Each time I take a new decision about my life I remember the day I arrived, at 18 years old, with my mother in Bucharest. After a 8 hours night trip, we got off in United Nations square, from where Victory street starts climbing to the Victory square, where government building keeps the watch over the big intersection. I’ve been before in Bucharest, some hidden memories are coming before my eyes, but I am not sure if it’s imagination or it is truth. When I was 3, my parents came in Bucharest to visit some relatives, a woman I used to call grand-grandmother and I have the flash of me, crying, being for the first time in an elevator. Suddenly, the elevator’s doors are closing and I see the lights from the metro tunnel, going around in the station. I realized, in my university years, that this memory station doesn’t exist, so I guess it all lays on my imagination.

I see us, with the big luggage, going up and up, under the heat of the day. It was end of June and the reason we came was for me to have my university exam. We didn’t know anybody, a mother and a teenage girl, with dusty, old and heavy bags, walking to the university in order to register for the exams. No place to sleep in the night, hoping the campus will be open – of course, no luck. We got some rooms in another campus, from another university, and we stayed there together with some high school colleagues. I still remember how I left my mother alone in the room, just to spend some time with my colleagues, preparing for the exam. The dorm was filthy, in a room 4 beds were set and the baths were shared on the hallway. I knew then that I will not be able to live in this conditions and already started to feel bad for the 4 years in which I counted daily the time until my exit. The exam took almost 4 hours and in this time my mother waited in the park, she was exhausted because of the road and the conditions we were staying in. She was asking why I want to go so far from home, but I wasn’t able to tell her the truth. Iași would have been the best option, the mathematics university was good, it was 2 hours away from home and many of my friends chose it; but I had something else in mind.

It’s a sunny day outside. Through the big windows I see the sun in my neighbor’s windows. Flashes from the thoughts I had so many times on Victory street, on my way to work, absorb me. I lived in Bucharest for 10 years and I had there my perfect spot, my preferred park. I used to like many of the places I was spending my time there and, in the 10 years I lived there, I saw the city change. My father told how the city used to look like in the 90’s, exactly like after a war. But I have other pictures from Bucharest in my mind and, of course, the most important ones are in my heart. Who would have thought that it will not be enough?

 

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