Sunday, November 15, 2009


So one of my favorite things about pretty much everywhere we went in the Eastern Block and the Balkans was the old women...the babushkas. Their home made clothes, stern demeanor, head scarves, fresh produce. I smile every time I think about them. In Croatia, there was this one old woman standing on her doorstep in these small back alleys. We were wandering looking for our hotel (a loose term I assure you) in this alley labyrinth. It was SO hot, we had just arrived, coming in on a hellish bus ride, and our packs seriously weighed like 40 pounds on our backs. As I passed by her she held a bag out to me. It was her trash.

This Turkish woman made crepes on a boat as her husband rowed her around to the tourists on their yachts. I don't think Melissa was happier the whole trip than when this woman told her in Turkish she would have been proud to have her as a daughter, after Melissa successfully made her own crepe.

I love this. You know she made their matching suits.

At one point we were in this little Czech town, Kutna Hora, waiting for a train to Prague. As we sat next to this old woman on the bench waiting for the train, this extremely annoying British couple came over. The woman was loud and sounded stupid. So when a train pulls up, she starts loudly asking no one in particular if this was her train. The train was on its way to Brno, another Czech city, and says Brno in the window. But this woman, reaches over us and taps the old woman on my right. With her bubble gum voice she asks the woman if the train is going to Prague. The woman, in one of my favorite memories, grunts. She actually grunted. Then she said slowly in her low voice "Brno" and folded her arms, and grunted again.

In Romania, the old women, if they're home in the day, lean out their windows. I loved this. Women, just leaning out the windows and watching, occasionally yelling to their neighbor also leaning out her window.


Anandi said...

I loved this post!

I guess old women are the most fascinating because their actions and reactions (grunt) are above the judgement of society. So they go out and do their thing, telling you exactly what they think of things!

Camille Lewis said...

what a cool post kim. you saw and experienced so much... oh and amazing pictures!

you = talented