Tales from the road

The dangers of little old ladies.


Apparently she did not like it and waved her arm towards me. “Hah, I am a veteran traveler and not afraid of anything”, I told myself. And anyway, she was on the other side of the road so what!  But then the little old lady left her cart and her firewood and crossed the road. Before I could make a run for it she reached me and started to speak. She did not use the familiar German-mix. Her crackling voice spoke real, Transylvanian, Romanian. It was the language of vampires and I did not understand one word of it.


What I did understand was that there was a big roaring truck coming our way and this little old lady was so frail, she would probably be blown away by turbulence of the passing truck. To protect her I placed my arm around her shoulder. It felt bony and fragile. No flesh, just bones and skin.

The truck passed and nearly blew me away, but after the dust settled we were still there. Both of us, and now she said something I understood: “Departe”, which I think means leave or depart. Then she took my hand and kissed it. Saying again: “Departe”. I was puzzled (I seem to be puzzled a lot these days). At first she was upset with me for taking her photo, but she ended up kissing my hand, well my glove actually, as if she sort of blessed me.


I continued my way, following the Donau, which is called the Danube by now, on my way to the Black sea. I visited the castle of Dracula and tried to send an Email on a 500 year old computer.

The castle was more fun. Even though I had to climb a staircase with 1400 steps in my bike-gear.