For the second time in his life Konst was invited to a very real
Romanian wedding party. On Saturday, the 24th July, Mihai "Mishoo" Bazon
got married. Must mention here that he is an excellent developer, and
the author of well-known things such as the web-calendar and HTML editor
name, but many have used his projects, especially the calendar.
Mishoo has a plan to open the web site of his own company at dynarch.com soon. Judging from the recent
news on his personal
page, currently Mishoo is working on quite an interesting thingy.
According to him, it's going to be "something that noone saw". More
precisely, it will be a visual SQL-editor, able to run in a web-browser.
Those are plans for the future, but for the last weekend there was a
single, but major plan to have fun and to hang out at the party. In the
best traditions, via snail mail in an envelope saying "Onor, d-lui
Klyagin Konstantin" (honour, to mister ..) I received the following
On Thursday I phoned to the Dunarea (Danube) hotel in Galati and made a
reservation for a single room. The journey itself gave me a lot of
positive emotions and a lot of fun.
As soon as I got on the train called Sageata abastra (Blue arrow)
Bucharest-Galati, a friend phoned me. Spontaneously he made a decision
to go to the sea and wanted to ask me what buses go to Constanta and
where they depart from. We spoke in Russian, and as soon as I finished
the talk, a lady of about 35 years old who was sitting opposite to me,
asked: "Are you from Russia?". "From Ukraine" -- I answered. Frankly
speaking, after the first few phrases I thought my fellow traveler was
of a Russian origin, because she was talking very fluently and without
any accent. Her appearance (she had blonde hair and blue eyes) also
suggested this version. However, she appeared to be Romanian, working in
Galati city administration, department of international relations. She
was glad to practice her Russian with me and we talked all way long.
Again, I was very surprised by her grammar knowledge and accent. It was
even more surprising to hear that she learned the language from the
grammar books and TV. Sometimes she lacked some words, but with a little
practice her Russian could be perfect, with no exaggeration.
While in the train, my fellow traveler kept on telling me interesting
things about the projects of European Union to revive the economy of the
South-Eastern region of Romania, with investments into the port and
shipyards. I also found out the techno-park in Galati, with had been
discussed for so long, was already open and populated with offices of
major IT companies. In a nutshell, techno-park is such a house built
especially for offices of technology companies. Those of them that chose
to have offices in the techno-park are given some tax discounts. The
project aim is to attract investments into the city's technology sector
and offer more jobs. They say the park looks nice and very modern.
Unfortunately, Konst still haven't got a chance to visit this miracle.
As far as I know it's somewhere in the port area.
The lady on the train told me about another city's place of interest --
a TV-tower. In the top of it there is a restaurant, just like the "7th
sky" place they have in Ostankino tower in Moscow. I was strongly
advised to visit it, but still, no luck so far.
In the evening I found out that in the same train, exactly behind my
back another invited person from Bucharest was sitting. On the party she
sat next to me. When I asked her when she came to Galati, she told she
had already had a chance to hear me speak Russian all the way. But when
one of the invited Romanian guys phoned me and I spoke in Romanian, she
got pretty sure I was heading to the same wedding.
Konst's plan to see the religious part of the event was carried out only
partially. While I was in the hotel room leaving my things and changing
clothes, the most of the ceremony passed. I came to the church only 10
minutes before it was over. It had the name of St. Nicolae and from
inside it looked like a usual small church. Inside all the invited guys
were standing, and the priest was saying various wishes to the newly
married couple. Soon it was over and everyone gave them kisses and
wished everything nice on their own behalf.
An unpleasant thing happened when everyone was leaving the church. When
the guys got into a car, a Gipsy girl came up and started to demand
money in a very abusive manner. Someone made an unwise thing and gave
her some sum. This made her only demand more saying it was not enough.
It was impossible to make her go away, while saying harsh words didn't
work. She seemed to be a seasoned one. Probably she is there each time
someone is having a wedding. We could get rid of her only by leaving.
Well, such things happen rather often, but each time it's rather
The Hotel and the City
The intersection where the two hotels, "Dunarea" and "Galati" are
situated is considered the very downtown. The price I paid per night for
a room at "Dunarea" was 1.014.000 lei (~$30). It's a two-stars hotel.
The room was a small one, with a TV-set, a fridge, minibar and a
bathroom. Anyway, it was ok to sleep in after the party.
There were several hours between the ceremony and the party that Konst
decided to devote to the exploration of the city. With me there was
Bogdan, an ex-colleague from Iasi and his girl-friend. The embankment of
Danube is traditionally considered the city's main place of interest. So
we couldn't help paying it a visit. There are at least two words in
Romanian for "embankment": faleza and splai. For some misterious reason,
in Iasi and Bucharest they call it splai, while in Galati everyone says
faleza, the two words being synonyms though. Anyway, on faleza there was
a monument of Bratianu, a famous politician, a crowd of people walking
up and down the street and a lot of cafes. We chose to have a beer on a
drifting terrace. Chairs and tables were made of plastic, and the type
of the service was that of quite Soviet-times kind. The platform the
place was based on was connected to the big land by a small brigde.
Having our beer, we were looking at the opposite shore of Danube. There
were some fields and woodlands.
The main street of Galati is called strada Domneasca. It's a really long
one, passing through the whole city, from the railway-station to the
embankment. Galati is quite a clean city, and compared to Bucharest
looks quiet and relaxed. It reminded me of Iasi. Just like the look (and
style) of the two cities, the accent of the people from them is also
pretty similar. I spent a year of my life in Iasi, which left me a lot
of nice memories. Must also mention that at most I liked Romanians from
the Eastern region called Moldova. That's why just after I took a cab
from the railway-station I was very pleased to hear the driver speaking
with the specific Eastern accent. He was very emotional and told me a
bunch of stories about his clients. Another thing that makes difference
between the capital and smaller cities here is that taxi services have
better cars and polite drivers.
Wedding parties usually take place in the nighttime here. This one
started at about 9pm. We came after 10 o'clock. The place was called
clubul CFR (former railway workers' house of culture). It was a hall
with a scene, where also were tables decorated with balloons and a bit
later -- with food. In pauses between dances and drinks people went out
to have some fresh air. In one of such moments I talked with the father
of the bridegroom. Mr. Vlad Bazon is an informatics teacher at a lyceum
in Vaslui. He authored several books in the domain and was very proud
for his son who chose the same way and had already had some
I also found out that besides programming, Mishoo's father was fond of
playing chess. So I remembered a good friend of mine from Iasi whose
father is a chess teacher at a former pioneers' house. He also wrote a
couple of quite popular books on the subject. Mr. Marian Dominte always
gave me nice receptions at his house when I came in a visit. It appeared
that Mr. Bazon knew him and they even played one against another. When I
found out that I thought I would say hi on his behalf, and the next day
I did it. It's a small world, even when you are a Russian living in
Besides Mishoo's father, I got a chance to meet some more interesting
fellows at the party. Among them there even were fans of what yours
sincerelly writes here, like Bobby (childhood friend of Mishoo's) and
his girl-friend. In addition, sometimes Bobby writes on his own. His own
blog (site, portal?) is called centruldecazare.ro (don't ask
me why). It's in Romanian only. There also was a very charismatic
policeman guy and the "nash" constantly saying various jokes.
According to the tradition, there is a guy on the Romanian wedding
called "nash". He's a rude or a friend who pays for everything. That's
why each 2nd song was dedicated to the "nash". This time I also extended
my knowledge of the wedding terminology. I knew it before that there was
the same word for his and her parents (socri), quite similar to the one
from Russian (svyokry). However, in Russian we have two different words
for the two families. The thing I didn't know was that there could be
big and small parents-in-law. The big ones come from his side, while
small come from the opposite.
Compared to Russian or Ukrainian wedding, the Romanian one is more
money-oriented. Here you won't be able to get along giving an original
gift of a dinner set or a statuette. Money is usually given instead. I
was worried to find an envelope, but my Romanian colleague said he
hadn't yet seen a wedding where envelopes were not put on the tables.
Indeed, envelopes with names of invited persons written on them were
there from the beginning of the party.
Must mention that on some weddings envelopes are not considered enough.
In addition, they practice an unpleasant tradition when given sums of
money are announced by someone in a microphone. Probably they do it to
stimulate the guests to give more, I don't know. However, coming to the
wedding of a guy I respect, I won't feel good giving a little money.
Something tells me that the tradition with opening envelopes and crying
out something like "mister Popescu gave $200!" was borrowed from the
Gypsies. Rarely you'll see such things on intelligent people's weddings.
Obviously, those who organized the party ignored this tradition.
At the end of the party there was a cake. The bride's veil was put on
the head of a young lady from the guests, and also the bouquet was
thrown. At about 5am the people started to leave. So did I, went to the
hotel to catch some sleep. The next day, after the traditional
anti-hangover soup and a walk along the city Konst took a train that
brought him back to Bucharest.
Now the newly-weds are enjoying their honeymoon. Taking the opportunity
the whole staff of thekonst.net consisting of myself and
everything I consist of, wants to wish Mihai and Irina a great family
life. "Casa de piatra" like they say here. House of stone.