Thursday, October 11, 2007

Western Vintage


Does Romania, my native country, offer a profoundly distorted view on the world, or do all kids grow up dreaming of emigration? I wonder if the chubby, rose-cheeked Kinder kid ever woke up one day thinking "cows are more violet on the other side".
He would then go to his bulgingly sane Swiss mom and announce with a decise and hopeful tone "I'm out to get some milk. Don't wait up for me for the next 20-some years. Oh, and by the way, Tony the Tiger is coming too. We've re-evaluated our relationship over a bowl of cereals."

After the 1989 regime fell, my cousins would go on for years on the so-called "western help" that arrived, basically cardboard boxes full of the lost-and-found paraphernalia of second hand bargains.
One day, they would make their descent in pompa magna in front of the block of flats where communism had done the miracle of cramming at least 16 people in 20 sqm. A big, brown sausage with stylish paillettes effects would shine in the Sunday morning sun, on a fresh-cut-grass greenish background.
"Where did you get it?" the other kids would ask, their faces gradually turning the same colour as the green shirt. "Western help" the impiously sincere answer severed the breezy air, automatically placing them in the privileged category of those needy enough to receive such benevolent donations.

The rest of us were just regular natives, doomed to wear the Chinese notoriuos labels "Abibas" and "Reobak" bought at the corner market, not worthy enough to taste the profound joy of wearing a real, live, already worn Western garment.
I've dreamed for years of true, second-hand, Western clothes, which can actually inebriate your senses with the acre odour of the former proprietor, and just as a revenge for my cousins, I can now be seen trodding around flea markets on Saturday mornings while I try to negotiate down the prize of a true, moth-eaten, grandma's skirt. "Where did you get that old crap?" my cousins would now ask in disbelief. "Oh, it's Western vintage."

1 comment:

Tristana said...

Thanks for writing this.