Brașov in the grip of frost

Bucharest177I hadn't seen much through the minibus window of what must have been a lovely journey across the mountains. At Brașov it was still snowing lightly at 7 pm, and it felt too cold to walk to the hostel. In spots ice sheet made the pavement rather slippery. Minus eight, displayed a red led thermometer in the street.

At the foothills of the Carpatians

Bucharest134Well, with only few days at my disposal it would have made more sense to skip Curtea de Argeș altogether: the attractions in town are not mind-blowing, and the fortress ruins lie at a certain distance into the Carpatians. However I had a hotel reservation which I couldn't change.

Krakow, a December night

Krakow145It was foggy all over Krakow and a sprinkle of snow created a very wintery scene. I had seen no sun during the whole day and sunset had surprisingly started at the early hour of 3.30 pm. The Christmas atmosphere was really strong: horse-drawn carriages waiting near the tall tree, the church steeples losing themselves in the mist, the Christmas market and plenty of decorations everywhere.

Awkward social game

Krakow145A social game like that was probably not the best choice for the party. I wouldn't say it spoilt the atmosphere, but as our host announced what we would play after eating, I cringed with apprehension. I still put the thought off until when I'd have to face the situation. Maybe, when my turn came to publicly present the person sitting next to me, I would be inspired with something really witty, although chances were I'd just be stuck for words, or ideas. I would certainly not sacrifice good taste or the loyalty I owed to my victim for the sake of being funny, and so the risk of making a faux pas would be likely to make my speech dull. I could always hope I would not be chosen to speak – in fact the rest didn't seem particularly keen on playing either, and the game was likely to die down after few presentations.

Change of work

Ferrara 2877When I went to Marmomacc in September my mind was perturbed by the fear I was probably attending for the last time, and I felt vaguely uncomfortable, but as a matter of fact this melancholy was triggered by a general insecurity concerning my position at the Chamber of commerce. Time before my boss had told me that the two promotional departments would be merged into one, and one of their head officers would be destined to some other assignment. There and then, I brushed the subject off with nonchalance, put on an unaffected air and kept the strategy of not coming out into the open. I was directly concerned, but I didn't let such a vague announcement worry me much, although I could take it as a preparation for a decision already made about who would be moved.