moby and me: Bucharest and Chestii

Five cent tour for Patsaks:

Find out what a self-proclaimed blog star (me) has to say to an actual rock star (moby). See the official video for Alice, a track from the soon to be released album, Last Night.

moby and me (eu si moby)

On february 20th, moby writes:

“… san francisco, as i’ve written about before, is such an odd place. it’s beautiful and progressive and affluent, but it also has more hookers and drug dealers per sq km. than any city in the western world…”

I reply:

Dude… you need to get out more.

It’s obvious to me that you spend too much time in the clubs- especially if you think every woman on the street is a hooker. Most likely, they all just look like hookers.

Anyway, can we call them, working girls, instead of hookers? It seems to me that as long as we remember that they are persons, there can be hope for the rehabilitation of their dignity and destiny as persons.

Somehow, we also need to rehabilitate your concept of the western world. It’s more than NYC and LA. Most see it going as far as the African and Asian continents. Of course, the Russians are very offended by this kind of NATO-oriented talk. Generally speaking, Russians are somehow also western- if in their own mean-spirited way.

If you don’t believe me, ask Dmitry Medvedev.

Since you don’t drive, I know that you sometimes get stuck in that feeling that the world begins and ends in NYC with a few frontier posts out there in the badlands (LA, SF, London, Paris, etc).

Have you been to Bucharest?

Bucharest is out there… on the edge of the Western world. You will even find a lot of people here that can speak English. A bit of advice – avoid the Romanian girls on Match.com, Yahoo Personals, High5, etc.

Alice

Speaking of out there, who is Alice? Did she take your favorite tee shirt? I hate when that happens. And it happens too often!

The nonsense in the Alice video is a nice metaphor for Carrol’s literary nonsense.

Are we chasing things down the rabbit-hole now?

Or.

……………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………….

Bucharest

Speaking of down the rabbit-hole, capitalism, corruption and lack of good taste runs amuck in Bucharest.

There’s more billboards than NYC. They even have billboards in the toilets. The media details on toilet billboards suggest that advertisers should, give piss a chance.

There’s more “working girls” on the street here than all the working girls in the red light district of Amsterdam – and a lot better looking too. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a charming young escort for two c-notes that make you realize that your high school crush looked more like Rosie O’Donnel than a Scarlett Johansson or supermodel Martina Klein.

Bucharest is more progressive than you can imagine- skirts so high that you can see cheek… in the clubs. But we are not speaking of rabbit-holes now, are we?

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between a good girl and a working girl. You won’t know until after you had sex. She’ll either ask for her fee or just give you a quick kiss before she runs home to her husband and child.

Nouveau Riche

The nouveau riche here lack education, culture, style and taste. And while it is not hard to know that one needs a Ferarri and to drive it everyday to flaunt outrageous wealth; their poor taste is often reflected in their dress, manner and, more importantly, the interior and exterior design of their modern mansions. What’s worse is that they are smugly satisfied with their lack of culture, taste and education. They would not imagine there can be an answer to whether or not ravens and writing desks have anything in common- if they owned and could read the book.

However, what they do not lack is a skill for making a lot of money, exploiting others for their own good, and having a great time of it.

The super affluent have no sense of modesty; they are unembarrassed to flaunt the huge divide between their wealth and the obvious poverty of the general population.

I have seen more Ferraris and Brabus Mercedes here than any other city- and I have seen more than a few cities.

Every once in a while, some vulgar child of an oligarch will throw a stack of c-notes into the air at a party and watch the dogs and cats fight over the fall out.

Curiouser and Curiouser…

I have to admit that what surprises me most is that the super affluent are often the heroes of the people. Most want to be just like them- get a fortune overnight by doing questionable things with questionable people. Perhaps, the super affluent of Romania are so lovable because they are just like the regular Mihai (substitute Joe for Mihai) but with bigger bank accounts and pimped out rides.

Beauty, truth and goodness

Of course, the challenge is to find the hidden beauty in this madness, despair and grayness. Because there is a beauty and charm here- it’s just not as obvious as in other places. Bucharest is not your five star restaurant where they bring a sumptuous feast to your table, served on a silver platter. And there’s no such thing as free refills- not even at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Anyway, beauty, truth and goodness are not so obvious as we would like to believe. Nor do they come on a silver platter- unless you are a Catholic and you go to confession and mass, regularly.

Beauty, truth, and goodness are mysterious, evasive, and delicate like a cloud. You can’t hold them in your arms and keep them- as often as we try…

What’s this new thing you have with chickens?

You like chicken? We got lots of chickens here.

You may find a couple chickens on a third floor balcony among the crowded, cheap and gray apartment buildings (blocks).

Or, a dozen puppies muttering with innocent enthusiasm near the back door of a block- one of many blocks that were thrown up overnight as an ill-considered communist solution to industrialize a nation and convert the millions of simple peasants into an army of low cost factory workers in the cities.

Architecture

Although the gray squarish blocks dominate the skyline and the general impression is like a impoverished neighborhood in Rome, there is some interesting architecture here- especially downtown Bucharest.

Before the first world war and between the world wars, the rich got a lot richer and it became fashionable to build tall, spacious villas and small palaces with interesting architectural details.

My office is a third floor apartment in a villa built by the Romanian General Popovich, General of Basarabia. He paid over one million dollars in the 1930s to an American company to build the five floor villa. Unfortunately, Popovich was unable to enjoy the vila. After the war, the Russians put him in prison- and there he died.

However, Popovich’s grandchildren were able reclaim the villa after the 1989 revolution, and they sold the villa to strangers like me, floor by floor.

The new neighborhoods in Bucharest are not so interesting to me. Their ugliness offends my aesthetic sensibilities. Think big… yellow, green, or red cement boxes with cement lawns. Even the super affluent are too cheap to pay for a lawn of grass and someone to mow the lawn.

If you had to choose between a great blow job once a week and a handsome green lawn, which would you choose?

Uite asa

I imagine you would find inspiration for new songs here. I am sure of it. You kind it like it… like this: a self-contradicting, glorious raunch. I guess I do too.

Did you know that Jean-Claude Van Damme got his ass kicked here (Bucharest).

His kung fu is not strong.

Moral of the story: Pay for your working girl’s hour and don’t get any bright ideas about rescuing her from her miserable life. And don’t f— with the pimp and his two buddies.

Actually, the gypsy pimp and his two friends did Van Damme a favor. The working girl would have taken Van Damme for a lot more money than he could have imagined.

Outside Bucharest

An hour or less outside of Bucharest, you can still see glimpses of pre-industrialized villages. Unpaved roads wind through hills and across fields… past thatched roof houses, outhouses and chickens wandering the yard.

Yes, more chickens!

Salty, warm-blooded and simple. There’s some good people out there. It’s very charming.

Illegal Substances

As for drugs, its not a great problem here like it is in the US. People can’t really afford it. Most people in Bucharest have a hard enough time just getting to tomorrow on the bare necessities. Why would they make things worse for themselves?

It’s hard to find that kind of rabbit-hole here.

Aldous Huxley

Since you mentioned Aldous Huxley, did you know about the coincidence of the deaths of John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley? They all died on the same day.

Nausea

I get the feeling you are going through a prolonged existential crisis, hanging out too much at the clubs, going down rabbit holes, and trying to feel yourself alive. Money, fame and disappointment will disconnect you from reality and, also, from you. But I don’t think you will reconnect by playing chess with the crack dealers. Neither by living dangerously nor by keeping company with some of the dangerously stupid people you find in the VIP rooms of your NYC clubs. If you want to live dangerously, try living your playboy lifestyle in Bucharest.

I don’t believe you will find much inspiration for your music doing the same old or repeating the mistakes of your youth.

Allow me to suggest some reading. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A.G. Sertillanges.

Stan Faryna
February 22, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

Bablion

For those of you who want to know more about my sometimes professional and often satirical viewpoint on Romania, check out, Bablion.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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