In Romania, it is now:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Veronica, The Little Green Man, and the Superfeet of Romanian Women

I've met my counterpart and she's terrific! Veronica is intelligent, understanding, attractive and just idealistic enough to make a great partner for forward-thinking projects. We both love Hemingway, poetry, movies and Sandra Bullock. Neither of us has ever been able to keep pet fish alive and after getting lost on our way back from the train station to the university (when we decided to use our 2-hour lunch to purchase our tickets for Monday night's 15-hour train trip) we confessed that neither of us has a smidgen of directional sense. I really like this young woman and want my son Dan to visit soon. ;-) (I know, I know--but mother knows best.) **** The traffic in our training site city is insane--in a sort of Italy-meets-Bali choreography that keeps pedestrians--well, on their toes. The little green man crossing signal is merely a suggestion that this might be the best time to take your life in your hands (feet?) and attempt a crossing. Drivers DO NOT see this as a mandatory stop signal for them. If you are directly in front of one, he/she will screech to a halt and literally rev the motor waiting for you to get out of the way. I have--many times--been in the middle of a crosswalk and had cars whizzing by in front of me and behind me. Sometimes they weave AROUND me. The best thing to do is stand as near a little old bunica as you can and cross when she crosses. Yet--I've never witnessed an accident and don't hear of hits--except for the poor stray dogs whose population is somewhat controlled in this way. *** When I meet a well-dressed Romanian woman on the street, I can see her eyes focus immediately on my shoes. I can just read her thoughts about my ugly walking sandals. Because Romanian women wear pretty shoes. In stiletto-heeled or high-wedged, bow-trimmed or ankle-strapped, lipstick red, sunflower yellow, or lime green shoes, they sashay down the rough-paved sidewalks, around the standing rain water, through construction sites with the adroitness of mountain goats and the grace of butterflies. And they do this for block after block. I stand in awe. Walking only a few (3 on most days) miles a day, I still need something cushy and reasonably low to carry me along without injury. And still, I've had some minor ankle problems and some swelling. I'm trying to reason that it's an age thing, but I've seen plenty of older women in those fashionable little torture chambers, too. Veronica and I agreed today that heels definitely make women's legs look better and we like that, but... She, by the way, took a middle path today with pretty medium-wedge sandals. I? Well, yes, I was in the more attractive of my two pairs of walking sandals. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Whatever happened to those thick heeled plain black pumps I remember so many European women wearing (well, except for the Italians and Parisians)? I'm with you girl -- love those comfy walking sandals!