While I was in the shower today, a cool breeze was coming through the punched-out window. Usually whenever I hear the phrase "cool breeze," I think of a tropical island, a comfortable hammock, or a shady spot to read a good book. The same could not be possible for the breeze I encountered, for with this breeze came the scent of Romania.
Some people have extremely fine tuned olfactory senses. Wine connoisseurs are somehow able to find earthly, nutty, or berry flavors in their drink, so I should be able to figure out the scent I've grown so accustomed to. Would you like to know what Romania smells like? I'll tell you the recipe: lots and lots of cigarette smoke, grits (the Romanians call it mamaliga) and roughly 42 years of Communist oppression. The grime that builds up when people don't care about beauty, the anger, confusion and addiction brought about by a government unworthy of your trust, and a classic form of Romanian sustenance.
That is the odor that pervades my life in Romania. But every now and then some fresh air comes wafting in; let us pray the fresh air isn't just a breeze, but the constant rush of a Mighty Wind.