Bucharest – Little Summit In Paris

I hadn't wanted to leave Bucharest during the NATO summit (2-4 April, 2008). Why should I have left? I'd have left after and not before it. To me Bucharest seems to be now exactly how it should be all the time. Less traffic in the center, more traffic on the outskirts of the city. People who walk on one-way little streets and are not run over by hurried taxi drivers. No sidewalks crammed with cars up to the walls of the buildings. A lot of nice foreigners. A lot of young people who enjoy the beauty of the nature and feel protected by the dozens of policemen. A lot of policemen at the crossroads, four at the University Square, six in the Union Square and so on. The restaurants are empty. The snipers can hardly wait for some law infringements to reestablish order. Women feel safe at night and children can play in front of their buildings without being attacked by bad guys. Fir-trees have been planted in the neighborhoods. The asphalt shines with cleanness. No cigarette butts. The mobile phones are jammed by special electronic devices. You feel relaxed and the chats with people take place not on the phone, but naturally, as in the countryside, when you meet them in the street. The old-fashioned magic of the dial phone penetrates our consciousness again. Or on the contrary, people talk on Skype, carrying the technological progress even further. Policemen's truncheons make spring more beautiful and secure. It seems even the air smells better and cleaner, being protected from the fumes of the Romanian cars. The official convoy has foreign cars, with Euro 5 filters, more silent and more efficient than the electric cars. I think there won't be any earthquakes in this period. I'd like Bucharest to look like this all year long. If we got used to 400 tons of dust per square kilometer, we won't die of so much normality. 24 FUN, April 2008 Translated by Monica Manolachi

by Cătălin Matei