted in a separate article.

*** Show encrypted text (see FAQ for the password or simply complete the survey) ***

Sources / More info: dt-tip, wp-dt, str, wiki-st

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Monday, November 24, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
Aici vei găsi ştiri inedite, articole hazoase, perspective originale in politică, societate, economie şi relaţii interumane. QUESTIONS (Intrebări)? We got Answers (Răspunsuri există)!  
blog comments powered by Disqus