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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Artist's Trip to Suceava & Noncoincidence of the Day

Charles on his Suzuki in India
I am staying currently in Caminul Economica at FSEGA, the Faculty of Economics at Babeș-Bolyai University is Cluj-Napoca, Romania.  The Caminul is a modern dormitory in which the Faculty reserves a few rooms for visitors, and I am fortunate to be allowed to stay here as I have another conference to attend early in June.

This morning, I ate a good cold breakfast of Müsli with milk, sliced Romanian salami, and smoked cheese.  But this time, as opposed to my previous stays here, I have not retrieved the large box from Horațius' warehouse containing my "kitchen," and thus I have no way to boil water for coffee.  Dying for a coffee, and not up for spending the time to go to Iulius Mall for an overpriced coffee at Starbucks, I asked the doorman, "Unde este o cafea mai apropre de Economica?"  That was my best attempt at "Where is the nearest coffee?"  He came outside the front door with me, and indicated that I should hang a left at the first street.  Sure enough, there was a cafe (and beer garden) only one city block from the dorm.

On the patio were a young man who looked like a student, and a Romanian fellow of 50 or so.  While I was inside meeting Andrea, the waitress, and ordering "o cafea lunga," a young woman arrived and joined the student, so I sat down at the table with the man, who had waved to welcome me to a chair. We had as much of a conversation as I am able to have in Romanian, but it didn't go far, and he got on his telephone.  Then, the young girl, whom I had heard speaking with the lad in English, got up and left to go do whatever she had to do this Sunday morning.

So, I asked the lad if he wanted another coffee, and he accepted, and I changed to his table.  "Yes, I am a student here," he told me, introducing himself as Charles J.  de B., from Liege, Belgium. But, it turned out that Charles is studying not at UBB, but at the local university of art, studying painting.

Further conversation led to my learning that Charles has been living in many countries, and has visited many more, as his father is a diplomat.  He lived for several years in Mamaroneck, New York.  He and his brother traveled to India once, where they spent several months, and bought two motorcycles, a small Suzuki (above), and a Royal Enfield 350.  He is a biker.

I inquired about Charles' interests in art, and learned that he is a realist, who uses that style interpretatively (if there is such a word).  I told him about my having met Mihai Moroșan, and showed him a couple of my blog posts on Mihai and his work.
Moroșan Fresco at Biserica Putna
A great friend here has offered me a car for the weekend, so on Friday, Charles and I will drive to Suceava to introduce this budding painter to a fresco master of Christian iconography. Along the way, we shall see Voroneț, and perhaps Putna monasteries.

Ever wonder why I love Cluj?

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