As many challenges as the land of Romania has presented, I am still incredibly saddened to be leaving this place. This place of growth and discovery, chaos and change, and magic- it has infected me. There is a mystical sense of space, of time, of culture in Romania. It is a land of old superstition coupled with new developments, a location that looks forward to its place in the new world while still clinging to the tradition of old.
For years, my favorite word has been juxtaposition. Meaning the bringing together of two unlike or different elements or objects, I like the word itself and the concept. I love the beauty often created by juxtaposition, the sharp contrasts that bring out the fine details of each part of the equation. Exploring the little differences inherent in each of the two unlike elements is fascinating, and it allows for a deeper and almost more meaningful understanding of each piece.
I think part of my addiction, my fascination, and my love for Romania comes from the juxtaposition here. You can walk amongst lovely parks and still find crumbling concrete. The consumerism of the city slams so quickly up against the peasant life just outside the boundaries. A place that is producing some of the most technically skilled workers in the world still requires triplicate copies of everything, stamped and sealed and signed by everyone in the world except the person you know. You ride on two new busses and an extremely efficient underground metro train to wait in line at the post office for two hours. Romania is a land of juxtaposition, and it is rather fitting that I fell in love here.