Saturday, January 17, 2009

The World comes to Cluj

This morning I spent on the computer, working in Blackboard at Plymouth State University, where I have stored banks of test questions that may help Melinda and me put together a good final examination in Operations Management. Once that was complete, I walked North on Horea Street to the Faculty of Letters, and took Klaus (Or did he take me?) to the Polus Center, and Carrefour, the famous French "hipermarket". I did a bit of shopping, finding some gorgeous ground beef for my spaghetti sauce.
On the walk back to PiaĊ£a M.V., I heard a loud- speaker blasting an angry voice as I approached the final corner. As I turned the corner, I saw that the world had arrived in Cluj. A crowd of perhaps 150, many dressed in traditional Arab clothing, were holding a war protest rally in the square. They were speaking in English, Romanian and Arabic, and the television cameras were rolling. Clever media move. Just yesterday CNN had a promo on for an upcoming special asking if wars today are won and lost in the media.

Of course, from the viewpoint of people in Gaza, these folks have a lot to protest. Sadly, so do the innocent Israelis on the receiving end of random unguided missiles from Gaza for the past ten-or-so years. I can only applaud the Cluj police, who were there to keep order, and clearly also to protect the right of free speech in Romania. I snapped a picture, then headed back upstairs to resume work on exams. As I reached the second floor (third floor in America), I got my camera out and snapped some pictures of the animals, both my pigeon neighbors, and Pooh and Tigger, as seen on my human neighbor's towel.
Thank God for a simple life, and for spaghetti tonight!

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