Thursday, November 26, 2009

Back to work

With my friend having left, it is back to the grindstone today with a vengeance.
Having had the long drive to and from Cluj last night we filled up with petrol. There, in the hut that serves as an office, amidst the various maps and papers, was the very latest monthly from JAMIE OLIVER - in Romanian, teaching them how to cook. I can't help but think his recipes don't start with.. " Take a pig..." or " take 20 litres of neat alcohol." I daresay someone must be buying it.
The second round of the Presidential elections takes place on 6th December. Today, in an effort to dislodge Basescu, the Liberal party ( nominally his supporters ) the PSD, the PC, the "Transylvania for Hungarians" party and the " Kill all Hungarians" party formed a pact which, with a bit of luck, might get rid of him and deliver Geoana. There has been skullduggery at work. A large Geoana poster, set in 5 cm thick metal posts and in concrete was rammed and destroyed by a politically motivated vehicle from downtown Medias. At least that is the story. I suspect it may have been a drunk.
They do go a bit further than we do. In the petrol station you can get Geoana adverts which are actually the smelly things you hang in your car to make it smell nice.
I was particularly delighted to see the corn mill at work today. This dates back ( in part) to the early 1800s, and still takes in the corn cobs from the locals, grinds the corn and gives it back for a fee in time-honoured fashion. Here, the fee is usually a percentage of the amount milled. There was a most picturesque queue of worthy sons and daughters of the soil, along with their carts and horses, waiting to have their corn dealt with. It is mostly made into polenta, and is also mixed with wheat flour to make the bread go further.
Our first call was to Mosna Town Hall. We had asked Vasily, the map supremo, to extract names and addresses against field numbers.
There was no sign of him. One of the ladies told us that he had worked all night, fortified by copious draughts of tuica, and had had to be carried home at 7am when everyone came to work. The Mayor had granted him official leave to stay there until Monday...
Armed with our list ( the first names were clear and legible, the later ones very squiggly and a bit unsteady) we set off to check the fields themselves against the maps.
Always when we do this we are followed by a gaggle of old men and women, all of whom know every blade of grass and who it belongs to - except none of it corresponds with the maps or the property titles. It was a glorious day once more and we walked a total of about 12 kms checking and cross checking - the property titles also tell you who is to the North, South, East and West, so it is easy enough to check correctly, just time consuming. In the distance we could see Toaderico ploughing some of our fields. It was a treat to see a small patchwork of presently unused land being transferred into one large piece that will hopefully be productive. I had had some deep holes dug at various points in an area we are interested in, and we checked how they were coming on. All were more than 2 meters deep, and all still showing deep black earth even at the bottom. I told the diggers to stop - the land is more than good.
On our way back we came across the Mayor supervising the re-erection of the giant Geoana poster, and told him of our discoveries. His face broke into a broad grin.
"Ah, da. Forte Bine - terren fromose."
The land is good.

No comments: