Mrs. Lear seems to quite like it here, although I have to say having to break off every few hours to meet up with her is putting a strain on the cars and drivers. Yes, drivers. And cars.Too difficult with one of each at the moment.
Today was rather special.
We sat in the sun under the walls of the Citadel of Biertan, and were regaled with stories of good socialism by the Last Unreconstructed Communist. She is the most extraordinary woman who spends her life fighting with all and sundry to improve the lot of others.
Lunch consisted of tomatoes, aubergine paste,cabbage salad, local cheese, a sort of ratatouille, potato salad, all absolutely delicious - and, of course, a schnapps to blow your eyeballs out. Everyone else pretty much chickened out, but I, unfortunately, am not allowed to. I took it like a man. I am supposed to be in training and can only say if I had a glass of the schnapps immediately prior to commencement, I would be past the finishing post before anyone even heard the starter's gun.
We then ( thanks to our driver never drinking) managed to get to a town called Sintoia. It's not that big, but it does have a house that at one time was a local potentate's - so much larger than the usual run of the mill. Think of Russian Steppes and Doctor Zhivago, wooden balconies running the whole length of the house, grapes dangling seductively from an umbral covering - and chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, pigs and sheep all milling around in the courtyard.
The real point is it is actually large enough for us to inhabit. Ok, bit of work needed here and there ( like a couple of bathrooms for a start) but it is a most charming and attractive place.
The sun shone and the bees buzzed and all was well with the world.
And what of the header - Negotiation in case you have forgotten.
Well, Mrs. Lear is insisting - not unreasonably - that my stripped down lean mean lifestyle ( one bed five chairs one spoon) is not really for her. We already have a couple of carpets and a decorative plate ( you may well ask what on earth we need that for, but I don't know the answer). So today, we visited the third and final furniture shop in the area, picked out a few pieces, added them up and suggested a price of 10% off for bulk.
Now The Driver is no mean hand at negotiation. I like to think of myself as quite good too. We've both done a bit in our time. So imagine our astonishment when the vendor wouldn't even take 20p. off. We told him we would have to provide transport, that the furniture had marks ( true) that we were buying quite a lot - not a flicker. So we tried our final strategy. We told him we were going to leave. We are going to leave now. We walked slowly to the car. WE ARE LEAVING NOW! Not a twitch. The car was started. He turned and walked back inside.
"What we gonna do now?" asked The Driver.
We slunk away without purchasing anything. Complete failure.
But at least we hadn't given him the satisfaction of winning the negotiation.
Or had he?