I’m looking at the network of the work on the theme of “journey”. And more clicks clicks, almost in a hypnotic and tired surfing, I found this Prize “Travel Sheet” and the story of Antonella Gatti , winner in 2012, which tells -without slide nell’autobiografismo they do not personally a trip to AMO coach of a team of carers to Romania and Moldova. The “lagna” on foreigners, which in any case is a fact that should not become even a myth, it is incomprehensible especially in those countries that have recently emerged from a totalitarian to lick it in an even worse, where he returned to erect walls and fences .
Here is the full text of Antonella Gatti:
“I turned into Bibendum, the Michelin Man, look tram with his gloved hand holding tight bag of food. The rare snowflakes that fall does not justify my clothing, people look at me and think “who exaggerated!”, Are only sighted …
Part way at 10.00 on a Sunday morning in February, my journey to Chisnau by bus, just to see this too is: a few months earlier I had made the return trip in the warm autumn weather Europe.
At Cascina Gobba parking there is turmoil: Sunday is a Member of the great movement of parcels, boxes bags, tires and everything has to reach Moldova in the wake of carers ladies who return home. Always intrigued by people moving are, almost by accident, “he stumbled” into this category so well represented to this day and I have a little studied closely.
Vladimir, my “airport chief,” greets me with a smile and entrusted me to his assistant for check-in operations: the weight of the luggage, seat selection on board. Riscendo, providing for the long hours they will see me sitting there and vague with the look of the hunting place necessary to carry out the rite of physiological functions, knowing that the next opportunity I will have only a few hours. The indication I sense the observing a man who ends up draining the bottle of beer and walks briskly toward a row of portable toilets.
I look at the companions of my journey: there are few women, chatting with each other, there is a fair number of men, and I wonder why. The atmosphere is serene, no one seems concerned about the weather conditions in Eastern Europe, he holds great big pat on the back hand.
A lady comes out of breath, her husband brings a number of bags and helps to position, the steward is busy loading office chairs and does not seem to consider the passing with the same attention he had devoted to me …
In the back of the medium which seems a bit ‘ “turkey” for a kind of prominence on the tail, are placed tool boxes, ladders, tires, everything functional for our trip. The hum of the engine is on or warms, it outlines me even better animal simile.
The load is finished, close the side doors and the gray angel appears on the San Raffaele hospital dome perhaps want to wish him a good journey too, as do people with no waving of hands.
In Palazzolo we leave the highway in my belief that the quotas will be increased, instead it is a load of panettone. Yeah, the other day was San Biagio: if they buy two for the price of one!
The lady sitting in front of me took off her woolen cap and begins to brush her hair with vezzosa coquetry. Placed the brush exhibits a cushion of respect both for its size and for the embroideries, is not it just a travel supplement, but the performance of a very elegant manual skill.
The asphalt is black below us, dry, I would remain so for the next two thousand kilometers, but I know that will not last. As highway are full of trucks parked waiting runs the Sunday driving ban, drivers do crowd and the background of the neighboring towns and cities does not seem to attract them, as they are prisoners of the highway.
We passed by several vans and minibuses that seems to fly long run, mostly targati Ukraine or Romania. The driver of my turkey, in case I had forgotten how to drive from its parts, has no intention of letting sow.
Part of the Russian TV show series that will keep us company throughout the journey episode after episode: the detective, her teenage daughter, organized crime, violence, cigarettes, identical to that of a few months ago, fortunately the series is not the same. He moves a little in front of the cushion that limits the view and I’m dating Tatiana, complimenting the embroideries, who lives in Casale Monferrato and back to Străşeni, about thirty kilometers from Chisinau. It demonstrates in great geographical knowledge of the area as there already passed another trip, to the bewilderment of Tatiana and mate next door.
A few kilometers from Venice stop, which I imagine only “hinted” given the limited time available, but you’ll understand soon be the norm, long pauses are not covered. Given the experience had not really positive in October trip, I decided to use the other company operating the service on the same route. So I have entrusted to Vladimir and his crew, who still did not really understand if they are four or five men, and that seems to have to establish the course record but, if anything, mountain decent tires.
And ‘it resumed the carousel of fifty cents, as I try them — I swear I got them — Elèna me pay them. Elèna has fifty years and four children, including one in Italy, La Spezia. “Was your husband what you wore the bags before?” “Yes! Did you see him? “He asks me proud. So me updates on family movements: the return to Chisinau by the other three children and their grandchildren. The holidays will last two months, the family where he works has temporarily replaced with a Ukrainian girl. In fifteen days even Valentin, her husband, will reach them. Now he is finishing a job. He is a bricklayer with a cousin who helped them also to find the house in which they live for two years. First came Elèna, five years ago, then came her husband and follow her youngest son now twenty-five. From the words of the woman I sense that the migration experience will have a time limit, as in the case of the Ukrainian ladies meet in the church of the Holy Face in Milan. It allows them to migrate at least temporarily improve the economic condition or give an opportunity to children who face the journey with a different determination start over elsewhere.
We hasten, the hum of the turkey is restless, as we climb it starts. Passing the impromptu snacks of “prisoners”: upturned wooden boxes are the support for slicing onions and smoked sausages. I’ll eat a tangerine.
The seats are almost filled, when you consider the first half of the bus, because the second is used as a dormitory for the crew and luggage several that have not been stowed in the floor below.
They open the plastic bags and spreads smell of ham — in the absence of Moldovan dishes whose aromas spread another trip — and the latest episode is over and part detective series “Comedy” a show with such comic imitation of our former prime minister. Even Eugene, the silent guy sitting next to me, smiles heedless of the continuing encroachment into my space has long legs … I had noticed the young age when his mother put him down and began to rifocillarlo. He knew the journey that this son had to face after being, in all probability, find it. The boy speaks only Romanian or Russian. Our communication is reduced to looks or gestures.
We cross the Slovenian border without stopping, the speed is always supported and windsock on top of the viaduct seems the soul of Paul tossed here and there. Francesca to alert the travelers of the opposite side. The turkey you decide to slow down.
Continues to be guessed the black asphalt in the dark night that fell, swollen my travel pillow and blanket from his pack recovery: it reduces the space between my legs and seat, even Eugene seems to appreciate.
A series of jolts me awake suddenly, I look out and I no longer see the black asphalt. An arrow indicates Veszprèri, named’d say it’s Hungary, Elèna is awake and tells me that we did not have any stopping or at the border or physiological. A sigh of relief: I was afraid of losing the chance to stretch my legs and take a walk, on the other hand I see that you sip tea, it comes ready the steward, the youngest of the crew and offers me a chai, the service is just impeccable.
Travelers are immersed in television, I look out and I see how we are entering into this box of milk: in the dark of night you can imagine only the white snow, more snow.
Finally the physiological stage. It seems to be in an airport, with all the lights and shiny and fragrant floors. The novelty is that sprouts a turnstile for entering the euro area to access more important. I have the opportunity to repay and invitation Elèna, it was not even a good coffee! The other ladies admire the spaceship where we ended up and commented that even men have had to pay, not just us!
I ask precisely why a presence so massive men, there will be at least a dozen with us. I explain that many of them had come to make an odd job, usually employed as laborers and this spike, the average age of forty years or more, but now given the bad weather they return home, leaving their wives employed by families.
We leave the ring road of Budapest, and we turn to the east towards the Romanian border, the Danube are not even able to guess. Start state, dirt roads, which will lead us to the destination. In some places it glimpsed black joke of the carriageway, overtaking, sometimes unavoidable at times by “disqualification”, trespass into the oncoming lane to avoid travel the snowy centerline. The headlights that come from ‘the other hand gl’incauti blink frantically to warn drivers to take their share of the road.
TV became quiet, the steward offers a round of vodka, perhaps as an anesthetic for a route that is becoming more complicated, it seems that the crew suggest: “Now you sleep”. But you can not lose the opportunity of stopping, if only for a walk, so when Veronika, a lovely lady fifty says “come on, we go down”, I rub my eyes and look forward: one and forty, the border with Romania.
L ‘building does not give signs of life, no customs officer on the horizon, only the light of the services there. Most travelers give up and given the wind chill goes immediately on the bus who nevertheless made a stop because a soldier from the “hat laaaaargo” appeared. I decide to still accompany Elèna and begin to ‘go forth in the non-groomed snow. The gusts lead us to walk with my head down and disappointment in reading the illuminated word “change”, we had mistaken as the goal of our “walk” it is such as to induce Elèna to relate with nostalgia the bus that is about fifty meters and ‘other light in front of us which is fifty. “Do not do it, I’ll go back,” he shouts to be heard over the wind. I take off the woolen hat and I hand it to him, I rearrange the scarf and say: ‘Look it’s there, we’re coming. “
Trudge through hard work and the feeling of a beach in the Maldives in January, is not comparable to the pleasure felt upon entering into the hot closet. It had not even planned the functional offering, and the place would certainly not deserved. At the exit, the turkey has tried to accommodate us approaching as much as he could and trumpeting to be recognized: reminds me of the bells of a refuge in the fog in mountains, I lose the eye on the gear thermometer currencies: — 25 °.
The day the lights reveal an ultra land landscape: white is the only color, the jumps coach and I realize that we are already doing gl ‘wide bends of the Carpathians. I do not recognize anything about the journey of a few months ago, no hive to the edge of the woods, no haystack in the fields, just a few cart pulled by a tired horse that brings the gray milk cans. An elderly couple wrapped up on an anachronistic troika seem Doctor Zhivago and Lara with the blanket on his legs, I lose a smile.
The steward serves the packed croissants taken directly from the Lidl bag, you choose tea or coffee.
Troughs follow each other, we go down and go up as more and more diminish the vehicles crossed. People move on foot and walking in the middle of the one beaten track otherwise would collapse; the imposing turkey cries often to earn the road and the wayfarer gets in the side watching us pass.
Along the way, at a roundabout, an “unfavorable weather conditions” sign, in case we had not noticed the snow falling thick. A police car indicates the direction to follow, the driver cursing and obeys. But not all silver lining, in fact we are asked what we eat: the younger boy crew takes the orders that will be communicated to the restaurant down the street where we are staying.
The beautiful structure suggests a good flow of tourists in the summer months, now it’s just us. Inside they are laid two tables: one big and round for us to return migrants who pounced on chorbe and zinc, two types of soup that is served as soon as we sit down. Several saucers contain raw peppers, fresh and sour cream bowls to season soups. Another table is laid for six — that’s how many! — Where it accommodates the crew.
The pause does not last more than twenty minutes, the rush to get to the Moldovan border is a lot.
I think that the worst is over, the coach maintains a constant speed, not excessive, no skidding, just some hard braking for a reckless dog or a pedestrian sordo.Il warmth of pallets facilitates digestion of light meal, but also is helped by round of “friendly” offered on board. It starts and Vladimir microphone asks “you have all your neighbor?”.
Are the last climb and no one goes down the other side, we should make it to Iasi, Romania last city before dark.
We advance with diamond pattern on the only powerful batting track and around a bend materializes the trouble: four flashing arrows, the classic stranded motorist. We begin to trumpet and instinctively all crane their necks over the seats, which happens now? The motorist, about fifty meters, kicks to indicate its inability to move. Our driver mumbles something, scale at first and opens the front door, four dell’equipaggiano men jump down quickly and begin to run to get to the car before us … The situation appears in all its severity: three other men taking from their seats and run. We keep a minimum speed constant and relentless not to stop. We can not stop, no Somme or worse, it may slide back: we have to slow down as much as possible to enable our intervene. Glide in the effort of the forces that are struggling to find a sync and when we are now one step away, the car is moved and the group that leaves us pull touching them. Without pausing to recover our “throws out” one by one, as if they jumped out of a moving train in the west of the thirties, the oldest to the youngest who has to run more. Part applause last recovered and trumpeted turkey perhaps apologizes for leaving the motorist even more in need of repair. The Tatiana combing, the driver turns on a cigarette.
Iasi. Under the rounded mounds they can intuit parked cars that will remain there, maybe forever! It moves the trams, a few cars with chains, and quod with snow plows mounted on the front. People do not seem to surrender to the extreme discomfort and fastest shoe on the sidewalks. It has stopped snowing.
We arrive at the Moldovan border and the light is falling. And ‘the only true and proper that we go beyond the border. Salt an agent that collects the passports after reading aloud the name on the document and looked into the eyes the person concerned. We are not allowed down, nor am I in the mood of riots. The medium is not removed, there is only a discrete back and forth crew parading with individual bottles of liquor taken from the bottom of boxes. After less than an hour leave us down. We pass the Prut river, which is a sheet of ice and Ungheni, first village across the border, Eugene and his long legs allowing me down a forgotten ease.
Already the first villages we encounter bring me back to a familiar taste: I sense the wells in the white gardens, Eternit angles sprout from the rooftops less snow loads, as if the border had also placed a barrier to storms that we have left behind.
Chisinau is about fifty kilometers, and soon will begin the stops in anything where a car with the lights on will be the beginning of a holiday for Veronika and Tatiana who puts his precious pillow. There are greetings with big hugs and exchanges of phone numbers, only the hope of good things. The record run that made us burn the snow below us along the almost two thousand kilometers in less than thirty hours, did not create that close-knit group of my previous trip. The stops were never long, but even those at the borders. Who is interested in a coach from Europe OUT? Moods also were different: notably absent melancholy. You go home, he goes back his own brood, and there in front of a lot of time to rethink leaving. The desire and the return of happiness go far beyond the “unfavorable weather conditions”. The fair number of men made the difference: did it in physical terms — and who moved that car? — But also in terms of reduced confidence granted to the odd tourist.
The bus stops on the outskirts of the capital where a taxi alerted by Vladimir perfect lead me to the hotel, chosen with care. I take the luggage, Elèna hug, thank crew and turkey, in the dark I get in the car.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of herring, gherkins and cider, I go out in downtown street. Already out of the window I saw the muffled passersby, but the bright sun made me hope for something less cold. The gusts of wind raise ice motes, the trick is not to have discovered the naked parts, the cold does not pass beyond the layer of hair and wool. It is a very dry cold, as I explained Igor impacchettandomi a matryoshka. Actually i — 15 ° I do not seem dramatic. A brisk, in the city that I recognize, shy ice sheets and decide to make a leap in the right cathedral to bring greetings gray angel. “ (Antonella Gatti)