Csíkszereda Musings

My life in and around Csíkszereda, also known as Miercurea Ciuc.

Archive for the ‘pictures’ Category

Going for a song

Posted by Andy Hockley on 27 July, 2008

Who among us has not pondered listlessly on what a traditional Szekely peasant house looks like? Who can honestly say that they haven’t lain awake at night wondering if there would ever be someone, anyone, who might assuage their thirst for this gap in their knowledge? Well, fear not because help is at hand. No longer will you need to feel that emptiness in your soul, no longer will you contemplate the days stretching unending before you without knowing what the Szekely paraszthaz resembles. Because, here, with only a mere paragraph of bush-beating to precede its unveiling, is one:The roof is shingles, and there are basically two rooms. As with all old houses round these parts there is no bathroom (as there is rarely running water).

Why, you may now be asking (having slaked your thirst for knowledge re images) is he showing us this house at this juncture? Well, it’s because it’s ours. We bought it this week. It’s ace. I mean it’s utterly knackered and would be politely described as a “fixer upper” by a British estate agent, but we fully intend to fix it up (slowly and surely bit by bit as we have the money to do so). It’s in the small village of Csikbankfalva (Bancu in Romanian) which is about 15 kms from here (but on good roads). It is surrounded by 11 ares of land. I had never actually heard the term “are” before I came here, but it’s always used for describing the area of properties here (and I have discovered that we do have the term in English, we just don’t use it – one are is 100 square metres if you can’t be bothered to click on that link).

Anyway, this week, in between apocalyptic rain storms we started cleaning out the barn – didn’t I mention the barn? It has a barn. We intend to make the barn something we can live in on weekends while we use the garden, and next year work on the house. It’s in better shape than the house and looks like this:As we cleaned it out, we happened upon loads of bizarre antiques which would go well in a museum (somebody suggested we should sell them on ebay). Things like old milk pails, knife grinders, various kit for weaving stuff, and a few things that I had no idea what they were. One of them was made from a hollowed out horn and had a hook on it – this turned out to be something you fill with water and hang on your belt, then you put your sharpening stone in it and when you are out in the fields with your scythe, you can sharpen it without going home. Fascinating stuff, hey? (He says, trying to wake everyone up). What would Arthur Negus make of that? (I expect Arthur Negus is dead these days, so he probably wouldn’t make much of it, but what would he have made of it when he was alive? Huh? HUH?)

Oh, and it has an outdoor bread oven too. It’s mint.

Anyway, our new house. I’m in Barcelona now, but I’d much rather be in Bankfalva. I’m guessing that is the first time in the history of human thought that that particular sentence has ever seen the light of day.

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Child Labour

Posted by Andy Hockley on 3 July, 2008

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7/7/7 in pictures

Posted by Andy Hockley on 7 July, 2007

A photo post, hot off the camera (as ever, clicking on any of these will bring them up to a more viewable size)

First off a couple of shots of a bunch of Szekelys being Szekelyish. Today is the “Ezer Szekely Leany” festival (1000 Szekely girls). I’m not really sure what happens in this festival, because I think I’ve been away each at the relevant time of year previously, but they did some kind of dancing and wandering around in traditional costume stuff in the square and then all trotted off to Csiksomlyo for the main event, which we may, if time permits, go and check out later.

Chauffeurs waiting for their clients

Some of the eponymous Szekely girls

The Zsögöd contingent with ineffective camouflage

Enough with the Szekely girls and onto some shots of the town, that may or may not be of interest.

This appeared in town the other day:
A touch screen tourist information thingy, with a webcam and email facility and apparently wireless internet access if you sit near it. In Csikszereda. What on earth is going here? Anyone would think we were in Europe.

I’ve been meaning to take a picture of this shop window for months now.
A shop that apparently sells kitsch rubbish and knick knacks (or “Tchotchkis” as I’ve heard them called – spelling unknown), along with costumes recovered from the film sets of 1970s porn films. Who is going to buy that outfit, I wonder to myself every time I pass the shop. Yes, you’re not mistaken, the black bits are kind of PVC vinyl. It’s strangely fascinating to me, and I find myself spellbound by it everytime I pass.

One of those monuments that has recently caused such trouble in Estonia


The big cultural event of the moment in town. people are being bussed in from all over Transylvania to see these paintings in the castle to which this poster is affixed.

Tomatoes with nipples, as mentioned here

And a couple more random pictures.


And, finally, for no reason whatsoever, not that I need one, Paula on the phone talking to her broker.

Posted in csikszereda, pictures | 4 Comments »

Pictures from Kathmandu

Posted by Andy Hockley on 6 March, 2007

A slideshow of some selected pictures from Kathmandu can be seen here, in case you’re interested.

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Pictures from Kathmandu

Posted by Andy Hockley on 6 March, 2007

A slideshow of some selected pictures from Kathmandu can be seen here, in case you’re interested.

Posted in pictures, travel | Leave a Comment »

See that hole in the middle?

Posted by Andy Hockley on 10 November, 2006

While looking for some info on this Romanian Academy yesterday, I came across the following photo, which shows the regions where Romania is the first language and divides them up into dialect. I’m posting it here because it is one of the clearest maps I’ve seen which shows exactly where I live – that bit in the middle which is left uncoloured.

(It came from the Wikipedia page on Romanian Language).

Posted in csikszereda, pictures, romania | 6 Comments »

See that hole in the middle?

Posted by Andy Hockley on 10 November, 2006

While looking for some info on this Romanian Academy yesterday, I came across the following photo, which shows the regions where Romania is the first language and divides them up into dialect. I’m posting it here because it is one of the clearest maps I’ve seen which shows exactly where I live – that bit in the middle which is left uncoloured.

(It came from the Wikipedia page on Romanian Language).

Posted in csikszereda, pictures, romania | 5 Comments »

Apologies for absence

Posted by Andy Hockley on 28 March, 2006

My current work schedule involves me spending 8 hours a day hunched over a keyboard typing material for an Educational Management CD Rom, and hence I am not especially desirous of spending my free time hunched over a keyboard typing up amusing slices of life in the eastern Carpathians. Plus my eye’s playing up again (it’s dust season in Csikszereda). Hence the current lack of activity on this blog. Soz.

Still, to keep you going here are a couple of pictures from last Saturday, from the village of Piricske overlooking the town and across to the mountains on the other side.

Posted in pictures | 2 Comments »

Apologies for absence

Posted by Andy Hockley on 28 March, 2006

My current work schedule involves me spending 8 hours a day hunched over a keyboard typing material for an Educational Management CD Rom, and hence I am not especially desirous of spending my free time hunched over a keyboard typing up amusing slices of life in the eastern Carpathians. Plus my eye’s playing up again (it’s dust season in Csikszereda). Hence the current lack of activity on this blog. Soz.

Still, to keep you going here are a couple of pictures from last Saturday, from the village of Piricske overlooking the town and across to the mountains on the other side.

Posted in pictures | 2 Comments »

Despatches from the front line

Posted by Andy Hockley on 3 March, 2006

It snowed last night, quite a lot, as you might be able to tell. I have to say though that they did a good job of cleaning up. I guess it was all part of the war on snow.

Here you can see some of the troops doing battle in their brave and unending fight against the snow that is an enemy of freedom and right-thinking people the world over.

And here are some apples, for no reason.

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