52My month in Romania came to an end far too quickly and I am back at base having emptied the last dregs of my suitcase, feeling rather forlorn. To my CDs I scrambled for some audio-therapy and found this lovely (and amusing) old folksong, Mă dusei să trec la Olt sung by Maria Tanase, which took me straight back to the country of my heart in the wink of an eye and three wonderful days spent in Moieciu de Sus, Transylvania.

One of my dear friends sings in a band. He has a great voice and a huge repertoire, amongst which is this one he performs beautifully with his guitar, a cheeky grin and a very nostalgic air! I can't imagine listening to it ever again without 'seeing' Radu sitting on the terrace, guitar in hand, Piatra Craiului at his back, singing as evening drew to a close. Lovely image!

Mă dusei să trec la Olt (click to listen)

Mă dusei, şi mă dusei să trec la Olt
Mă dusei, şi mă dusei să trec la Olt
Cu a mea, cu a mea, cu a mea mândră cu tot
Cu a mea, cu a mea, cu a mea mândră cu tot
Şi podariul, şi podariu-mi cere-un zlot
Şi podariul, şi podariu-mi cere-un zlot
Şi pe-a mea, şi pe-a mea, şi pe-a mea mândră de tot
Şi pe-a mea, şi pe-a mea, şi pe-a mea mândră de tot
Dar decât, dar decât să-i dau un slot
Dar decât, dar decât să-i dau un slot
Mai bine, mai bine, mai bine îl trec inot
Mai bine, mai bine, mai bine trec Oltu-not
Că unde-o fi, că unde-o fi Oltul mai mare
Că unde-o fi, că unde-o fi Oltul mai mare
M-o trece, m-o trece, m-o trece mândra-n spinare
M-o trece, m-o trece, m-o trece mândra-n spinare
Şi unde-o fi, şi unde-o fi mai mititel
Unde-o fi, şi unde-o fi mai mititel
Îl trec eu, îl trec eu, îl trec eu că-s voinicel
Îl trec eu, îl trec eu, îl trec eu că-s voinicel

I have gone to cross the Olt (English Lyrics- approximate translation):

I have gone, and I have gone to cross the Olt
I have gone, and I have gone to cross the Olt
With my, with my, with my sweetheart too
With my, with my, with my sweetheart too
And the bridge keeper, and the bridge keeper asks for a penny
And the bridge keeper, and the bridge keeper asks for a penny
And my, and my, and my sweetheart for good
And my, and my, and my sweetheart for good
But rather then, but rather then give him a penny
But rather then, but rather then give him a penny
Better, better, better to swim across it
Better, better, better to swim across the Olt
As where, as where Olt is deeper
As where, as where Olt is deeper
My sweetheart will carry me, will carry me, will carry me, on her back
My sweetheart will carry me, will carry me, will carry me, on her back
And where, and where, and where Olt is shallower
And where, and where, and where Olt is shallower
I'll go myself, I'll go myself, I'll go myself as I'm quite strong
I'll go myself, I'll go myself, I'll go myself as I'm quite strong

21True, in English it kind of loses momentum! However, in Romanian, the language is typical for Oltenia ( dusei...) and for authenticity, we were not that far from the Olt, Romania's longest river that flows through the counties of Harghita, Covasna, Brasov, Sibiu, Valcea and Olt. The seven of us upped hills and downed dales with views that rival Heidi, did justice to fabulous gratar, swigged superb palinca, toasted a wedding (yey!!), breathed the delightfully fresh air to the deepest depths of our lungs and had the best of times. Music is never far away in Romania, whether one actually wants it or not. Perhaps there's a wedding somewhere and 'dîrli-dîrli' (as I call it in Moldova) or 'didly-didly' (everywhere else) music floods from a back garden. Maybe manele screams from a passing taxi. Or someone is whistling an air, a doina.... No car 96journey is without music and for me, no memory of Romania is without its incidental music parallel.

Mă dusei să trec la Olt is my song for Moieciu de Sus memories. And very happy ones they are, too.

My thanks and affection to Mary, Radu, Alina, Cristian, Florina and Dominic. To more and more and maaaaany more 'the hills are alive...' weekends such as this!