Thursday, March 13, 2008

In the Romanian Lawyers office

One of the nicest parts of being in Sighisoara is being in the lawyers office. This is only partly because she is one of the most attractive women I know ( Alin swears she was fat and ugly when he was at school with her) and much to do with the people we take there. Yesterday for example, an 82 year old firebrand of a great-grandmother insisted on better music being played whilst she waited to sign. A man insisted on taking less money from us than had been agreed because we had given him a free ride. The heir to a small piece of ground wanted to give it to us as he didn't want it, provided we got him a new mobile phone.
But the nicest thing is the careful explanations the lovely lawyer gives people. The reasoning is simple - most of them can't read. There is a wonderful charade of " Oh, I've left my glasses behind". This is easily countered as the lawyer has a drawer full of abandoned specs, but after trying a few on, the elderly darlings say they are no good, and would she mind just reading the document to them? And the official translator lady ( who is at the opposite scale to the lawyer) knows less about English or Romanian law than I do - at least I can now translate the phrases and clauses faster than she can. In recognition of this, the official stamp of " Translation confirmed" has gone down from an original equivalent of £7 to a mere £3.
So on Monday afternoon, after a hard days graft on papers and other rubbish, we were ushered into the Mayor's parlour, along with three of his henchmen. So there were actually 5 of us drinking. Alin never touches alcohol when he drives.
We started at about 3 in the afternoon, and, together with sausages, and " mitj" which are lamb and meat-balls, we managed several 2-litre bottles of extremely good home made wine by about 7pm. We were there to discuss the Cabbage Festival in October.
There was a slight pall over the occasion, as that particular manufacture of wine was running out.
" Ah, " said the Mayor, " When this is finished, I will have to buy some from Vassily". I may say Vassily was sitting next to him and perked up at the thought of making a cash sale.
" For cash?" he asked.
" No," said the Mayor," In exchange for all my wine you've already drunk."
" Ah," said Vassily" I would never get through my 8,000 litres on my own anyway. It's just as well I have you for a friend - and Mr. King of course "

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