Chapter I: The countryside

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Every summer, the countryside becomes a holiday spot for most Romanian kids who have their grandparents living there. Even if they like it or not, the countryside visit is a ‘must’. While some can hardly wait for that moment, others suddenly become obedient kids, who even promise of doing better in school next year, all in the hope of being spared of all the rural fuss.

I was part of the third group. The kid who stayed in the city, who didn’t have a countryside to go to. Both my grandparents were living in town and as a consequence I was often (over)romanticising about ‘the’ place which was outside of town and everyone went to. Somehow, I couldn’t understand why some of the kids deliberately wanted to skip their visit. Sometimes, the ones I used to play with, would even organise themselves in a small group, who’d try to find the golden excuse that would grant them the comfort zone of their home. But parent authority wins over child moaning most times if not every time. I suppose, the comfort part and the ‘had to’ part were the main reasons behind their unhappiness. Not everyone was a fan of rural lifestyle, where you’d also have to contribute in the household in a way or another. Tidying-up in and around the house, helping in the garden or taking the animals to graze in the open meadows, were not the most sought-after activities for your average teenager  during summer holiday.

I was about 10 when I got my share of that rural experience I was only hearing about. My friend took me over to her grandparents’ house for a whole week, time in which I realised that my supposed romantic view was a close match to the reality: the palette of fresh colours, the clucking of chicken, the cows with their authentic smell of countryside, the vast areas of land, freshly picked veg and fruit, kind and hardworking grandparents and a bunch of really loud and friendly kids. I was sort of living my utopian dream when I was also assigned to take care of MY own cow, once they needed to go grazing in the open fields. We used to have to take them through a forest, walk along a river and once in the open fields, we had to make sure they wouldn’t end up eating people’s maize crops. It was overall an exciting place to be in and I was having a really good time (even when I got 2nd degree sunburns).

Since then, I knew I was definitely one of the kids who wouldn’t have mind going to the countryside during summer. Thus, I kept  revisiting it every time I got the chance and every time someone would ask me to. One such occasion occurred last summer, when my good friend Alex took me to his incredibly beautiful rural area. The place is called Gușoianca.

Enjoy!

RO: În fiecare vară, zona rurală, cunoscută și sub numele de ‘țară’, devine locul de vacanță al multor copii care au bunicii acolo. Fie că le place sau nu, vizita este mai mult sau mai puțin obligatorie. În timp ce unii abia așteaptă să plece, alții în schimb, găsesc tot felul de scuze, ba chiar promit că vor fi elevi mult mai silitori, toate în speranța că vor fi scutiți de vizita la țară.

Eu făceam parte din al treilea grup. Copilul care stătea în oraș și care nu avea o țară la care să se ducă. Ambii bunici locuiau în oraș, în consecință tot ce-mi rămanea era să visez cu ochii deschiși la locul ăla care se afla în afara orașului și la care toată lumea mergea.Într-un fel nu înțelegeam de ce unii copii prefereau să rămână acasă, în oraș. Uneori chiar asistam la discuții, în care mai mulți copii complotau împreună în speranța că vor găsi scuza perfectă care le-ar fi permis să-si petreacă vacanța ‘la bloc cu copiii’. Din păcate (pentru unii) autoritatea părintească câștiga mai mereu. Bănuiesc că atât partea ce ținea de confort (toaleta/mâncarea rustică) cât și faptul că trebuiau să plece, erau două dintre motivele pentru care țara devenise un loc temut. Nu toată lumea era adeptul vieții rurale, unde trebuia să ai și o oarecare contribuție în gospodărie. Curățenia în casă și în curte, mâna de ajutor dată în grădină sau la câmp, dusul animalelor la păscut, nu erau unele dintre cele mai râvnite activități ale adolescenților în timpul verii.

Aveam 10 ani cănd mi-am primit si eu doza de mers la țară, de care toată lumea vorbea. Prietena mea, Oana, m-a invitat în vara respectivă să vin să petrec o săptămână la bunicii ei. În timpul în care am stat acolo, mi-am dat seama că viziunea mea romantică despre acest ‘la țară’, se potrivea cu realitatea: paleta de culori vii, cotcodăcitul găinilor, mirosul autentic de vacă, parcelele vaste de pământ, fructe si legume proaspăt culese, bunici cumsecade și harnici și o gașcă gălăgioasă de copii prietenoși. Era totul foarte utopic mai ales când mi s-a mai și încuviințat propria-mi vacă de care trebuia să am grijă în momentul în care trebuiau scoase la păscut. Le urneam prin pădure, mergeam de-a lungul unui râu și o dată ajunși la câmp, trebuia să ne asigurăm că nu vor da năvală în lanurile de porumb. Era genul de loc care avea mereu de oferit ceva entuziasmant, fapt pentru care mi-am și îndrăgit ‘experiența’ rurală (asta în ciuda faptului că m-am ales cu arsuri solare de gradul 2).

De atunci, mi-am dat seama că probabil aș fi făcut parte din grupul copiilor cărora le-ar fi plăcut să plece la țară la bunici. În consecință, de-a lungul anilor, fie profitam de fiecare ocazie care se ivea, fie îmi băteam la cap prietenii să mă ducă pe meleagul țării lor. O astfel de ocazie s-a ivit și vara trecută, când prietenul meu Alex mi-a făcut cunostință cu Gușoianca lui.

Vizionare plăcută!

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*Image courtesy me and Alex

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