A tale of crypts

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The road was bumpy. And desolated. A scene that will not last, a remnant of our past that our incompetence keeps alive until the moment the future will crush it. I was speeding, probably because, unknown to me at that moment, I was carrying death with me. Death doesn’t look like death, death looks like the past – o void of memories of places, people and feelings; and that’s death, not the memories themselves, but incapability of ever seeing the places, meeting the people or evoking the feeling ever again. Death is not about emotions, death is about not being able to care anymore, about not bothering if you take another step again.

For a few hours I was stalling death, for one brief moment emotions flowed again, there was purpose – even if it was just a matter of cleaning an old grave. A grave of people long gone from both hearts and minds to most people, but a few. It was those two, the few, that kept time still – death will have to wait while these two sisters cleaned their parents grave – people with no time awaiting death cleaning what death left behind and time crowned them as the last memories of the lives once lived.

While waiting for the graves to be sufficiently cleaned so the honour of the family to not be effaced a construction in the graveyard caught my eye and I headed in its direction. Getting closer I realised it was a crypt, the resting burial of an old boyar mostly forgotten, except for a high school and a square named after him – founding member of the Romanian Academy. Read More

The patient that nearly drove me out of medicine

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Can’t say I am big fan of literature that you find on certain forums such as reddit, but every now and then I find something that really catches my attention. This is definitely the case with The patient that nearly drove me out of medicine.

The first thing that struck me about the story is that it makes very good use of meta – especially when dealing with the writer and main character. As you go along it becomes more obvious and it covers other areas as well – it is very rare that you find such techniques in amateur authors but, alas, you can find it here.

The language is rather simple although it uses a decent vocabulary and tries not to repeat itself – the story is gripping and you can find yourself drawn by the plot – even if at some point it is rather predictable.

The story itself is a bit disappointing, mostly at the end – such a nice constructed plot deserved a better ending – one that might have begged the author to know more, an open ending perhaps.

All in all the story is gripping and enjoyable – some parts are rather outlandish and it hurts the overall feel of the story, but overall it is just a fun short read.

Between confusion and misinformation

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People took to the streets in the last few days in Romania to protest against an executive order that decriminalizes small time corruption – thus making an important number of dignitaries from the ruling party escape trial and a jail sentence. A law passed by corrupt politicians to help corrupt politicians escape the hand of the law. And they say there is no honor among thieves.

Quite unexpectedly, a portion of the Romanian people decided to start a small and peaceful protest against the idea of the bill before it was passed but, after the law was passed anyway, took to higher than ever numbers as the days kept mounting and the bill was not repealed. As it happens when more than half a million people start chanting and spend their evenings in public squares there started to appear a number of channels of communication from both sides that ranged from confusion to misinformation.


People in the streets are leaderless and, to a certain degree, unsure of things work at a government level. Which things happen overnight and which things need a bit more time to develop. But this is not the biggest case of confusion – that comes when asking people of what they actually want. They want the law repealed, that is obvious, but apart from that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus. Some want the government to resign, which makes sense in a way since they passed a bill that is specifically designed to keep corrupt dignitaries free. On the other hand, some want the government to stay in place and go through the promises they made in the campaign – somehow planning their fall as they have overpromised and would never deliver what they committed to. There is also a side that only wants the leader of the party to resign as he seems to be the driver of the law since he will be one of the people that benefit from the new law. On the extreme side you have the people that want to abolish the entire party – thinking that this type of premeditated plan is damaging to the country itself and they have lost all legitimacy of legal existence.

Confusion is a normal state during protests – they happen spontaneously and need a bit of time to get their bearings. People are overzealous and have the tendency of throwing their frustrations all around. What is the best solution? There probably isn’t an all-encompassing one to begin with, as with everything the middle ground is usually the best approach.

As the protests lose their steam after the law has been repealed we are left with most of the confusion. Maybe a spark will come from some place – people are already sending lists around trying to get the most of this unique situation. If some of their points will happen it will be a success, but there is always the fear that everything will die down and that would be a loss – the situation would become as it was before the protests thus making the entire scope of the challenge just a somewhat futile experiment of the ancient agora. Busy lives and the hardships of everyday duties make for lousy voters. The continuous effort of informing yourself and public discourse is what will keep the flame alive, not to mention it will dissipate most of the confusion. How it will play out is a mystery, but one that will reveal itself soon enough.


From a political viewpoint all countries are monstrosities when it comes to governing them – if we are to add a mottled population like the one of Romania things get pretty heavy. Balancing a vast audience of pensioners that are living hand to mouth to the uneducated and rural middle-aged people that society seems to have left behind to the overly educated and technological savvy millennials that make their bread in multinational enterprises is a task of leviathan proportions. On top of all this you have a regulated and deeply rooted culture of corruption – balancing political cycles with thieving sprees in order to maintain power and be kept out of jail. Even when just scratching the surface you get a problem that has so many ramifications it is nearly impossible trying to untangle yourself.

The best course of action from this type of political establishment is, and always will be, misinformation. Going from the other political parties to known business men that might or might not have any role in the uprising to blaming the multinational companies themselves for promoting such protests. It works to some degree as it puts multiple sides of the Romanian society against one another. Grandparents vs Parents vs Children. The only thing that comes out of this is a bit of time to try and correct the balance, but with every passing year it gets harder and harder. People are informing themselves, and while some are plugged in to the political bought media outlets that promote a certain doctrine or another the numbers are getting smaller and smaller as informed youngsters have acknowledged where the biggest threat is and have started informing their seniors on where the issues are and how they need their help in overcoming them.

The road to fighting corruption and having a clean and powerful political establishment is long and arduous, but glimpses of it appear every now and then. When the system is shaken it doesn’t stand and what is beyond it appears in the frame. The only weapons that are needed are patience and information – trying to discern one fact from another and arming ourselves with strength and civic valor – not budging based on our misconceptions, but acknowledging the array of multiple lines of thought and action.

The only thing that matters is that the flame that is alight not consume itself gratuitously and real power derives from it – only then will we be on the true path of redemption and be able to stand tall and proud of the choices we have made. It seems like it will never happen, but that is only the misinformation that engulfs us and while we are adamant in seeing disruptive change right away, a side effect of the confusion that comes with enlightenment, we most hold the fort and await the ever churning wheel of time.


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Fire. So simple and elegant. So fragile and yet so strong. It has molded our lives in such a way that you cannot imagine our civilization without it.
From art to religion and science, it has engulfed our thoughts and shaped our minds.
A moment in the muzzle of a gun, a cry in the consummation of a pyre, the amazement that a Bunsen burner brings, the vivid imagination fire creates while it helps propel a spaceship to new horizons by devouring its fuel, the light it creates is the constant that has reshaped our knowledge and its speed is our biggest discovery yet, the feeling of peace while a big ball of fire crosses the sky day after day.
For me fire always represented the inferno, the place of anguish where our thoughts run like rivers, condemned to flow into eternity.

“Of four infernal rivers that disgorge into the burning lake their baleful streams;
abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,
sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
Cocytus, nam’d of lamentation loud heard on the rueful stream;
fierce Phlegethon whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
lethe the River of Oblivion rolls her wat’ry Labyrinth whereof who drinks,
for with his former state and being forgets,
forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.”
(John Milton – Paradise Lost)

Mourning is a time where we reflect on the lives that were lost and the ones we have yet to pursue. As a remembrance we light a candle, for nothing lasts more in our memory than a flickering light, making sure it will never let us forget.