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Bucharest II

I am not sure what I found more intriguing. The rickety nature of the scaffolding or the sheer beauty of architecture of yet another Orthodox Church.

As most of the assignments Mrs Watson gave me in English class at school started with .. “Compare and contrast” . Socialism design and construction versus gains of capitalism on the streets of Bucharest.

The oft used phrase by the misinformed that all bankers are a pack of blood sucking vampires never seemed more appropriate than here.

King Michael. Took the throne at age 28, was non political and loved so much by the Romanian people that when communism fell they quickly replaced the main statue of Lenin with this of the King. He is still alive too. Aged 95 now and living in Switzerland.

If Tirana can name a street after George Bush Jr then Bucharest can have a walkway in their biggest park named after the king of pop. Interestingly, or not, when ol white glove came to Bucharest in 1992 and stood on the main balcony of the State Parliament building his opening line was “HELLO BUDAPEST I AM SO GLAD TO BE HERE”....oops.

When the tour guide yesterday said to take a look inside the Romanian Athenaeum because we wouldn’t be disappointed he wasn’t wrong. Parts of the orchestra were warming up for tonight’s performance and the view from the back was pretty impressive.

Whilst Bucharest is by far and away the most expensive of the cities visited thus far on tour there remains pockets of everyday life that seem very cheap. Take the underground as an example . 50 pence a ride to wherever its you need to go on clean air conditioned. Modern carriages. Send out a working group from TFL (Transport For London) to learn a few things would be my suggestion.

Bucharest National Theatre. They say it’s designed to look like an inverted top hat. Personally I don’t see it. Perhaps another 2-3 shots of Romanian Palinka (a local post dinner digestive that I had last night that makes grappa taste like mother’s milk) are required.

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