Tales of the past: unique photos from Constanta Park 1991

[citeste acest articol in Limba Romana AICI]

In my previous article about the Lost train line in the Park , I made a call out to all my readers asking for old scanned photos of the park and of the miniature train.  A few days ago Mr. Ray Wilkinson from Halifax contacted me. He was in vacation in Constanta, Romania in 1991, a short period just after the anti communist revolution and luckily he made coloured photos that he was kind enough to share. As a tourist he described his experience as beeing “real” , enjoyed the train ride and mentioned that in the post-revolutionary Constanta of 1991 there was still chaos and disarray (which sadly still is today after 28 years), but everyone was being friendly and tried to show them a good time.

I am sure that the young people of today that fill up the “City Park Mall” which is built on the spot where the first pic is taken, have no idea how the place looked like before.  Unfortunately the people of Constanta just don’t care that this park is gone, a clear evidence of this is the very small number of people that came to protest against the building of the shopping mall when they started the construction site.  At least we still got the photos and our memories, for the others all I can say is: Enjoy your shopping in the recently extended shopping mall!

Constanta Park

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Tales of the past: poze inedite din Constanta cu trenuletul si parcul in 1991

[to read this article in English click HERE]

In articolul trecut despre Trenuletul din parcul Tabacariei ce numai exista astazi am facut un apel la cititori care au poze vechi scanate cu parcul si trenuletul. Acum cateva zile m-a contactat Domnul Ray Wilkinson din Halifax care a fost in vacanta in Romania in 1991, la scurt timp dupa revolutie si care din fericire a facut si poze cu film color.  Pozele lui sunt o adevarata mina de aur si ii multumesc pentru faptul ca le-a impartasit. Turistul strain mi-a povestit ca a avut parte de o experienta “reala” , i-a placut plimbarea cu trenuletul in vara lui 1991 , in Constanta de dupa revolutie inca era dezorganizare (din pacate nimic nu s-a schimbat dupa 28 de ani, inca e si acum) , lacul Tabacariei era mirositor dar toata lumea era foarte prietenoasa si incercau sa le creeze turistilor o atmosfera placuta.

Sunt sigur ca tinerii care umplu astazi City Park Mall nu stiu cum arata acolo parcul inainte sa se construiasca abuziv peste el si din pacate la majoritatea Constantenilor pur si simplu nu le pasa ca a disparut acest parc, dovada clara la indiferenta lor fiind numarul extrem de mic de participanti la protestul din parc cand s-a inceput organizarea santierului (sau la orice alt protest daca tot vine vorba). Macar am ramas cu pozele si cateva amintiri , in rest plimbare placuta prin mall-ul extins recent!

 

Constanta Parc Tabacarie

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Circuit in Romania cu masina

Daca tot e vara si frumos am zis sa profitam de zilele libere dar si de voucherele de cazare disponibile si am plecat o saptamana prin Romania. Circuitul nostru a inceput de la Cazanele Dunarii cu oprire la Orsova, Dubova , Cheile Nerei, Timisoara, Deva, Hunedoara, Alba Iulia, Sovata, Praid, Sighisoara, Brasov si pe Transfagarasan inapoi la Constanta. Ca deobicei excursia a fost planificata din scurt si cazarea a fost aleasa din ce era disponibil prin intermediul unei agentii de voiaj.

Ziua 1: plecat la drum pe drumurile patriei , unde dupa cum v-am zis si in articolul anterior despre drumetia spre Budapesta , lasa foarte mult de dorit si pierzi foarte multe ore in ambuteiaje. De la Constanta la Orsova am ales varianta Bucuresti – Pitesti – Rm. Valcea cu oprire la Targul Jiu. Imediat cum iesi de pe A1 la Pitesti incepe calvarul si nu se mai opreste pana la Timisoara cand revenim pe A1. Mai nou peste drumurile bune din Romania se pune pietris care nu e presat de utilaje , ci de masinile din traficul deschis circulatiei, pietris care iti face tandari capota si parbrizul – TARA DE CACAT!

Am ales varianta aceasta pentru a opri la Targul Jiu sa vedem sculpturile lui Brancusi. Prima surpriza neplacuta am avut-o cand am vazut ca mergeam spre Parcul lui Brancusi dar am trecut frumos pe langa Coloana Infinitului. Coloana e in alt parc in partea opusa a orasului fata de Poarta Sarutului si Masa Tacerii. Odata ajunsi in parc, vazut si pozat Poarta Sarutului si Masa Tacerii , am plecat in maxim jumatate de ora. Pot sa zic ca nu merita drumul pana acolo si sculpturile in sine sunt foarte….. neatractive si anoste. Operele lui Brancusi nu sunt scoase in evidenta si singurele informatii ca ar fi ale lui Brancusi sunt pe un mic panou portabil pus langa, stiti voi genul ala pe care se scrie meniul zilei la terase. Autoritatile Romane poate ar trebui sa faca o vizita la atelierul-muzeu din Paris al lui Brancusi ca sa isi faca o idee despre cum omagiezi o asemenea valoare.

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Mergem mai departe la Orsova si Cazanele Dunarii. Orsova este unul din cele mai dragute orasele care le-am vazut pe la noi , pe faleza care se intinde la tot orasul este o placere sa te plimbi Continue reading

Budapesta excursie cu masina

[Read this article in English HERE]

Daca tot am vrut sa evitam tigania de la ziua Marinei de acasa am zis sa plecam in weekendul prelungit, cateva zile la Budapesta. Ca orice idee buna , trip-ul asta ne-a venit in cap la o bauta in Vama Veche. Zis si facut , Sambata la 5 dimineata eram in masina 2 cupluri in drum spre granita cu Ungaria. De la Constanta la Budapesta sunt cam 1050 kilometri , dintre care doar 218 km sunt pe drumuri nationale si nu pe autostrada , respectiv Valea Oltului  intre Pitesti si intrare Sibiu , si bucata lipsa A1 intre Deva si Faget – Dumbrava. Teoretic ar trebui sa faci acest drum in 11 ore , in practica traim in Romania si e jaleeee mare de tot. Va recomand multa rabdare si sange rece , pe Valea Oltului am pierdut pe putin 3 ore in trafic bara la bara blocati intre tiruri autocare si un sir infinit de masini pe ambele sensuri , aducand timpul traseului la 15 ore. Odata ce treci de centura Bucurestiului si de Valea Oltului si ai ajuns la autostrada de la Sibiu se merge foarte bine , noua autostrada continua si la granita de la Nadlac si la Budapesta. Noul punct de trecere de pe austrada la Nadlac are destule benzi si se merge ca la drive-in , doar prezinti buletinul din masina si mergi mai departe. Imediat dupa granita la prima parcare de pe autostrada M43 , se opreste si se cumpara rovinieta. Pe 10 zile costa 2975 Forinti (10 EUR) si daca o cumperi de pe internet o platesti la pretul acesta , daca o cumperi de la ghiseul din parcare vei da 14 EUR , dupa cum am descoperit si noi. Drumurile si autostrada in Ungaria sunt impecabile , nu iti rupi masina la podete si viaducte ca pe Autostrada Soarelui A2 , si se circula foarte civilizat pe banda 1 , banda 2 fiind folosita pe intervale scurte doar cand depasesti un autovehicul mai incet de pe banda 1. Banda 2 nu este ocupata in permanenta de smecheri si cand te afli pe ea nu o sa iti vina nimeni in spate sa iti dea flashuri , claxoane , ci vor astepta calmi pana iti termini depasirea si revii pe banda 1 sau in cel mai rau caz isi activeaza semnalizarea pe stanga ca sa te atentioneze ca tii banda ocupata. GPS-ul a fost sfant si de data asta , mai ales in oras.

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Macel spatiu verde Constanta

Spatiu verde si haosul urbanistic cu care se confrunta Constanta este o problema serioasa, am ajuns unul din orasele cu cei mai putini metri patrati de spatiu verde pe cap locuitor din Europa. S-a ajuns aici in timp si cauza principala sunt constructiile abuzive autorizate pe spatiile verzi ale orasului.

O simpla cautare pe imobiliare.ro aplicand filtrul “doar locuinte noi” si excluzand mansardele, va da rezultate surprinzatoare in cartierele vechi de blocuri comuniste. Cu ajutorul imaginilor istorice din Google Earth, care acopera Constanta la rezolutie mare din 2005, se poate vedea clar ce a aparut in ultimii 11 ani pe spatiile verzi si din pacate lista este mare.  Daca marcam aceste constructii abuzive pe harta cu puncte rosii observam ca desi sunt prezente in tot orasul, majoritatea sunt concentrate in zona de Nord in apropierea statiunii Mamaia. Dezvoltatorii au adus statiunea in oras, aglomerand si mai mult o zona deja foarte aglomerata,  majoritatea imobilelor noi fiind hotele sau blocuri rezidentiale a caror apartamente sunt inchiriate de noii propietari in regim hotelier pe timpul verii. (lista detaliata dedesubt)

 

Mentionez de pe acum ca nu am nimic cu cei ce au cumparat propietati sau locuiesc in vreunul din imobilele de mai jos, clientul doar a profitat de oferta si nu are nici o vina pentru ce face Continue reading

After six years at sea

[Citeste acest articol in limba Romana AICI]

After six years at sea all I got is a lot of white hairs, a car, a piece of land, a few good and plenty bad memories. I dedicate this article to all young people who are thinking of going on the high seas in life.
I made my first voyage in 2010 during my last year at the naval academy and I was among the lucky few who began their cadets program during the academy… .If I think  about it I was among the lucky few who caught a cadet contract at all.

I was glad when I left, it was my first real adventure in life, the first time I was leaving home for such a long period, the first time I went to America and on my plane ticket was written Los Angeles. Los Angeles I didn’t get to see that time ,  I only saw the highway from the airport to the boat. The enthusiasm vanished in less than a week, when I realized that I would spend the next six months sleeping in a narrow bed in a narrow cabin, on a boat with a narrow deck where everybody abuses you, where you work absolutely every day and where everyone only cares about their own skin.

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Just another normal sleepless night at work

Catching up with family in a free minute

I chose this career more to get to see the world rather than for money, but I soon I realized that you see the world only through airports, or when you are woken in the middle of the night to assist with the ship’s docking maneuver, or you can see it in your only 6 hours break time if you sacrifice your hours of sleep and if your legs are still able to stand. Port views are usually limited to a large container yard, often far away, usually a 25 $ taxi ride away from the city. There are exceptions of course, like Hong Kong or Singapore, where the port is practically downtown. Or you can stay one month in a shipyard, or sit idle with your engine broken down somewhere nice. Sometimes when you sign on or off from the ship you’re lucky enough to catch a few nights at a hotel, then you can really get to see the city, but due to economic reasons this happens rare. It happens sometimes to catch a long stay in some ports, where the cargo operations are very slow due to the management , but this is usually the case in third world countries, where you don’t want to stay long, and you definitely don’t want to go the city.

Honk Kong entrance

In these years I have learned, usually the hard way, that there is no justice on the boat, no matter how many rights and goodwill you have, you will still bite the dust. To survive here and climb above others have you have to step on their heads and be like a snake. And I realized that in an isolated environment if you give the power to a mentally deranged individual who had a bad childhood, he will start acting like the master of a plantation and will fuck everybody, and there will be no one around to keep him under control.

But this isolated environment also creates good things: you will make tight bonds and friends that in an office environment would not happen. Apparently if you spend a few months, day and night in a small space with the same few people, you either become very good friends with them, or you will find a thousand ways to kill them in their sleep and throw the body in the ocean at night without being seen by anyone. If you’re not a racist you will probably become one, because most people on board are. This starts also from the shipping and crewing companies who assign ranks and set the length and wages of  your contract based on your nationality.

There is no more honor in this business, virtually all your life you will be a mercenary of the sea, in search of better conditions and pay. Before, each country had it’s own merchant fleet, manned with national crew. Nowadays you will find yourself celebrating New Year somewhere in West Africa, among pirates, in the company of barbed wire, surrounded by Russians and Filipinos, on a German ship sailing under the Liberian flag. Isn’t globalization beautiful?

nationality doesn’t matter, on board we’re all in the shit

nationality doesn’t matter, on board we’re all in the shit

And than there is the other life: the life ashore. Your time home between voyages, which may be shorter or longer, is not just a vacation, it’s basically your old life since before you started sailing, life that you are trying desperately to cling on to, but with each voyage it becomes more distant and unimportant to you. After 6 months on the high seas, you land in your country for 2-3 months and you simply do not understand what is going on around you. You missed your mother’s birthday, you missed the wedding of your best friend, you missed the latest movies … you missed a lot. And by the time you clear your head and start to adapt somewhat in society, your phone rings and you have to pack up and leave again.

Now imagine what it’s like to start a serious relationship in these conditions. Unless you’ve had your wedding in your early 20’s, or you are in a good consolidated relation with your high school sweetheart, you realize how damn hard it is to start and especially  maintain such a relationship. Be prepared to face situations like: you just finished a contract and come back home to find that your girlfriend is pregnant and already moved in with another dude. But the good thing is that because of these situations you will have a stronger character and you cope more easily and more prepared in future years. And more importantly you will know how to select and value those who you stayed beside you during hard times.

Years of  continuous non-interrupted daily work with many hours, sleeping erratically, eating food of doubtful quality,  extreme swings of temperature, years of living in a vibrating and rolling environment where your time zones shifts daily,  where the only available comfort you find in alcohol and tobacco and where coffee in large quantities is your best friend, will have an impact on your body. If you managed to escape serious physical injuries, you can be sure that you will pay in other ways. Those many white hairs that appeared on your head are just the surface syndrome.

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There is also the good part that everyone is thinking about: the money! If you sit isolated on a floating prison, means that you do not really have on what to spend the money you earn and you will put them aside. If you got some brains in your head and at the end of the contract you don’t not spend them all on a BMW,  after a few contracts on the sea you can actually think about buying an apartment, a piece of land, or a house with cash down. So while your friends are struggling with rates at the bank for the next 30 years, you have a chance to avoid this. But as I said earlier, you will pay in other ways, whether it’s with your time, your health or happiness. It is the price worth it? … . That is for You to decide!

Perhaps I am being subjective here, and on other ships, other companies the life on board is better, I write to you from my experience on container ships, deck department. But one thing is common to all: nobody will give you back the time spent at sea.

If you enjoyed this article check also my Fb GarciaCalavera.ro  , where you can subscribe by Like-ing it.

Check also other articles from Romania: Cursuri IMO 2016 sau jefuirea navigatorilor Vizita medicala obligatorie – o surpriza placuta ,  Legea fumatului in Romania – greseala majora , Propaganda ridicola a Constantei , RATC Constanta- o mare rusine a orasului , Cu masina la service ,  ANR – SSO Endorsement ;  Trenuletul din parcul Tabacarie , Abuzul Vodafone ,  Mafia Navigatorilor ;Brevet ofiter punte 2011- cat a ajuns toata afacerea;  Legi locale , Taxi Constanta , Birocratia 2 , Black Friday , Policlinica 2 , ANR Bucuresti Bancile in RO , Let’s do it Romania -But why? , Rovinieta in oras Inmatriculare auto , Aviz psihologic , Proiecte abandonate dupa ’89 de incompetenti   , Sea service cadet , Joburile in RO , TVA-ul

Dupa sase ani pe mare

[Read this article in English HERE]

Dupa sase ani pe mare m-am ales cu multe fire albe, o masina, un teren, cateva amintiri bune si foarte multe rele.  Dedic acest articol tuturor tinerilor ce se gandesc sa plece pe mare.
Primul voiaj l-am facut in 2010, eram in ultimul an de facultate si am fost printre putinii norocosi care si-au inceput cadetia din timpul facultatii ….daca ma gandesc mai bine am fost printre putinii norocosi care si-au inceput cadetia in general.

Eram bucuros cand am plecat, era prima aventura in viata, prima oara cand plecam de acasa pentru o perioada asa mare, prima oara cand mergeam in America iar pe biletul meu de avion scria Los Angeles. Los Angeles nu am apucat sa il vad atunci, am vazut doar autostrada de la aeroport la vapor. Entuziasmul a disparut in mai putin de o saptamana, cand am realizat ca imi voi petrece urmatoarele sase luni dormind intr-un pat ingust, intr-o cabina ingusta, pe un vapor cu o punte ingusta unde toti abuzeaza de tine, unde muncesti absolut in fiecare zi  si unde fiecare isi vede doar de basca lui.

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Just another normal sleepless night at work

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Cursuri IMO obligatorii 2016 sau jefuirea navigatorilor

Anul 2016 probabil ca este anul jegmanelii la navigatori , anul in care managementul de la Ceronav si ANR se freaca pe maini si asteapta sa vina toti ofiterii sa isi piarda timpul si sa isi lase banii acolo. Si sumele de bani lasate nu sunt deloc neglijabile , de asemenea nici timpul necesar cursurilor , deseori ocupand cam tot “concediul” de la uscat .

Scuza oficiala este modificarea reglementarilor STCW intrate in vigoare anul acesta , modificare care trebuie sa o adopte toate statele ce furnizeaza personal brevetat. Bun, cu asta suntem de acord si nu avem ce face , dar modul Romanesc in care a fost implementat lasa mult de dorit. Conform noului ordin toti trebuie sa faca noul set de cursuri , altfel vor putea naviga doar pana in Decembrie 2016. Haideti sa vedem principalele modificari si cum ne afecteaza pe noi in mod practic ele:

  • – introducere curs obligatoriu HELM: Human behaviour and deck/engine department leadership trough bridge/engine team management – un curs foarte asemanator cu celalt curs Bridge team resource management  , daca nu leit,  in care timp de  5 zile ni se vorbeste despre elementul uman de la bordul navei . Cursul costa aproximativ 1300 de lei , la fel ca si predecesorul lui. Continue reading

Excursie Dobrogea: Enisala , Ibida, Histria

Desi vremea era foarte capricioasa ne-am hotarat Duminica sa plecam la plimbare prin Dobrogea. Vroiam de mult timp sa vad cetatile  antice Enisala si Histria , care spre rusinea mea de Dobrogean nu le vazusem niciodata pana acum. Drumul nu a inceput incurajator , imediat cum am intrat pe drumul spre Tulcea a inceput sa ploua greu , dar din fericire norii pareau sa mearga in Sud , inapoi spre Constanta , astfel ca printr-un noroc incredibil la putin timp dupa ce am intrat in Judetul Tulcea , ploaia aproape ca se oprise.

Prima oprire a fost la Enisala , unde se ajunge foarte usor: se merge pe drumul E87 care leaga Constanta de Tulcea pana in orasul Babadag si de acolo venind dinspre Constanta se face dreapta spre Enisala. Drumul a fost recent renovat si este foarte bun. Dupa ce treceti de satul Enisala uitati-va foarte atent dupa un indicator foarte mic si obscur care indica drumul laturalnic spre cetate…. noi din pacate l-am ratat prima oara. [Citeste mai departe dupa poze]

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Enisala

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Vizita medicala – o surpriza placuta

Dupa ani de zile de suportat cozi interminabile , mizeria si scarba angajatilor de la faimoasa policlina de stat CFR, marinarii si toti care lucreaza in domeniul transportului au acum posibilitatea de a face vizita medicala obligatorie pentru medicina muncii la clinici private. Pretul este aproximativ la fel ca la stat dar conditiile sunt cosiderabil mai bune. Dupa vizitele medicale foarte neplacute din trecut cand te loveai cu situatii ca asta sau asta …. sau asta am fost la recomandarea unui coleg navigator la clinica Cermed.   Inca de la inceput am ramas cu o impresie placuta , clinica a cumparat lotul alaturat si l-a golit pentru a avea parcare destinata clientilor. Se vine de dimineata nemancat pentru recoltarea de sange si urina si imediat cum intri cineva te ia in primire , iti da o fisa de completat si in maxim de 30 minute esti gata de plecare. Pentru partea a doua a vizitei , respectiv examenul psihologic si cabinetele care se efectueaza dupa colectarea rezultatelor de la analizele de Continue reading