Was this your feeling when you returned for the first time to Romania ?
Sure, of course! Always. I have a terrible desire of coming back. Probably the warmest and most beautiful lines in my book are those talking about Eastern Europe and Romania. Other people had the same impression. If we see things in terms of warm and cold, of energy, of dynamics, I situate myself near Eastern Europe. Not because I wouldn’t know Zurich and the capitalist world. I live more here than there. My soul is shaped according to a modern Western European spirit. But still, there is something deeper that can touch me. A lot of emigrants confirmed this. There is a phenomenon happening at the level of senses, when you hear, see and smell things. With every meter getting closer to your homeland, even in Hungary, I feel how my emotional state is changing, I enter in a sort of excitement and I want it. For instance, in the second book, when the two characters get to the border of Romania – the one where eight years before the boy was waiting to be let out in fear of uniforms, of soldiers and of being delivered to the state power – the young man is confronted with the same place, the same uniforms, behaviour, images, smells and after eight years of western freedom he finds them attractive. Even the uniform that scared him so much looses its destructive value and he wants to see it. This border is a nucleus of contradictions. While traveling physically he also travels psychologically, he looks around, sees the ugliness and misery, and he recognises them as his own and says: „This is me“. This is a contradiction, like a medal with two sides which you cannot separate. He accepts this misery as his own and in this context he moves himself in Romania felling the psychological level: the alcoholic uncle is on his deathbed, people ask him for money, people lie to him, people are confused. Someone tells him „Here everyone has his own truth and often his own lie“. Romanian society is not a normal one.

This brings to my mind a radio dialogue Vienna-Bucharest, where I was invited three months ago during the „Romanian cultural weeks“. There was also a Romanian member of an academy living in Belgium. He wanted very much to put Romania in a good light, which I would like too, if it were realistic. He ended the discussion by saying „Romanian society is a healthy one“. And than, the program space was finished. I would have liked to say that this phrase is like slapping in the face 22 of million Romanians who do not know how to make it through the winter, millions of professors and teachers who must count their money for potatoes and bread after having worked a lifetime and being respected. In a society where corruption starts within the political class and goes all the way through society, where luxury is being exposed on the street and at the same time people must bend their head and go by humbled by this opulence … No, I do not consider Romania a healthy society.





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