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the palace

One day in my art class, a high school student said he had a PowerPoint that he wanted to share with me. It was photos from a recent trip to Romania where he worked at an orphanage. After seeing the pictures, I said, "You know I went to Namibia last summer to paint a mural at an Aids day care. I'd go to Romania if they wanted a mural at an orphanage." All he had to do was check on it and get back to me.

He called Romania from class.

That was not what I expected as the day started. But, little surprises in life had become a normal occurrence since I made my clipart site and started painting murals.

BUCHAREST ... The first thing I learned about the capital city was how to pronounce it. I had always said "Boo-charest" but the way Romanians pronounced their capital city was "Byou-charest". Before my tour of the city began, I only knew one place to see. Ceausescu built an office building / palace that was the second largest building in the world. (Pentagon ranked at the top.) I'd always believed all communist architecture was ugly. My guide explained that apartment buildings for the masses were ugly. But, the elite had different budgets. So even though all people were considered equal under communism, architecture and reality proved to be a different story. And, it was incredibly beautiful!

Part of Ceausescu's plan was to wake up from his palace, look out his balcony, and see a grand boulevard. But, to have a five kilometer boulevard in the center of Bucharest, a whole section of the city had to be bulldozed. It really was a grand boulevard with fountains and lovely apartments on both sides. But, it certainly was a high price for anyone living in his pathway.


a room with a (boulevard) view
Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.  



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