Sibiu, cca. 2023

June 10, 2023 by Lucian Mogosanu

Sibiu is a small town from southern Transylvania. Nearly five years from the last one, this entry records a set of notes summing up the state of this tiny part of the world at the beginning of post-covid 2020s.

Sibiu is a small town from southern Ardeal. Unfortunately, despite its pompous titles of "cultural capital" and whatnot, it's not much more than just a small town. Indeed, its centre hosts the ossified remains of a beautiful medieval civilization, meanwhile conquered by the usual barbarians and transformed in a tourist trap comprising mainly well-preserved architecture and so-called "museums". The only living parts of this centre remain the pubs and the restaurants, where one may meet diverse folks of all ages, genders, races and so on and so forth. At the very least, it has all that to show to the world.

This historical centre is surrounded by a thick outgrowth of primarily rural and secondarily industrial areas. The former in particular are a blend of hruschebas and suburban houses, ranging from astoundingly beautiful to saddeningly poor to... both -- in his periple through the outer town, the naïve tourist will discover more than one building hosting one or two elements that were restored almost to perfection, only to come in contrast with other elements that lie in utter decay. More importantly, the very same tourist may temporarily withdraw from civilization altogether, by visiting the "park under the alder trees" or the "museum of rural civilization", excluding from this museum the mass of tourists themselves, which in a crowded day will exhibit themselves in any manner other than "civilized".

If during Habsburg rule one may have had the chance to become, say, the advisor of Samuel von Brukenthal on problems pertaining to, say, homeopathy, nowadays the political landscape hosts mostly mini-KWJs. The KWJ is a sort of mite resembling any large piece of furniture, only this one prides itself on being "intelligent", in the very same way your "smart"phone does, which guarantees that at some point it's even going to talk back at you if you upset it. Thus if nothing else, Sibiu can pride itself with being the country's foremost exporter of chatbots to be used by the kids for swearing practice -- or, to quote some random graffiti uptown, "să vă fut cu iohanisu vostru".

Most Sibian youngsters, as well as some older folks, are incurable hipsters. This particular demographic openly adheres to all postmodern religions: they collect their garbage in a conscious way, they ride the "green" bus, they believe in science, equality and corporate-sponsored unity and some of them openly dress in the conformist "non-conformist" way, especially if this draws some sort of attention upon them. Which in a way is a pity, because most Sibians are genuinely nice, warm, friendly people. One can only hope that they remain this way through the undergoing wave of destructuring washing over them.

Sibiu is living proof that weather -- that is, short-term variations in atmospheric parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity and whatnot -- is unpredictable. One can only wonder what can be said then regarding all the sciency scientific models pertaining to climate -- that is, variations of the same parameters on a long-term, that is on a geological scale. Certainly, the tireless efforts of the woke citizens of Sibiu to reach "net zero thermodynamic activity" will not have been in vain.

If one were to organize a backgammon (locally known as "tablă") championship between the senior folks of Astra park and those of Cișmigiu, who would win?

The Aroma confectionery is still going strong, consistently serving the second best éclair since 2007. While the company was supposedly founded in the early 1990s, the taste of their products is reminiscent of the yet older communist era, when the traditional approach was to hold on to simple tastes resembling the homemade stuff and to avoid sugar overdosing. Makes one wonder whether communism wasn't in fact the peak era of this particular industry.

If there is any single aspect to save Sibiu, that is most definitely the local food. Walking around town, it is quite easy to stumble upon some restaurant, steakhouse or pub which serves if not delicious food, then at least one that on average lies above the mediocre standards of other Romanian towns. This feature alone makes it worth a few days of exploration.

Sibiu is a town comprised for the most part of roundabouts and... squares. You have the large square, the small square, the Albert Huet square, the Dragons' sentry, the Crown square and so on and so forth. One can only wonder, as one does about all other things related to Sibiu, if Sibiu itself is but a largerer square encompassing a small townlet in southern Transylvania.

Filed under: in the flesh.
RSS 2.0 feed. Comment. Send trackback.

One Response to “Sibiu, cca. 2023”

  1. [...] stopped for a bit to (re)view Ioan de Hunedoara's Corvin Castle, meanwhile turned into a festering tourist trap filled with post-human apes. These folks waste their time on things they don't even make the effort [...]

Leave a Reply