Garbage Fire

Lately, I’ve had my mind on my neighbor down the road, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about good old Unicorn City. Ah yes, my pet name for dear, sweet Cluj-Napoca, a charming city that is, unfortunately, a little too full of its own shit. How many times have I written about this before,…

We Don’t Need No Water

You know, I’ve met Emil Boc several times, the (apparently) permanent mayor of Cluj-Napoca. He’s a nice guy and quite charming. But he’s an old Communist bootlick and one of the most racist anti-Gypsy politicians in the country, and that’s saying something. Yesterday, I couldn’t help but note that the Pata Rat garbage dump, described…

Volte-face

I wrote about it in 2012, in 2013, in 2014 and countless other times, but it’s finally good to hear that longtime expat Rupert Wolfe Murray finally gets it too: For many years I thought I knew the answer to the problems faced by the Romani Gypsies: education. If we could just make school more…

Gypsy Palaces in Huedin

Few places in Romania have a higher concentration of garish gypsy palaces than the little town of Huedin, located just west of Cluj.  The palaces have always struck me as the architectural equivalent of gold grillz and raised trucks—flashy emblems for American proles who want to project a moneyed lifestyle despite earning $30,000 a year. Most people…

Brave Romanian Police Kinda Sorta Stop Some Pickpockets

I was minding my own business this morning, reading through this French report about the police breaking up a ring of pickpockets when I noticed something odd. Apparently, a group of Gypsies has been begging and stealing (pickpocketing) passengers on French trains as well as visitors to Disneyland Paris. 11 people were arrested, six of…

Inside the Fabulous Homes of “Gypsy Queens”

What happens when a foreign photographer who speaks no Romanian travels to the country and takes high-res photos of gypsy palaces? Pure comedy, of course, as well as some really nice pictures. Click on the link for the full experience. I guess Cuvelier never asked where all that fabulous wealth came from LOL