“The goat is called the poor man’s cow. Because it’s cheap and good.” I meet Catincă Drăgănescu in a June rainy day at Dianei 4. Like it often happens in Romania, places echo back to other stories, developing their secret connections. Now these shanty chic quiet rooms host a hipster venue
A first observation is that dancers here appear more passionate and responsive to the music – a trait which I find also in Russia and – generally speaking – in all of Eastern Europe, where they have a higher musical education.
Now we have too much information and you feel lost: we have Google and everything is there for you but we don’t know what to search anymore and we are tired of all this. I don’t know if I have the right to give advice but I am trying to play my part in this. And I am doing it for myself, first of all.
His writing style is not only compelling but also endowed with clairvoyance. Compare the discomfort expressed by one of his characters in Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse to the feelings that are taking so many Romanians to the streets these days.
“Bucharest then is a nice big manifestation of the human condition – it’s particularly noisy and senseless, an accumulation of badly fitting parts, failed intentions, everybody rushing around with their desires and ambitions, colliding with each other, getting frustrated and angry and dispirited.”
“For all its problems, as you say, Romania has a special something that you won’t find elsewhere. When I’m away, say, in England for a few weeks, I miss that special something, whatever it is.”
Mike Ormsby’s voice is never invasive nor in the least sounding like the usual “wise guy from the West”. Rather, quite often he limits himself to acting as litmus paper within his environment, letting people and situations speak for themselves.
As I walked to reach the venue, I was impressed by the level of participation in the event: families, children, older people, youngsters of all types – from hipsters to students, to manual workers – women from every kind of social and cultural background, and eccentrics, of course.