Cornelia Păun Heinzel: Transatlantic Dream

Translation: Ştefan Anghel


Cu mulţumiri scriitorului din Norvegia, care a verificat şi

corectat  traducerea, asigurându-i astfel o calitate ridicată



            The compartment door opened slowly, and a blond, blue-eyed, tall, but not exaggerated, thin, beautiful that she almost looked like the actress Gwyneth Paltrow appeared.

The train was always the place where I met interesting people. Last time, when I was traveling from Cluj, I had come together with Ricky Dandel, the renowned soloist, and I had the surprise of a pleasant conversation with a sympathetic person, particularly intelligent and modest, at the same time, given the recognition of the star, Golden Deer ". He told me about his life in Germany, about his profession, was different from what he had in the country, as a graduate of English literature, about continuing his studies abroad, about the economy, about his future dreams.

- Hello ! How are you ? We have not met for so long ago! the young man told me.

- Hello  Jeni ! I answer with the classic Braşovian greeting used among former colleagues, whether university professors or directors at any bank or other institution. But how are you? I asked as I smiled as usual.

-I'm going to Canada. This is the last time we see each other, she told me with a cold tone, what she was characterizing, the woman.

-But why the last one? You asked.

-I'm going to go and that I'm no longer going to be in touch with anyone here in the country, Jeni replied.

- Not even with your sisters? he continued with the questions, knowing that Jeni had a very good understanding of them. They were particularly beautiful and intelligent. Between them there  a special relationship. They consulted when they were in trouble and always helped anothers.

-No, not even with them, nor with their husbands or their children, that is, my grandchildren, "Jeni replied.

-But why? I asked more amazed.

-This is one of the conditions that have been imposed upon me! I sold my house, my car and I deposited everything in my canadian bank account. I have paid my hotel accommodation for six years and have deposited a sum of money from which I can live eight years even if I can not find a job immediately. But I did’n think that will happen. I recently took the TOEFL.

I know Jeni did not study English at school. But she was very smart, ambitious and diligent. I had thought he learned a lot up that she managed to pass the test.

-And now I teach computer science, computers, said Jeni. I only sleep two or three hours a night to how as much as possible. I do not want to waste time. I want to compete with an IT company as soon as I get there. My documents are fine. I also signed the documents that I would donate my organs in case of an accident ...

-But is this something obligatory ? asked my fiancé who accompanied me.

-Sure yes it is do ! That's how it is in the West, not like us! They all do it! Only those here are back wards and do not know about it, Jeni said persuasively. I do it for the good of mankind !

If you paid the hotel for so long, do you know what it's called ? I still questioned her, wondering about my friend's courage. Do you trust the how that account you  such a large amount of money ?

-All I know is that when I leave the plane, an unknown person will be waiting for me to drive me to the hotel. At first, I will not have an identity. I'll be only a number, until I get their trust. As I walk on foreign lands, I will not have names. I'll have to work for a few years, seven or eight, to prove why I'm capable, then maybe I'll get a chance to get my visa. Until then, I paid the accommodation and the money to support me.


-But do you trust ? then  if they take you to the brothel ? I asked her thinking that it would not be impossible, given the particular physical aspect my friend had. I had seen this in films and heard real cases.

-It's a trusted company ! By faculty ! All the promoters, assistants and university lecturers in Brasov walked through it, the young woman fully convinced.

-Yeah, I know, Papuc and Ionescu left, too, I exclaimed. But they did not tell me how.

Papuc is already in Canada and already owns a farm. And he works in IT, he was a specialist in that. But those who left immediately after the revolution, like Marius, got the best. He works as an electronics engineer at a US company.

Marius graduated from Electronica with the highest grade. Papuc had three aunts that were, teachers, colleagues with my mother, who indulged him to the fullest. Do not work in the house. But he was learning very well. He had finished his college as the head of the promotion. "How is he owning cows when he was not used to ordinary physical labor?" I wondered, puzzled. "But it is probably over the ocean, there in the land of all wonders."

-If everything goes well, my sisters and my family will come and visit me, too ! Jeni said. At the University after the revolution, it is no longer state. The security will not let others live peacefully. My sister, the head of the chair does not give him the keys to the classrooms where he has classes. He has no place to keep them, and no one to claim. I'm only doing it! In the same situation is her husband. They had to both leave the University, although they were lecturers, with governmental repartition at the University, because they graduated from college with the highest grade. They have now made a computer company and are Microsoft's representative. But it's very hard. Honestly, you can not handle it. The former securities also hold the monopoly there.

Razvan went to Germany, to his girlfriend. He knows German. He attended the "Johannes Honterus" High School. But he did not get there. He did not find any job. He returned to the country and took Mr. Papornita, to him at the chair. At the Faculty of Electronics. Now after the revolution, he hired who he wanted without being a graduate of Electronics. He founded a college with this specialization, being the only teacher, graduate of this profile. But this is so today! Former securities can do whatever they want! You do not have to graduate the appropriate faculty to be a university professor if you were a security guard.

-Razvan worked long ago for the Security, Jeni told me. It had this advantage.

-And Eugen went to Germany. He wanted to prepare him a little with the German language at departure, I telld him. His sister, a teacher, colleague at school with my mother, said he was washing the toilets in Germany. Here, in Romania, Mr. Paporniţă was also a lecturer at "Electronics", even if he was a graduate of "Mechanics". But there was not much in Germany. He passed the ocean to the US, where he met an Asian woman and joined a religious cult, becoming an adept and even a leader.

-Yes, indeed, Eugen was a graduate of Mechanics, Jeni confirms.

Yeah, but now if you have a relations, it does not matter the specialization, to the University professors. A former colleague of ours, who was in research, gave his doctorate in Mechanics because he did not succeed in Mathematics and now is a lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics. And the formerly employed school administrator at my mother, who graduated without school, by Ştefan Gheorghiu, came after the Revolution, immediately, name university professor and even the dean of the faculty, I tell him.

I met Jeni at Univesity, where we worked together after graduating from the faculty, having both a double government division because we graduated from the first. I was the only women in the chair. And we had to learn and work a lot, to prove that we are as well prepared as any other fellow man. We train each other on computer activities because the PCs that were absolutely necessary for our work had barely been introduced. At that time, we were among the first people in the country to use these computers.

- My older sister, Angela, lecturer, was head of the Fine Mechanics promotion and was assigned a double government assignment to this chair. So did her husband, chief of works, but at the Department of Machine Tools, Jeni told me.

Angela came to us one day and Jeni introduced it to me. She looked much like Jeni, she had the same blue eyes, her blonde hair, short, slightly curly, but it was a little thicker , compared to Jeni, who was the filiform type. She was a bit more serious than Jeni, who was also severe and serious as a yarn.

Simona, the younger sister I know earlier. She was a long-haired brunette, with very beautiful face features, as rarely exists. It impressed her physiognomy, with white skin, with very large black eyes, with small mouth and nose. He had three children. The husband, the son of a securitist, was a well-groomed brunette with curly hair.

It was five years ago. I was finalizing my Ph.D. thesis and I was looking for a high-performance computer to work because the probability of getting one that would fail quickly, within the warranty period and not being repaired. You do not have anyone to complainas about. Or better said, if complaints, nothing is solved, even if you are right and had tons of evidence, as for any problem in any field, after 1990.

After turning around all the computers that offered, I stopped at the sister company of Jeni, Angela, the Microsoft's representative. The woman was running the company with her husband. There were no longer lecturers at the University for a long time. The company was based in a huge villa, built by their father, a shoemaker, in the socialist era.

-This is a computer for the Gas Company, Angela told me.

-Give it to me, I told her, I urgently need to finish the Ph.D. thesis, I implored.

-It costs 13,000 Euros and I do not want Lei. I intend to go to Canada as Jeni, with my family. Simona also left with her children. His husband remained in the country because his work contract was not completed at the computer firm he was working on. He will come with his brother, who also sent his wife and children.

-And Jeni, what's she doing? Do you have any news from her? But Simona, alone with the children, how does she do it ? How will she meet her husband? If he is not allowed to contact anyone in the country? I asked curiously.

-Jeni is very hard working at an IT company. I did not talk to her because it is not allowed. But the liaison man from Braşov showed to Canada a photo of her at work. And Simon will take care of her when her husband arrives there. But we'll leave first - myself, my husband and my children.

That amount to much for Angela's computer, especially since it was not last generation. Angela had shaken me. But at least it worked very well for many years. The system, the software from Microsoft has never fallen, until a virus CD has been given to us by a colleague of my sister, professor, former colonel. They had been two years old.

One day, I crossed the street where the three sisters' villa was located and the computer company headquarters, Angela's Microsoft office. It was all deserted. I understand. Jeni's older sister, Angela, had left with her family. Ten years after Jeni's departure. I met my younger sister's husband in Brasov on my vacation. He was with his brother, who had also sent his wife and children to Canada. "What happened to them I asked ?" thinking that I would not have the opportunity to find out. We saluted but did not talk, because I noticed that he was in a hurry.

I went home and opened the TV. In the news, there are some Romanians released a few years later by the pirates who attacked the ship they were working on. I see, with a surprise, a military doctor, the former husband of a teacher, a mate with my mother. I see her daughter who came to meet him.

-       Hello , a meager, fat-eyed, medium-haired man with a rebellious crutch, blue eyes and a thick mustache told me.

-Hello ! How are you, Teo? I asked him.

-Look, with trouble! Don’t you want to go to Canada ? He asked me. I work for the emigration company on these lands.

-I do not want to. I work in Germany as a teacher and I here am on holiday! I replied.

-Dont you want to change the continent ? Teo insists with the proposal.

-It's too far away. I'm not so brave to take this step. But I admire those who manage to do it ! But how are you, what's your father, mother, grandmother ? I asked him.

-They all died, all at once ! The man replied. I was alone.

-And you still live there? Inquiring, knowing that Teo lived in a house on a main street in the historical center of Brasov, which was leading to the Schei Gate.

-No, the owner came and evicted us ! said Teo.

-And now where do you live ? I continued the conversation.

-I have no home, I live in some uninhabited, deserted buildings, like street people, homeless. With my salary I can not buy even the cheapest studio. With the money you earn no rent for a room.

Teo was an electronics engineer. He completed the Electronics in Bucharest as head of the promotion and received double government repartition at the University in research. His father was a chief engineer at a large factory. His Hungarian mother was a housewife. But they had enough money to make a decent living. They always bought the latest electronics. Teo had a large library of movie tapes. From time to time, he loaned me one. He was a joking person, he told us all many jokes and horror stories. Then she laughed and made us happy too.

-You do not have to think about what I said, you do not make them and then you will not be scared! He advised us.

When he made his birthday at the University, he served us, among other things, with chickens. She first told us we were pane. And we all served it with pleasure. “Do you know what you ate today ? He said, laughing as usual. Chickens ! “-Which? Which were the chickens, I inquired curiously”.

-The lord ! He answered. Let's see what happened is the past days in Sfântu Gheorghe.

-Is he is not allowed to contact anyone in the country? I wonder curiously.

I went to a confectionery and asked for a cake. The Hungarian confectioner spoke with a young man and did not pay any attention to me. I got angry and bother of. In Hungarian, grandmother is of Hungarian nationality. And, what do you think? The woman immediately smiles at me politely and asks me what cake I want. But if it was me, what would I do? Asked Doru, another colleague. I do not know Hungarian. Had I been hungry? It is not so, I replied.  I was there always at them served me very well. I really love Hungarian cuisine and always go to restaurants in the resorts of the area. I like how I cook and how it serves. Maybe you still want to leave Germany and go to Canada. I'll leave you my phone. It's simple You sell everything you have, deposit money into an account, sign that you donate your organs, for the good of mankind and an unknown person will wait there. He'll take you to a hotel. You will not have identity, you will get a number for the beginning. For the first seven or eight years, for which you will pay for accommodation at the hotel... "Why does not Teo go there if he still has the line? Especially because he does not have anybody in the country or other things to link him here, I'm thinking puzzled. "He does not have a house, he does not have to sell anything. This is precisely the problem! No money! Can not leave without money ?". I involuntarily think of my girlfriend Jeni and her wonderful sisters and children, and I wish with all my heart that, like all the brave and sympathetic people of Braşov who went to foreign lands, they really succeded, as they deserved, To fulfilled their dreams...

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