Galați is my hometown, where I lived continuously until year 2000. It is a port on the Danube River and it’s the 8th city of Romania by population. Pronounced Galatz by some, it is an ancient Dacian, then Celtic fortress. It is also at the crossroads between 3 historical provinces of Romania and a border city with Moldavia and Ukraine.
My city is distinguishable as a place of weird, even crazy people, for the rest of the country. The population is incredibly uniform – more than 98% Romanians and 90%+ Orthodox Church. There are no specific values and we are not part of a distinct ethnographic region. The place is arid and windy all the time, with the exception of 2-3 months per year when it gets decent and the vegetation looks normal. Heat waves are common and it is not unusual not to have rain during July-August in summer. The Sun shines in the sky almost everyday.
People are a mixture of Romanians, Gypsies, and a blue-eyed Slavic population. Galati is nicknamed the Red City because, since the fall of the communist administration in 1989, the former communist leaders disguised in social-democratic politicians, have ruled continuously the city and the county. People are generally aggressive in nature and highly opportunistic. Being a border city means that Galati is also a hub for contraband and smuggling of any kind.
Living the first period of your life in Galati leaves traces that can’t be erased in your soul. I speak rapidly. I am in a constant lookout for danger and opportunities. I can be almost anything since I’m not in a particular way. I am used to live on the border of anything you can imagine. And, like all the people from the South, I carry the Sun in my heart.
Here are some photos I took recently from the upper cliff of the Danube (yes, that is the height of the cliff). It’s the Danube in 3 successive photos, from west to east. In the distance are the Macin Mountains.