1 Suddenly, I became an over-sixty.
This episode is focused on the long cold autumn of the year 1997. For me it was a very intense, remarkable time. After 7 years of original capitalism- actually Balkan style fierce moneytheism, I have learned the essentials, first of all that the greatest sin possible is to be poor
However, I have tried to solve this problem with lot of extra-work-
Interesting decision, but not the best. Inter alia I was teaching managers Management of Technology at a local university specialized in ecology.
I was already aware that it is much better to be young, healthy and rich than old, sick and poor
All the odds were against me; suddenly I just became an over-sixty
And my body also knew it. So I got a terrible cold, had fever for a few days and when I went to a clinic, a very good lady physician,
Dr Iris Alb (white- in Romanian) a kind, deeply religious person, a saint, helping the poor, has stated that:
a) I have pneumonia, and water in the lungs (not good for them);
b) I have got the “hypertensive illness”- I never will know why she did not say simply- you have hypertension, (220 mm Hg) take care this can terminate you, you have to take some pills! (I am taking them daily and their side effect is terrible nightmares, I cannot take enough because due to my young age passion to fast swimming, I have a very slow pulse and a small overdose of the pills makes me to fall down- highly disturbing. So I still have some hypertension and I think I will have the standard value 80/140 mm Hg only three days after my death)
After three days, I started to feel better and exactly then I got a very fine and generous invitation from Bill Collis to the 3-rd Asti Workshop. Please read: http://www.padrak.com/ine/NEN_5_9_2.html
to see what was this all about. A great opportunity to meet the leaders of the Cold Fusion Movement.
2. But first I had to get an Italian visa.
However it was a great obstacle- then,
still had to wait 10 years to become member of the European Union and, for traveling to Romania I needed a visa. Believe me; it is very humiliating to be a second class citizen of your continent. Time-consuming too. To get a visa you had to go to the Italian Consulate in Italy , to survive long queuing in a garden (cold, wind. fog, rain sometimes) in a very mixed society. Lots of my compatriots wanted to find an honest job in Bucharest the majority. However some others planned to have successful careers as beggars, thieves, prostitutes etc there. Perhaps the Consulate has tried to distinguish between the different categories and those going to scientific congresses were a negligible quantity. Italy-
To get a visa was also very difficult in the Ceausescu era and I have accumulated a very bad experience; then the Romanian authorities were awfully nasty and unjust. Now the staff of the consulate was quite sadistic, has postponed my visa three times with no reason. I had a quarrel with a carabiniere and I won due to my better linguistic skills- I was a great master in swearing.
Anyway I have spent a lot of money staying in
and the final term was dangerously near- I will lose this fine opportunity! Bucharest
Fourth time queuing in the consulate, still no visa. The ‘visa man’ of the Atomic Physics Institute who has tried to help our group- said he thinks everything is lost- there were three physics professors from Jassy, also in the same desperate situation.
Then surprise - miracle! I met one of my former students a lady from
, owning a great company and very smart. She just got the visa- it seems there were fast shortcuts for those who paid a bit “extra” She asked me why I am in so bad shape and what’s the problem? Brasov
No visa just promises, I told. “Have you spoken with the organizers; do you know somebody in
?” “Yes but it is difficult to speak – have to go outside the building -a garden de facto, \it was slowly raining”. “Use my mobile phone, Professor, she told. In 1997 few people here had mobile phones. I took my notebook found the phone number of my good friend Francesco Celani, explained him the situation , Francesco nice as always phoned to a signora at the Ministero d’Affari Esteri, (thank you again, Francesco!) The Ministero lady spoke with the consul in Rome and after other 2 hours we – the guys from Jassy and me, got the damned visas. We were saved! I blessed the rich lady student-I never met her again but I see that her husband is high on the list of richest Romanians. Should I add that the staff of the Consulate was later changed/dismissed due to corruption problems? After so many years, I am even not sure if this has happened indeed or is only wishful thinking Bucharest
3. Travel by train and a great lesson of whores’ management at Voghera.
However it was very late for the travel- I had again fever- and I started the travel by train – a kind of race against time. I remember meeting nice people in
, Hungary , and Croatia . And I slept as much I could, as I could. I have arrived in Slovenia , I changed the trains more times to faster ones, and the Italians were very, very nice and have helped me a lot. And eventually I have arrived to Voghera where I had to stay in the waiting room- in Italy the trains are not circulating during nighttime. It was around and I had to wait till 7.00 in the morning to take a train to Italy , via Asti one hour and a half, I think. Alessandria
I couldn’t use a taxi; I was missing both information and money. I had to wait and sleep if I could in the waiting room of the Voghera railway station, See please: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voghera_railway_station
Strange things happen sometimes, but the human duty is to cope with every situation and to change it as you wish and/or have to.
Please consider that I was dead 10%, sleepy 120%, aware of the reality- very approximately, exhausted and in some trance and suddenly I had to solve a complex and rather unusual problem of management.
When I entered the waiting room, there was only one gentleman in alcoholic coma. Then started to come more and more women in very fancy dressing s furs and feathers, all very tall and ebony-black. They were noisy and hyperactive, used cosmetics and perfumes or were eating. Even with my inhibited reflexes I have realized that I am in the middle of a group of prostitutes of a rather unusual color for our geographic zone. I did not understand an iota of what they were speaking and the room was full of high intensity and high pitch decibels. How could I sleep, take a bit of rest in this auditive chaos?
It is a problem and my mission is to solve it!
(A confession here- I have a boss mentality- some of you will hate me for this but I am a typical alpha personality, if a situation is not convenient for me, I change it or at least try very hard...
I wanted to be a manager/leader while being the head of the polymer research laboratory at OLTCHIM, to decide to take responsibility, to elaborate strategies, to endure the consequences,
to survive the failures, to resurrect from my ashes- and do other routine tasks of a manager. While teaching managers Management of Technology it was a challenging task to keep discipline, adults have even less respect for teachers than children.
This proved to be a quite nasty problem especially when I spoke them about Efficiency and Effectiveness- very sensitive subjects. It was an exercise in good post-logical thinking
Please do not remind me the following joke- it is a dirty calumny: http://www.berro.com/joke/boss.htm I believe in the necessity of the bosses, of risk-takers – and my protector, the Internet has just sent me this:
Why the world still needs bosses:
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/12/06/bosses-formal-authority-leadership/ Just in time for this explanation)
Back to Voghera: I was able to instantaneously identify the dominant female of the group, I went to her and said good evening in English and In Italian and continued with:
“Mademoiselle, I can distinguish all the European languages but I cannot understand a word from what you, girls, say. Where are you from?”
“We are all from
(A moment my blood tension raised to heaven, so these XXX streetwalkers had no visa problems!!! But I was able to master my bad temper)
! A great country, you have oil, you have a great culture, and surely you have wonderful music. Wouldn’t you be so kind to sing me your folkloric music, if I ask you very, very much? I want to listen to your music. Sing for me, ladies, please! Nigeria
One of her comrades interrupted me:
“She will sing if you pay, yes!” (probably she already had learned the old Italian proverb “Si paga, si canta; non si paga, non si
I looked at her with my toxic boss sight which I used to frighten the undisciplined female coworkers and told, very politely:
“Shut up, you woman, I’ll pay if I want to fuck her, but now I am just asking you all to help me to know your culture. Please understand this is patriotic!”
The girls who practice this old profession usually have empathy for people and good heart. Plus I looked as one who will not survive till dawn, and I also can be very convincing. They started to sing, work songs, love, war, grief songs, lullabies, ritual songs, from their many tribes and their country. Very unusual for me first but step by step I got mesmerized and enchanted. The voices of the girls first a bit harsh and rude became more clear beautiful and harmonious- slowly the waiting room of the Voghera railway station became a concert hall, sanctuary of culture. A lot of soloists appeared, some excellent. Good music gives force to me; I even slept a bit and have regained my intellectual and emotional vigor. This, perhaps a bit unusual, chorus has spoiled my ears with a lot of beauty. I even understood via musical telepathy some of the lyrics and will never (i.e. till the great Nothing comes) – forget this one- only for my adult readers::
“The lamentation of an old man.”
“Quantilimeena! The moonshine falling on your dombro made me painful hargoos you were irresistible and I was insatiable.
Now you are not more, nothing else has been left, just the
Pain, Pain…I will go too. Nothing….
The morning came, I told adieu to the girls, very gratefully. They went to
to work I went to Genoa for the much-desired symposium. See the second part of this editorial, Asti
It starts with:
The Effect of Barbaresco on the water deposited in my lungs