A piece of US history and a piece of Romanian history...

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... in two fragments of my novel 'First Steps. Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope.'

1.

“Did you know that at first Boston was bigger than New York?” Bryan asked Azade as he started the car. “Yeah, it was for a while. But we have to thank the Dutch. Who knows what the Big Apple would be now, if
they wouldn’t have set one of their economic centers here, in the New Amsterdam, as it used to be called. Their colonial politics was at it was, no comment, but the important thing is what was left after them, like this wonderful city, which changed his name to New York in 1664, when it was conquered by the English. Even though now it is the biggest, no, the hugest, and probably the most important, anyway the most notorious city in the US, it is not even the capital city, it is not even the capital of the state that bares its name.”

(First Steps. Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope., p.131)

2.

In one lesson about the Soviet Union he started talking to them about Cerbul de Aur [the Golden Stag Festival]. He said something like:

"Cerbul de Aur was a successful festival during its first editions, when Romania became a star country because it did not only refuse to participate in invading Czechoslovakia in 1968 when the first edition of Cerbul de Aur was held, but it also severely condemned this action. This was an act of bravery from Romania who risked being invaded by Soviet troops itself, troops which were immediately gathered at its border. Romania prepared intensely to face an attack. The country's president Nicolae Ceausescu, you've heard of him! decreed to create Gărzile Patriotice, which could contribute to help the army. Military stage was back then mandatory in Romania. In order to extend military training the law was given to Pregătirea Tineretului pentru Apărarea Patriei [Prepare the Youth for Defending the Country], shortly it was called P.T.A.P. Therefore even students who have not yet become of age we're able to participate in theoretical and practical courses of military training. Take us now for example, we wouldn't have been talking about Cerbul de Aur, we would have been practicing shooting!"

(First Steps. Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope., pp.104-5)

 

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