Alin and I spent most of today traipsing back and forth between various notaries and official offices getting papers attested, stamped, lodged and filed. The weather has turned dull, so it was no fun even in between the offices.
The people we were due to meet at 2pm never appeared ( no hardship as we simply kept popping back to the Rustic to see if they had arrived whilst we went on with our work).
We got a phone call from the Mayor at about 3pm, saying to meet him at the BinderBubi in Medias at 5pm.
There had been no previous arrangement for us to meet him today, so we were slightly unsure what was going on.
When we got there, his son, also Alin, was looking a bit sheepish, and his long term girlfriend, Irene, was radiant - and sporting rather a nice ring. Ireme's parents were also there, and within a nano-second I had twigged that Alin 2 had done the decent thing.
Of course there was a bit of hilarity when I enquired if Irene was looking so happy because I THOUGHT I knew the reason. She couldn't control herself any longer and burst out with the news that she and Alin 2 were engaged. There were great hugs and kisses all round. Tina, the Mayor's wife, was shaking like a leaf. Alin 2 is their only child and she longs for grandchildren only having had one herself.She whispered to me that she was almost overcome with happiness. The Mayor, even though on his annual detox, was in spendid form, and Irene's parents ( who I had not met before) were somewhat overawed by the way the staff in the hotel deferred to the Mayor at every turn. Alin 2 continued to look sheepish and when I said I was very happy for him he said he had been afraid Irene might turn him down. One look at Irene could tell anyone that she loved and adored him - except of course the potential groom.
We all sat down to dinner. I did slightly wonder why I had been invited to such a private family occasion, but within a few minutes I found out.
" Meester King," said the Mayor," I want you to be my Alin's Godfather."
Now a Godfather in Romania has similar functions to that in the UK, but it is specifically for the young couple that the Godfather acts in Romania. As I'm sure you have gathered, everything in Romania works via connection, and for reasons slightly beyond me the Mayor of Mosna thinks I'm a good egg and a good connection.
I was taken aback and suggested that, despite being deeply honoured, perhaps someone closer to the couple would be appropriate.
At that point the bride's father chimed in that although we had never met, my work in and around Mosna had been heard of even where they lived, and he would also be honoured and proud for me to be the Godfather. I wasn't too sure where they lived and made a joke along the lines of " well if you live nearby I suppose you might hear something" - to be told they lived more than 20 miles away.
Still in shock, it was Tina who came to my rescue.
" Meester K, he is my only son, and you also are an only child. You love our country, you love us, we want to make you part of our family."
What could I say?
The wedding is on February 4th.