Europe | Romania | Sighisoara – Clippity-clop
Today when the thunder started I was in the cemetery. I’d just seen my first goths (you’d think this place would be crawling with them) and followed them through the gate. I hadn’t read any warnings about being alone in cemeteries in Transylvania; then again I hadn’t read anything about cemeteries at all so I thought I’d stick near people. I don’t even walk around a London cemetery alone these days. This was pretty similar to Stoke Newington, except that it was built on a hillside. Forest, overgrown graves, toppling tombstones, and sweet rotting smells.
The goths headed up a small dirt path. They had dyed black hair, ripped jeans and Iron Madien t-shirts. And eleborate tattoos. Heavy metal goths. They spoke English with heavy but unidentifiable accents; they must have been from different countries. They seemed to be looking for something specific. ‘Grey with a pentagram,’ one said. They couldn’t have meant Vlad’s grave; even I know that’s not in Sighisoara. They noticed me and I decided I better go off on my own.
It was a German cemetery, I could see by the names. It was behind the highest point in the town, where some serious reconstruction was going on, both in and outside an old church. The crypt was open and had a light swtich that didn’t work. Sexton was back at the hostel working on his novel (and taking in the alleged free porn?) and I’m afraid of the dark so I didn’t venture further into the church crypt. The attendant said ‘important people’ were burtied in there. He had a Bela Lugosi accent, something I haven’t noticed on anyone else around here yet, so maybe it was put on. I remember before the trip phoning up an antique maps dealer to find out about train routes through Eastern Europe in the 1850s; he had that accent, too.
Dogs barked in the distance, cocks crowed and thunder cracked while I walked past ramshackle gravestones. I took in the views beyond the trees and started feeling a little lost, walking up and down hills on increasingly wet and slippery paths. I spotted the goths; they were burning something. As I walked past I saw it was only cigarettes.
Isn’t it bad to be in the woods during a thunderstorm? I headed down a wood and stone staircase, over 100 steps. It had a wooden roof like an old covered bridge. Earlier there had a been beggar woman sitting there muttering strange words. I’ve noticed everyone here wears crosses. A little girl we saw playing with her dog had a particularily large wooden one around her neck. “not a good place to wear a pentagram,” I said to Sexton, then remembered how exposed my earrings are with my hair in a ponytail.
Surely they couldn’t see close up but I got some funny looks while walking in the countryside later. Only a little outside the town the countryside started; chickens were abundnat and soft hills were dotted with red roofed farm houses. I passed two wells with buckets for water. Such a contrast already to the net cafe, where little boys play 3D Spiderman computer games; post-revolution boys, under 10 years old.
In the countryside I think I upset some men by taking the obligatory horse and cart picture. One saw me and I keep losing my changes as I write this so I’m going to go for now. I won’t be writing as much after Brasov as we’l be heading for the Danube Delta. I can’t get much information on the area other than that there might be a train that goes there. Net cafes, I doubt it. So expect a few more days then a gap…