moving to Romania

Life update, Romania, et cetera

A shout out to Michael, my friend who tugged at my writer’s collar the other day, asking, When are you going to start blogging again?


So here I am. Not necessarily at his behest, but reminder. It’s nice to feel this digital cauldron burns again for hungry readers.


A lot has happened since my hands last stirred the blog pot. So much zen. The jet lag is gone. My parents and sister dropped by for a week, even, and even my friend Andrew from all the way back in Washington. There are still friends who I haven’t caught up with, and then some others with whom I’ve been able to share only a line here and there. And still yet more who I owe a call. Why mention friends and family? Because friends and family is a big factor in my being here. Meeting new family, friending new family, not yet making new friends, but starting my own family.


Today Ela and I signed the prenup. It feels modern. And it’s a step, this declaration of a marriage regime, toward getting married in the city hall. I already have a declaration from the US Embassy stating I am eligible to marry. My birth certificate is being translated and legalized, while Ela’s first marriage paperwork gets processed. What else. So much to say. My, don’t we feel bloggy?


I suppose it’s the not making friends part. My student from when I was a teacher in New York, who moved back to Catalunya, recently asked if I had made friends here. No. One of Ela’s friends at a dinner last weekend asked me the same question. I gave the same answer, no. Bloggy.


So I suppose again it’s me feeling this simple need to connect on simple terms. No tricks with words, no flare, no nothing. Just simplicity. Just living day by day. This is who I am now.


I still iron my shirts. “Still rock my khakis with a cuff and a crease.” But my eating has increased fifty percent. Every night is a cooking party with Ela, my roommate, my lover, my fiancee. By the way, today we also signed the declaration that we are roommates. This was to obtain a stay permit. Boy, that’s a tiresome topic, the legality of staying here until the wedding. It’s not worth mentioning now.


Instead I’ll say how I have pinewood incense burning in the bedroom, where I am working. The window is partly open, in the European manner of turning the handle upwards, and letting the windowpane drop some 15 degrees into the room, letting in cool air and hot noise at a comfortable percentage of its total openness. The noise consists of a steady steam of automobiles, auto-buses, and electric-buses, and two-ways of tram. Wait.


A quote by Chekov, gleaned from a video on the top 24 reasons agents and editors reject your work, comes to mind:

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light from broken glass.”


A nice quote. And it makes me want to reconsider what I wrote above. I do.


My bedroom window lets in 15 degrees of a corner of Bucharest known as Unu Mai, the first of May, Worker’s day. The surrounding buildings recall the golden age of socialist architecture, with patches of primary colors painted on alternating balconies. So much concrete on those buildings that the noise of this corner of Bucharest reaches me in echoes, in clanks and honks, running motors, and shouts from taxi-drivers. A train full of workers off early this Wednesday unload from the mouth of the beast of the metro at Unu Mai. Their leather shoes and stilettos meet the source of the heat rising from below, the relentless concrete seen all around. Birds chirp though, and, together with the sounds of a bustling intersection full of life, my keyboard plays along, stringing my ideas together into phonemes and jingle bells. Here I am, I say, here am I.

I am in love.


Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I have been and continue to be everyday I wake up next to her face, her body heat and smile. It’s contagious. The thought of what I must have done to deserve this crosses my mind, but soon there isn’t time because we have a routine to follow.


6:00 AM. Five minutes later, I write for twenty, and she smokes two cigarettes. Usually I meet her at the spitting end of her second one, to encourage her for the next part of the morning. (Hi, baby.)


A workout. If she hasn’t realized it by now, what we do is alternate muscle groups, with heavy repetitions of target areas. I’ll let the reader deduce what is important to us based on the following information. We work out five times a week for twenty minutes a morning. MWF we start with five sets of ab-wheel exercises, switching between using the wheel and stretching, depending on whose turn it is. TTH we do an exercise I learned in physical therapy once that strengthens your back and aligns your spine: on all fours lift one limb at a time, then cross lift diagonal limbs. The stuff after those starting core sets is pretty simple, being one pair of opposite muscles a day. Chest/bicep. Tricep/back. Shoulder/legs. Chest/bicep. Tricep/back. Blame college for this system, I’ve been doing it for years. Any suggestions please put them in the comments below, lol.


Then shower, food. Breakfast consists of semolina or yogurt or oatmeal, but always with conversation. Then, it’s a hour at the computer. Why. I’ve been working on the next book. Details to come.


Then it’s off. To start the day, the real life, to keep pace with the rest of the world, or overpass it all together.


What else? Blah! ‘Tis the update, save some listed details.

1. Her car has been put to good use; aside from driving all around the city dropping and picking up the lady, her and I have traveled to: Constanta, her hometown; Brasov, in Transylvania; Sinaia, with one of the coolest castles I have ever seen.

2. I’m about to finish Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, lent (or gifted? so confusing!) to me by Andrew himself, from which my chillness about where I am comes from, as well as the idea to end this post a on a list.

3. Other than that I’ve only read a book called How to Change your Mind, about the new science behind psychedelic’s therapeutic and spiritual possibilities; and that’s it! I had to put down a Nabokov novel which I do not feel up to finishing yet.

4. I’ve interviewed at two schools and one corporate foreign language agency; the last one wants to hire me, and the legality of my hire is being processed by the appropriate agents for my on-boarding.


That is all. And all is exciting.

Posted in Life and tagged , , .


  1. Ay Ivan, como me gusta lo que escribis…y “como” lo escribis !
    Estoy tan feliz por vos y Ela. ..tan , tan feliz!
    Alegria tambien, por saber que pronto conocere a tu NOVIA, que estaremos juntos para esa maravillosa boda..
    Gracias por compartir tu dia a dia…nos acerca…y disfrutamos y compartimos tu FELICIDAD !!!
    Vo sabes cuanto te quiero y ahora tambien a Ela…por completar tu vida…
    La proxima…sera en Ingles…”ESTA” tenia que ser en Espaniol !
    Beso enorme Aba

    • Hola Aba, que placer para mi recibir tus palabras y entusiasmo. Ela tambien los aprecia. Esperamos recibirte en octubre, con todo el amor y felicidad posible:) Hasta pronto~ Ivan

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