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December 4, 2018

Austria - Hello Vienna, my old friend!

Living in Romania, Vienna was the closest "real European capital". Sure Budapest was nice, too, but for me Vienna meant elegance, luxury without the flashiness, well behaved people, things that somehow I believed belonged in the west. See, I was raised in the communist part of Europe and was somehow inoculated with the dream of jumping the fence, of being free. I was 10 when the communist regime fell and let's be honest I did not suffer as much, because I was little and everything was a game to me, hiding to listen to the radio, queuing for hours for oranges, wearing the same clothes as everyone (maybe that's why I rebel now?), having little and hardly obtained consistent food.
My first country visited was the Republic of Moldova and to me it looked similar to Romania, then Hungary, it was different, but still the same, but then again Austria...Vienna was from a dream, everything was tidy and clean, the statues, the cathedral, people were well dressed, I don't know, I can't explain it. I only had that feeling with Luxembourg when I first passed by here more than 10 years ago, when you could still see Luxembourgish people on the streets, now Luxembourg is common, to me.

And as impressed I was with Vienna in the summer, coming Christmas time it simply looked from a fairy tale. Now we have gorgeous Christmas markets in Bucharest or the major cities as well, but back then to book a trip to Vienna during Christmas was the dream. Christmas after Christmas passed, I moved to Dublin and then to this part of Europe and I got used with Christmas Markets. Now the Trier one or the whole Alsace region during Christmas are more lovely than anything I could experience in Vienna, but Vienna is that childhood memory, that you cherish no matter how many memories you have.

So this year, after I think more than 10 years I will be in Vienna during Christmas market. Will I find it different? We shall see.

Stay close to my Instagram as I tend to post there more often and also check my InstaStories. There will be three days in Vienna and I've packed them with a lot of nice things to do, see and experience.

Hello Vienna, my old friend!

December 3, 2018

România - Piatra Neamț - Expoziția și albumul ”IA Neamțului”

It's been three months since my last post in Romanian and as it happens it was also about a exhibition of Romanian Blouses. This time I went to a town in Moldova region of Romania to see a special exhibition. It is called "IA Neamtului" and it hosts blouses made this year, replicas of old blouses from villages in Neamț region. The exhibition is special because it is the only one, to my knowledge, that goes so deep in analysing a certain region. The blouses exhibited are from villages in Neamț and a village is the smallest territorial division in Romania. Just by looking at the pictures you could see the variety of patterns used, of shapes of the blouses and of colours. I would have been very sad to miss this exhibition and the album related to the exhibition, but planets aligned and at the end of November I went to Romania. The rest would be in my native tongue, but I hope you will like my post.

***

Dragilor, vă povestesc astăzi despre o expoziție eveniment al cărei vernisaj a avut loc pe 23 noiembrie la Muzeul de Artă din Piatra Neamț. Mă consider super norocoasă că am putut ajunge, pentru că până cu vreo săptămână înainte nu știam dacă voi reuși. De ce am făcut acest efort? Pentru că mi se pare esențial pentru cineva care (la fel ca mine) se declară pasionat de cămășile românești să bifeze cele 4-5 evenimente cu această temă ce au loc în fiecare an.
Acum dacă știți bine, dacă nu, vă spun eu, deși pare că iile de Moldova sunt deja cunoscute, de fapt când vorbim de Moldova vorbim în general de Suceava și de Bucovina care acum e la ucrainieni și mai vorbim de Vrancea. Și dacă ați avut curiozitatea sa ajungeți la Muzeul Etnografic al Moldovei de la Palatul Culturii din Iași, ați văzut, probabil că astea sunt regiunile cel mai bine reprezentate.

Vorbim în schimb mai puțin de Neamț, Iași, Bacău, fiecare din diferite motive. Iașul de exemplu a fost târg, o zonă influențabilă de către vecini, o zonă de schimburi culturale și economice, o zonă mai săracă din punct de vedere etnografic. Însă, Neamțul...ei bine de la Neamț eu am pretenții. În Neamț există motivul meu preferat, Cucuteniul, în Neamț sunt romburile, culorile pământii, coloanele, zeițele, cheițele între altiță și încreț. Neamțul a influențat poate cel mai mult Iașul, așa că înțelegeți acum de ce eu țineam musai sa ajung la expoziție?

Pe lângă valoarea ei în timpul prezent, pe lângă munca depusă pentru a aduce aceste cămăși la lumină, pe lângă efortul organizatorilor de a ne simți ca în puf, interesul meu personal pentru expoziție a fost cel care m-a făcut să plec de acasă.

Două vorbe se cer spuse. Expoziția a fost posibilă datorită efortului comun al Complexului Muzeal Neamț și al doamnelor din Șezătoare de Piatra Neamț, grup desprins din Semne Cusute. Expoziția a fost o Aidoma la scară mai mică, pentru că principiul a fost similar. Au fost scoase din depozitele Muzeului de Etnografie mai multe cămăși vechi, iar doamnele din șezătoare le-au studiat și le-au cusut replici actuale, folosindu-se de o riguroasă documentare și de materialele din prezent. Au ieșit astfel 20 de cămăși, replici ale celor vechi, dar la fel de valoroase.

După părerea mea, valoarea expoziției a fost dată de specificitatea ei. Practic cele 20 de cămăși provin din 14 sate aflate pe teritoriul județului Neamț. Astfel, în momentul în care expoziția este vizitată, pe lângă paralela dintre vechi și nou (cămășile sunt expuse într-o sală mare, de o parte cele vechi, în oglindă cele noi), se nasc întrebările. Eu am avut norocul de a vizita expoziția ghidată de prietena mea, Antoanela Iordache, cea care a cusut o cămașă de Bicaz din 1900, și care mi-a explicat de ce în anume sate au existat anume influențe, ce sate sunt apropiate și acea apropiere se vede în culorile similare folosite, de ce unele cămăși au anume croiuri, însă toate astea trebuie să le descoperiți singuri când veți vizita (sper) expoziția din Piatra Neamț.

Nemțișor din 2018
Eu una cred că îmi lipsește ceva sau poate sunt eu atrasă de lucrurile ieșite din tipare, nu știu. Dacă la IA Aevea la Sibiu eu am fost atrasă de cămașa de lucru, din cânepă a Ioanei Corduneanu (deși venisem chitită să văd cămașa de Neamț a Danielei Ivu), aici am fost atrasă de o cămașă albă din Nemțișor cusută de Luminița Ghilea, deși venisem să văd cămașa Antonelei de Bicaz. Cămașa de Nemțișor te atrage. Intrigată de lipsa culorilor m-am apropiat și m-a prins ca într-o vrajă. Aș fi vrut să o ating, să o privesc în detaliu, bogăția ei este dată de bogăția cusăturilor și mai puțin de bogăția culorilor, nici măcar nu e o cămașă de tip carpatic, e o cămașă cu platcă, sincer nu știu ce m-a apucat.

Desigur toate cămășile sunt speciale, toate sunt foarte bine lucrate, toate pictează tabloul femeilor de Neamț care își cos cămăși în anul 2018, iar expoziția ca un tot este o realizare fără precedent, însă inima mea a rămas la cămașa de Nemțișor.

Expoziția până la urmă este despre doamnele care au cusut aceste cămăși. Fără poveștile lor cămășile ar fi de fapt niște cârpe, așa că mi-a plăcut teribil prezentarea. Mi-au plăcut pozele, fiecare dintre ele sugerând personalitatea celei care a cusut cămașa. Mi-a plăcut poza doamnei cu cămașa de Borca, în picioarele goale printre frunzele toamnei râzând, m-a impresionat doamna cu cămașa de Bistra, mi s-a părut de o bunătate fără seamăn, Antoanela, nu că e prietena mea, dar poza este exact așa cum o văd eu, delicată, dar puternică în același timp. Acum, evident, vorbesc de pozele ce însoțesc exponatele și care se regăsesc în albumul expoziției.

Că vine vorba de album, eu vă sugerez să îl cumpărați pentru că mi se pare un manual a ceea ce înseamnă cămașa de Neamț în 2018. Este subțirel și de format mic, numai bun de avut la îndemână. Eu l-am ținut în geantă, l-am citit și răsfoit, i-am pus semne de carte, l-am scos de câte ori am avut de așteptat prin aeroporturi sau gări și arată impecabil. Unde mai pui că fără el, expoziția este incompletă. În album aveți toate detaliile despre fiecare cămașă, ce ațe s-au folosit, ce croi, ce pânze, ce simboluri. Tot acolo găsiți explicația varietății tipurilor de cămăși, a culorilor folosite, a simbolurilor. Este o carte pe care pur și simplu trebuie sa o aveți în bibliotecă, fie că sunteți pasionat de cămășile românești sau nu.

Cu ce am rămas eu după expoziție? Am învățat că nu trebuie să mai caut cămașa de Iași. Dacă în Neamț există atâta varietate, cămașă de Iași ar putea fi orice. Acum vreau iarăși să merg la Palatul Culturii să mai cercetez ce au expus ei acolo și musai vreau să merg într-o bibliotecă să citesc tot ce e scris despre zona etnografica Iași.

Am ilustrat acest articol cu mai puține poze decât aș fi dorit, nu pentru că nu am făcut poze, ci pentru că voi trebuie să vedeți expoziția pe viu.
Bicaz și Valea Bistriței, cămăși cusute în 2018
Bicaz 1900 
Valea Bistriței din 1940 
Nemțișor din 1910 
Deși am făcut multe poze, niciodată nu sunt suficiente
Cămașa care mi-a născut cele mai multe întrebări. Mai este și cămașa de Borca din 1920, la fel plină de mistere. Aceasta însă este copia cămășii de Bistra din 1930, dar e cămașa de tip carpatic, dar cu nasturi în față și guler ca o cămașă din zilele noastre, apoi are fodori și cusătură peste cot. Ok am înțeles influențe de peste Carpați, da gulerul și nasturii în față? Sincer dacă aș purta vreodată la serviciu cămăși actuale, mi-aș face una fix așa. De asta am ales să o postez că poate dă idei bune cuiva din prezent.
Vechi și nou într-o poză. Îmi pare rău că nu a încăput toată expoziția într-o singură fotografie. Totul a fost demn de luat în seamă, și cămășile vechi și replicile noi și fotografiile de pe pereți, tot evenimentul, și Piatra Neamț mi s-a părut specială, tot. M-am încărcat pentru un an întreg.

Sper că v-a plăcut să citiți această postare măcar atât de mult cât m-a încântat pe mine să o scriu! Dacă vreți să urmăriți activitatea acestui blog, apreciați pagina Dichisuri.ro pe Facebook.

Raluca

November 23, 2018

Season trends at Lux Green garden centre

Ready or not, Christmas is coming and is coming fast. In less than 40 days the Big Man will visit and by that time we have to decorate the house, decorate the tree, buy presents, do it all. Different from my traditions in Romania, where Santa actually brings the tree and we usually decorate it on Christmas Eve, here I've seen houses and trees decorated as soon as Halloween was over which means the end of October, beginning of November. So, by that schedule the opening of the first Christmas Market at the garden centre came too late, but for everyone else it came just in time.

It was a sunny, but cold Autumn weekend in Arlonia and as Sunday is pretty much a dead day we decided to visit the garden centre, Lux Green in Messancy, which is open all Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. 

The Christmas Market at Lux Green takes care of all tastes, if you want to decorate your tree with green leafs, or with feathers or you just want a big fake cherry tree in the middle of your living room, or maybe a giant tent, the store has everything you could possibly want for Christmas in all colours and all styles. 

Personally for me Christmas is red. I'm the Coca-Cola generation, so I tend to look towards the red decorations and maybe green and last year I developed an obsession for wooden decorations which I plan to keep this year too, but I also like felt decorations so overall my head is a mess and turns out a trip to the Garden Centre was all I needed to clear it out. 

Of course I could not leave empty-handed, but looking at my queuing buddies, I was the only temperate one. The person in front of me spent 600 euros on Christmas Decorations. 600. Euros. I almost asked if she moved recently from like America or something and did not bother shipping all her stuff from home, but living in Luxembourg for almost 6 years now, I've learned that this is how life goes here for some people. Still. 600. euros. on Christmas decorations? Moving on!
As I could see from previous years, the Christmas Marked is organised on colours, which makes it easy to decide what you want. Still, I went from room to room and looked at everything. Compared to previous years, I could say that this year they were just not into decorating. I remember the first year there were whole rooms decorated, Christmas dinner and everything, then on another year they even brought a car inside, but this year the diversity of the decorations and their abundance makes this market worth visiting.

Starting from the beginning you enter the white room. So if you plan on decorating your house with white objects, here are some examples which I've liked.





Stepping into the green room, there is also a Christmas dinner table decorated really nice. I actually liked the plates enough as to think about buying a fancy set for ourselves. We didn't though, we have enough plates for now.

His name is Pointy and he came home with us. Luna loves it!
The green, nontraditional tree decorated with plates and nailed to the wall.
Maybe you fancy a jungle themed Christmas.
Or green ficus leaves decorated tree
Those candles were actually really big. The red one, costing 110 euros, was as big as an ice bucket.
Stepping into the black and white decorated room we encountered the white tree with black reindeer.
I really liked the socks reindeer, but it did not fit my colour scheme :)

Then we went into the blue/industrial/futuristic room, filled with copper wire decorations which I did not like and so you can't see them in my pictures. Liked the lamp though.

Then the cherry tree decorated with old perfume bottles and a lot of pink, to much for my taste
Then the feather decorated tree and room which I passed in a hurry cause I've seen glimpses of the next room and it was the red one
The red Christmas dinner table,
the red ceramic decorations,
the red everything
and even a red futuristic Christmas tree, a bit unstable, but still interesting.
Loved the girl, did not buy it
So there you have it, the Christmas Market at Lux Green Garden Centre. 
I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook. Raluca

November 19, 2018

Luxembourg - Visit the beer museum inside Wiltz Castle with your dog - Petopia event

On a cold Autumn day we embarked on another Petopia Event, which I could not recommend more, to taste some local Luxembourgish beers and visit a castle with Luna. As you may already know from their previous events (here, here and here) this was also great fun, it was very well organised and we got to visit the last castle in Luxembourg we did not check out from our list, Wiltz Castle. So, we got to be tourists in our country, together with our dog, Luna, we tasted local beers and visited a castle/beer museum. Could we ask for more? Don't think so.

There is a reason as to why we haven't visited Wiltz Castle until now and that is, most of the castle is rented to some University so inside one could find class rooms and not medieval halls. We did go to an event which happened in the castle's garden a year ago so pretty much we visited then what was to be visited from the castle.

Situated in the northern part of Luxembourg, Wiltz Castle was dated in the late 12th century. Of course the original castle was destroyed by the French in 1388 (if you've seen my latest post about Burg Cochem it too was destroyed by the French, I did not know the French were so bad, I guess I have to read a little bit of history first), they set fire to the castle so what you can see today is a reconstruction. The oldest towers date from 1573. Now beside the university the castle hosts three museums, the National Brewery Museum, the Tannery Museum and the Battle of the Bulge Museum.

We visited the National Museum of the Art of Brewing and at the end sampled the local beers. As avid beer drinkers, we previously visited the Bofferding Brewery, but had no idea about the existence of this museum. Turns out that it was actually opened in 1999 at the initiative of the Brotherhood of Gambrinus and at the end of the tour one can taste the beers produced in Wiltz: Simon, Ourdaller and Okult.

I think at the end we tasted six or even seven beers, so contrary to my knowledge, they produce a lot of types of beer. They are somehow (my opinion) influenced by the Belgian beers across the border, as they are similar in taste, but less alcoholic. I'm no expert in beers, so don't take my word for it, just go and taste them yourself.

The brewery museum is small but with a lot of memorabilia from all the Luxembourgish beers. You will see old taps, old glasses, old posters, old promotional objects...it is interesting to see the changes in Luxembourgish history reflected in these small beer related objects. I think even Luna liked the museum and she was surprisingly well behaved while we sampled the beers. It was nice to interact with other dogs and dog friends and like minded people. Overall a very nice event.













I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook. Raluca

November 12, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Review

Boys and girls I don't know if you knew this about me, but I was (I still am) a big Queen fan, so much so I still know all the lyrics of the songs even to the disco album.

I was in Ireland when journalist Lesley-Ann Jones a member of Queen's inner circle launched the biography of Freddie Mercury when again their music was in heavy rotation on the radio, so this movie was something not to be missed.

***

Still, I live in trilingual Luxembourg now, where most of the movies in the cinema are dubbed if the original is in English, and this is not a movie to watch in French, it simply isn't. Also, I wanted to see it at the cinema and not at home on Netflix in the future years or on DVD, I wanted the experience my friends in Ireland told me about. About singing in the cinema, about Bohemian Rhapsody merch being sold at the entrance, about people taking pictures with the cast members of at least with some very big posters, that's what I've imagined.

Again, I live in trilingual Luxembourg, in boring Luxembourg I might say. In one of the most well known cinemas in the Grand Duchy, Kinepolis in Kirchberg I had as a bad experience I could get. The only fast food there is Mc Donalds and the fancy restaurants around the cinema don't serve food fast, which is what you kinda want when you head to the movies after work. Something to grab on the go. No way.

I had to queue for 15 minutes in Mc, gobble a burger with chicken (so they say), had a big Sprite I had to throw away because I was not allowed inside the cinema with drinks from Mc, although they also sell drinks and Mc is literally 2 metres away from the entrance, inside we had to queue again for popcorn and rush to the theatre to be on time only to wait another 20 minutes because guess what, if they say on the ticket that the movie starts at 19.15, it will actually start at 19.45 and not only that, once the movie started they still let people inside, rude people with their flashlight on their phones on, to find their place. Guess what you dick, your flashlight was in everyone's eyes!

That's a great movie experience in the Grand Duchy, everywhere else a very shitty one, but let's continue. I had to rant about that here, cause if not here, where?

***

For me, the movie was great. I even cried at some point. The lead actor did an excellent job and overall I liked the movie. Was there room for improvement? Of course there was and from my part the more biopics about Queen (to set the truth strait) the better.
I did not get why the teeth? Rami Malek has a similar bone structure to Freddie Mercury so I felt the teeth in some scenes were unnecessary. Why blue eyes? I mean you went as far as to create some false teeth and forgot about coloured eye contacts?

The other actors were also well chosen and in some ways made similar to Queen's band members. I thought Joseph Mazzello in particular was one on one with John Deacon. Here I have to ask why his part was somehow minimised in the movie? Is it maybe because Bryan May and Roger Taylor were executive producers or something and John Deacon wasn't.

I've liked the subtle jokes in the dialogue, the ones made especially because former band members were involved in making the movie, in particular the one about Bryan May's hair or Roger Taylor family life.

I would have liked to see more about their creative process in making the songs and the albums, in choosing the songs to be played at Live Aid and their order, and less about Freddie Mercury's personal life. Also it did not sit well to see that Freddie was the one splitting the band when in fact it was not him, as other band members (Roger Taylor) had solo projects before Freddie.

I don't know much about Freddie's relationship with Mary Austin, except that she maybe was the love of his life, she surely was a good friend, a special one in fact, but I think the movie puts her in a place she did not have. Also I would have liked to see more the interaction Freddie had with other singers of those times, such as David Bowie, Elton John, Michael Jackson. I don't know if it's true but in the first scenes of the movie you could see Bono and the U2 band members exiting the Live Aid scene, at least something like that if not real scenes. As I've said I would have liked to see more of Freddie's professional life and less of the personal. But that's just me.

I think also it was an amazing effort to squeeze most of Queen's career into a single movie, so I understand some of the aspects had to be left out.

I loved their wardrobe, the lizard jacket in particular, I hope someone gets the idea to reproduce it and I hope the movie would do well enough as Primark to create a clothing line inspired by it or something similar. I dream about the yellow leather jacket since I was a kid.
Here I have to point out (as some of you asked) in the scene where Freddie tells Mary he is bisexual, that is not a Romanian Blouse. The correct term would be an embroidered t-shirt inspired by a Romanian Blouse. There is a well known photo of Freddie and Mary in which she wears a short sleeve Hungarian blouse and maybe the one in the movie was the next best thing. I've seen the pattern on one of the shops selling similar blouses on Facebook, but it disappeared and I for one hope it stays that way, cause that is not a Romanian Blouse. In the 70's and early 80's those blouses were very popular, were indeed inspired by Romanian Blouses but were to say the least, the commercial (read cheap) version of the authentic ones. So it makes sense one to be in the movie as young women would often wear them.

Going back to the movie, as a fan of Queen I consider it to be an OK one. My regret is not living in Ireland right now and having to settle with Luxembourg. Still I have to say that the movie theatre was almost 90% full (despite of the lack of promotion of the movie in the Grand Duchy) and that most of the people stayed in their seats until the last credits rolled out of the screen. As I am that weird one who reads the credits. The movie had German (I think) subtitles and it was in English and to be fair all of the people around my seat were English speakers, so that was reassuring :)
At the exist I've spotted a poster of the movie and started taking pictures with it and there were also 10 or more people who followed my example. So why Kinepolis you did not invest in a cardboard with Queen or something to take pictures with?

Overall, I hope the movie would bring back Queen on the radio (of course not the ones in Luxembourg, I talk about real radios) and make them known to the younger generations. They really need to listen to real music (lyrics and all) and not what I'm hearing now played by my adolescent neighbour. And I hope in this day and age we can talk freely about what happened and remember Freddie for what he left behind. Did you know that he recorded until the day he died?

I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! Also, if you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at Dichisuri.ro on Facebook.
Raluca