I first visited in 2009 and on impulse bought a house. Why? Because it was cheap. Because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It had a well with good water, an orchard and space for a garden. The air is clean. The village is very small and well away from civilization. My kids call my house ‘mum’s mud hut’.
I’ve had work done. I no longer need to hold the fence up. One of my friends in Transylvania calls it the posh peasants’ house. I have a fetish for fine silverware and china. Forced back to the slums you’d find me using fruit spoon, bone handled knife and silver soup spoon, napkins, a china cup for my tea and, of course — the delicate pastry fork.
Recently I wrote about ‘home’ and what the word might mean to someone, who by inclination, is a traveller. I’m not sure if I’ve reached a conclusion.
Here, in Scotland, the word ‘stay’ has a precise meaning. ‘Where do you stay’, means where are you abiding, where is your home, as opposed to where is the resort where you’re booked in for a fortnight. I stay in three places. I stay in my flat in Scotland, in Ivan’s house in Canada, and in my house in Transylvania. What defines these as places where I stay are the toothbrush, rubber boots and sundry other wardrobe items, that abide there even when I’m elsewhere.
My village is close to Sighisoara — putative birthplace of Vlad Dracule Vlad the Impaler
Sighisoara medieval quarter