Being out in the fields in the sunshine is one of the reasons I come to Romania, and yesterday was one of those days when we had to walk the fields in company and have fields pointed out to us and discuss what needed to be done to them. It was the most perfect day and I am now boasting a winter tan.
The day stared with Toaderico insisting we had some mulled wine against the cold ( it was about 17c in the sunshine) followed up with a ride to the further reaches of the empire sitting, emperor like, on a plank across the trailer.
Toaderico used to work in Germany but as he says he hated it. He made pots of money but was so so miserable he had to drink it all. Now he is back in the village of his birth ( Alma Vii) and happy as one of his pigs in the mud bath he calls his back yard.
We set off in search of a fabled lake, which Toaderico assured us he had used to visit when he was a child. We found it all right, but unfortunately the end had been dynamited to get the fish out by some shepherds years ago. Potentially it's a lovely spot, but, frankly,there is little of merit in rebuilding the end, because it is too far away from anything to enable a profit to be turned. But the ride on the tractor was huge fun, enlivened by Toaderico's 4-speaker mp3 player blasting out Romanian music. I would estimate it is at least 20 years old.
The walking started thereafter, and five hours later we got back to the tractor. The land we surveyed was more than good, and Toaderico's instructions in terms of ploughing, treating weeds and generally making ready for planting were all costed and agreed.
Nothing would do, of course, but that we should go to his mother's house for a drink and lunch ( by now it was 4:30 - bit early but still) where we fed the pigs and chickens with corn ( I'm almost sure it's mine but who knows) and ate a delicious dish which I could only describe as scrambled eggs with cheese and really thick very well cooked bacon. The only drawback was the two glasses of tuica I had to consume before I could get to the food. But the business was done and that was the major point.
In the meantime a herd of locusts had descended on the car, with people waving property titles at us and demanding we consider their land, particularly as it was especially good and productive, unlike their neighbour's which was rubbish. We have had to institute a policy that we pay the identical price everywhere, as otherwise it would be a spiral and create great ill will. As it is, people either accept or reject the price is it suits them, and we then have to do the hard work of registrating it ( as Alin would say ) and transferring title. In the event none of them wanted to accept the prices, but I have no doubt they will in time.
The day ended with dinner at the BinderBubi for 6 which worked out at GBP7 per head. Considering the wine, three courses, coffee and beers I though this more than cheap...