Columnist Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe writes in her weekly column about life as an expat in Romania. This week she tells the story about how writing Bucharest City tales for Romania-Insider put her via an amazing coincidence in contact with the daughter of her Godmother, who lives in Brazil.
When I first began to write these Bucharest City tales, it was mostly for fun, I like to observe and share, and at the same time I have experienced and continue to experience quite a lot during my stay here in Romania. It has never been my intention to be a Mrs. Know it all, but rather just to share my experiences in Bucharest. And I must admit I never thought about who would read it, expecting it would be me and maybe my father.
But suddenly more and more people tell me they have read some of my tales, once I remember sitting at a restaurant with some British people in Lipscani, when one person to the other suddenly said, something about taxi drivers and Don Juan de Bucharest. I asked him, “sorry what did you just say?” and he said “I just read this funny article about a taxi driver named Don Juan de Bucharest.” When I told him that I had written the story, he was quite surprised and we ended up having a good laugh about taxi drivers in Bucharest.
What I had never expected is that people from other countries would contact me. I have gotten emails from Danes, Swedes, Dutch, Germans, South Africans and Americans, not even people who are living in Romania or who are Romanians. The emails have been very touching and kind, some want to know more about Romania, some relate to the stories I have written, and some want to know, for example, what to visit in Romania, or if I can put them in contact with someone within that area, or know someone who works with this or that.
But one mail from a Danish woman called Siri, ended up being something that I had not expected at all.
Siri is Danish and lives in Brazil with her Brazilian husband, she sent me an email and wrote that her and her husband will come to Romania, since he had to attend a conference here. She told me that during her research for their visit to Romania, she found my Bucharest City Tales, and she had some different questions about how to get from one town in Romania to another etc., that I maybe could help her with. We wrote back and forth and agreed that when they came to Bucharest, we would meet for a coffee
Siri and I met at a restaurant in Bucharest, and we chatted away happily and went around the whole town on a pleasant sightseeing tour. I mentioned that one of my Godmothers was Brazilian, her name was Vera Maria, and her husband was the Brazilian ambassador in Denmark when I was born/baptized in 1978-1980. Suddenly Siri said that she thought my Godmother’s daughter was her neighbor in Brazil. We talked about it, but weren’t really sure that were talking about the same people; the world couldn’t be that small and it seemed like too great a coincidence. After all, São Paulo alone has a population of over 10 million.
After their return to Brazil, Siri must have talked to the neighbor because yesterday I received an email saying; “It is an incredible coincidence!!! You’ve met one of my sister’s friend in Bucharest!!! And yes my mother, Vera Maria was your Godmother.”
Sadly it is also written in the mail that Vera Maria passed away in 2001, so I will not be able to meet her, but now Siri, Vera Maria’s daughter Beatriz and I have all become friends and we have sent pictures and mails to each other. This could not have happened if Danish Siri living in Brazil had not been going to Romania, found my articles and we ended up talking about my Godmother Vera Maria, who has always been special to me, as one of my middle names is Maria after my Brazilian godmother.
So this is truly the story about how small the world can be, and how writing these tales has remade the contact sadly not with my Godmother but with her daughter and also her daughter, whom I played with when I was very little.
So indeed sometimes the world is smaller than we imagine.
Do you have your own small world story from Romania? Why not get in touch with Romania Insider and tell us about it?
By Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe, columnist
Eleonore is Danish, she holds a BA in Organization and Management and specializes in Corporate Communication & Strategic Development. She is also a Market Economist and a Multimedia Designer. She is currently working in Bucharest as the Executive Director of UAPR the Romanian Advertising Association. As a Danish Viking in Romania, with a great passion for ’covrigi’, she has a burning desire to find out more about Romania especially Bucharest, and enlighten the small differences in the culture between Denmark and Romania.. Her weekly columns will give you insights into an expats life in Bucharest written with humor and a big Danish smile.