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He's got the hat, she's got the shoes, this could work I guess. He also is carrying her jacket while she has a coffee, a phone, a pack of cigarettes and a cigarette in her hands.

She was carrying her jacket herself though. But then he had a union jack t-shirt, red sunglasses and two bracelets, carrying jackets might have spoiled the look.

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It is quite a walk.

In Transylvania, Romania.

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This is a popular spot to steal wifi in central Brasov. I think it is the office of some government agency and one of their wifi connections is not password protected. I did what this dude is doing one minute before I took this photo of him.

In Brasov, Transylvania, Romania


Sep. 13th, 2016 11:32 pm
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These guys were working on an installation at Sibiu Tattoo Expo.

Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania

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When we visited Transylvania's last gothic fortified church in Biertan (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) they told us how the Saxons who lived there used to deal with the couples asking for a divorce.

To ensure that the husband and wife really thought things through, they were required to live together for two weeks locked up in a tiny room with one single bed, a single plate, just one fork, a single chair, etc. The guide got really excited telling us that it worked so well that although many couples got locked up for two weeks, there was only one divorce while the practice was in use. I just had to ask how many of the rest of the cases ended up in murder trials instead. They did not have that statistics.
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Arabella McIntyre-Brown, a British writer and publisher, moves to an isolated village in Transylvania, where she organizes workshops, writes non-fiction and crime novels and watches the world go by.

"When she moved to the village, people kept asking her how come she’s not married, how come she’s a woman living alone. “They just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t married. But when I said I was a writer…’well…in that case…it explains everything’. So I can get away with murder because I’m a writer. I’m just an odd English woman writer,” she said laughing."

Full article is here.

I read Arabella's book Liverpool: The First 1,000 Years, which was a best-seller and hit no.2 around Christmas.

Arabella's sister was Virginia Frances "Ginny", Lady Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes an explorer, the first woman to be awarded the Polar Medal and the wife of adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

The village of Magura, which Arabella moved to is beautiful, see here.
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At least that's what her t-shirt said.

In Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania

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You may remember that I thought it was a bad idea to base this campaign on not wanting to be stuck on an island with Boris and Nigel because, as little as I knew about Romanian politicians I still suspected that many of them would have been a much worse company to be stuck with than Nigel.

The city in the centre of that campaign is Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania's largest city, second largest city in Romania and home to Romania's largest university and student community.

Today I was told a little bit about Gheorghe Funar, mayor of Cluj-Napoca 1992 - 2004 and currently the General Secretary of the Greater Romania Party and an MP.

I will not bore you with the details of his ridiculous xenophobic policies as mayor (he also ran a huge Ponzi scheme on the side) and will just share a couple of his latest thoughts, which include "World's Jewish Government wants to move Israel into Romanian borders and is trying to exterminate Romanian people by using food additives" and "There are already more than 2 million Jews in Romania working for its destruction". Apparently he also claims that theory of relativity was developed by the Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu and was stolen by Einstein (described by Funar as a "retarded individual").

Yeah...well...about being stuck on an island with Boris and Nigel....I think the Brits are probably fine for now.
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My food was taking a bit too long at this cafe in Brasov. Luckily there were people to photograph behind that window. Like these two friends:

I know you want to see the second one closer too. Here, I took a photo of her too:

A minute later they got inside the cafe and sat at the table next to mine.
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Transylvania uses Brexit in its campaign to attract British entrepreneurs. Interestingly, they excluded Scotland and Northern Ireland and combined England and Wales together.

I think the bit about not wanting to be stuck on the same island with Boris and Nigel is not necessary. I would use something softer and not so negative because one does not have to try hard to get negative about Romania with its super corrupt politicians who can make Boris and Nigel look like Buddha and Mother Theresa so you just don't want to be in the looking-for-negatives space here.

Two Romanians have launched a DIY immigration campaign to tempt British entrepreneurs who are unhappy with the EU referendum result to relocate to Transylvania.

"Transylvania Beyond" is pushing promoted ads on Facebook saying: "If you don't fancy the idea of being stuck on an island with Boris & Nigel for the rest of your life, we might have a plan."

The post then links to a website encouraging people to move to Transylvania, the Romanian region famous for its association with Dracula. The website, specifically tailored to British citizens, then lists reasons to move such as great scenery, healthcare, good airport connections, fast internet speeds, and a large number of tech specialists.

The website ends with this message: "If you're interested to build a company in Transylvania, let us know and we can introduce you to the startup & tech community in Cluj, Transylvania."

The outreach is tinged with a sad irony — much of the right wing press' campaign against EU immigration has focused around the number of Romanians who have come to the UK. It's heartening to find they still have a place for Brits in their home.

"What we don’t have here is a solid entrepreneurial culture. If we can get a few hundred British entrepreneurs to move here and start a business here, we might solve the problem and create the spark that this region needs, in order to become a major tech hub in Europe."

Docea says the campaign has already been "more successful than we could have expected", adding: "Every 9 minutes there’s a new email coming from a British entrepreneur impressed by the story and interested in relocating to Transylvania.

"If we keep going like this, we expect to reach a thousand British entrepreneurs interested in Transylvania in less than a month. If 5% of them will actually start a business here this year, it’s already an amazing achievement for our region."

As well as the Transylvania Beyond campaign, the Guardian reports that Bucharest newspaper Gandul has launched a "Romanians for Remainians" campaign calling for Brits to "leave the Brexiters, the quarrelling and the weather behind" and "start brand new life."

There are quite a lot of Brits who already live in Transylvania, we have heard about more than a couple of writers for example. The guy who runs the largest real estate agency is also British apparently, he used to be a design manager at Aston Martin we were told. We also heard about one guy who helps the children of Romanian elite get into Oxford and Cambridge and prepares them for it. He is doing very well apparently. And there is Prince Charles of course. You can become his neighbour in Breb on the cheap. We were told that he spends at least a couple of weeks each year there and William and Harry also visit.
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I would not have noticed her no would I have taken this picture of her if it wasn't for her dad. The girl was walking ahead of her parents, very relaxed, the mother was looking around also very relaxed. But the dad did not look happy and was tense. He was giving this look to anyone who looked in the direction of his daughter. I just had to take this picture of them because of the dad. I do not know if it captures how on guard he was and his reaction at least a little because I saw it in person and I cannot see this picture separately from that experience.

In Brasov, Transylvania, Romania

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It was a rainy day with no sun. The sky was overcast but it still looked great.

In Transylvania, Romania

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you still can't help it, it is automatic.

In Brasov, Transylvania, Romania

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In Baile Tusnad, Transylvania, Romania

I love NY

Jun. 10th, 2016 06:49 am
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The Roma boys in Transylvania are easily recognisable by their hats, they always have them on. And you cannot miss a Gypsy girl, their dresses and headscarves are very colourful, often to the point of trippy.

In Sibiu, Romania

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This is the entrance at the back of our host's garden. There is a stream a couple of hundred meters down the mountain path from there. I forgot a bucket near the stream and was going to go and get it but ran into our host's son at the back of the garden and he thought it would be better to bring the bucket back in the morning because "it is getting dark and there will be more bears now".

I still went and got the bucket. I worked in the City and definitely saw more bears than that Transylvanian boy. My last trade was part of a bearish strategy. And yes, "it is getting dark and there will be more bears now" is as true about the markets as it is about Transylvanian forests.

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I had to drive through Bran in Transylvania yesterday (this is where the "Dracula Castle" is) and this time I noticed that all of the trade there is done in three languages, Romanian (obviously), English (understandable) and surprisingly, Hebrew. One also can hear Hebrew spoken everywhere in the shops and the restaurants too. Israelis seem to love this place.

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We gave everything edible we had with us to these two friends.

In Transylvania (again), Romania

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We stopped in this town to stock up on water and food and saw this wedding procession. This part of Transylvania is mostly Hungarian.
The groom walks three paces behind the bride and is looking straight into my camera.

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Looking at old synagogues of Transylvania I could detect a little bit of Moorish influence in many of them.

Synagogue in Medias, Transylvania.


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January 2017

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