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…

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

Romania’s Best High Plains Comedy

All the grand poobahs of the film world continue to heap praise on the film Aferim: It’s post-medieval (early 1800s, actually) Wallachia, and the two chatty riders we meet are mercenary “constables” traversing a peasant landscape of plague, frontier justice, and gypsy slaves. Haven’t seen it myself but honestly, it sounds terrible. In the past…

The White Billionaire’s Burden

About 100 years ago, a famous British man wrote a poem about poor and uneducated little brown people (of the Phillipine Islands) and how it was the white man’s “burden” to help them. I was reminded of that sentiment once again this morning after reading an open letter from billionaire George Soros in the Guardian…

The Self-Hating Gyp

Living in various parts of the United States as well as a lengthy stint in Israel (including during the 1989 Romanian revolution), I’ve spent considerable time around Jews and gotten familiar with one of their stranger beliefs, that of the self-hating Jew. In essence, there is a pervasive internal belief amongst a long-suffering minority that…