You will have noticed that I haven't been to Romania a lot recently, but that will shortly have to be rectified. The reason is there has been just too much here to deal with, what with the Crunch and all, but after last year when we had so many deaths in the first part of the year, I thought it might be wise to remain available.
I've spent much more time on the phone to Alin, which is always interesting, because for some reason his English deteriorates. I spent some time discussing the " plugging" he was ordering on a field. I didn't wish to show my ignorance by saying I had no idea what this was. Fortunately, as the conversation went on, a light flashed on and I was able to discuss the " ploughing" with some understanding.
The other thing he insists on discussing are the " inheritage" issues some of the land vendors have, which usually involve a trip to Sibiu to the Land Court to get yet another stamp.And unlike English, where the plural of sheep is sheep, in Romania, the plural of sheep is " sheeps". I am particularly fond of the " little baby sheeps" that are presently being born, especially when the "shepherding man" has had to protect them from the " teeth-eating wolfies". Strange diet for a wolf if you ask me. Apart from anything else, I'm sure the " wolfies" are just there so the shepherd can keep a few of the baby sheeps for himself ( " So terrible Mr.K, the wolfies are teeth-eating them." Hmmm)
Today's particular conversation revolved around what we would describe as a gap site in the village of Alma Vii. It's a complete house site, probably about three-quarters of a hectare, with overgrown but previously impressive gardens and vegetable plots. Some time ago, the local Mayor asked if we would be interested in it, as it belonged to the City Hall. As always I replied yes, depends on the price, and that was the last I heard, until, whilst going through some notes, I came across mention of it. I had asked Alin at the start of the week if the Mayor had come up with a price yet. This morning's conversation ran:
" An' when I am asking the Mayor about that land there, he is saying to me, of course it's Mr. K's"
" Ok, but what's the price?"
" No price"
" No Alin, I don't want to commit to it until I know the price."
" No no Mr. K, there is no price." Slight pause.
" Alin, I'm not buying it if I don't know the price."
" Mr. K, there is no price. He gives it to you." Long pause.
" Ok, he gives it to me - but for how much?"
" No price." Longer pause.
" Do you mean he is giving me that piece of land for nothing?"
" Yes yes, definitely."
" Nothing? Free?"
" Yes yes, no price"
" But what about the City Council?"
" No the Mayor he say Mr. K want that land and they all vote to give it to you for free."
Not too sure what this will actually cost in the long run - at the very least quite a few extremely expensive meals ( for Romania anyway). And some pretty sore heads too.