Friday, 10 August 2012


On Republicii is an upmarket shoe shop called Il Passo: all white, minimalist and happening now. Sitting on the step next to it is an elderly lady wearing a headscarf. Far from being minimalist, she is wearing a multi-layered dress and a headscarf, which have seen better days. Her face is heavily lined. She’s been working Republicii in the afternoon sun, selling small bunches of, I think, violets. She looks knackered. I put down my Americano, leave the cafe and walk over. Kneeling down, I ask her for a bunch of her flowers. She hands one over and I give her twenty lei.

That’s too much, she says.
But they’re so beautiful, I reply.         

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