I'm following a blog of a geography teacher (Viorel Irascu at plecatdeacasa.blogspot.com); one of his lasts posts focused on the lake of Techirghiol which is only three (3) kilometers away from the Black Sea. This post brought back to me memories of a traumatic and yet wonderful visit with my mother to the lake .
Techirghiol has its name in a legend: A crippled man of turkish origin, Tekir, and his donkey, arrived at the shore of the lake ( 'ghiol' in turkish) by mistake. Trying to get his stubborn animal out of the mud within the lake, Tekir noticed with astonishment that his own legs felt stronger , he could walk normally, and that the wounds on the back of his donkey got miraculously healed. Since then, the lake became famous for its healing properties. Tekir and his donkey are featured in a statue located in the center of the town.
I was a schoolgirl ( elementary school) on summer vacation. My mother who had been recommended mud treatment at Techirghiol, decided to take me with her. It was a very long trip from our hometown in the north-east extremity of Romania to the lake area in the south-east extremity of the country. We had to change trains, and it so happened that we lost a small suitcase that contained all my belongings. I arrived at the resort with nothing but what was on me. Big trauma .
Despite the traumatic beginning, the trip was a wonderful experience for me. Like Tekir and his donkey, I was mad for the mud and liked to be smeared with it all over face and body. At the pension where we were staying, we met a young couple, freshly married. This couple became fond of me at first sight, and asked my mother's permission to allow them to take care of me with the mud and the dipping in the lake while she was having treatment at the spa-complex.
The young couple also took me to the Black Sea beach and to the various attractions in the region. They bought me things, taught me things, and opened a new horizon for the small provincial girl. Looking back, I think they were 'practising' on me parenthood as well as their professions: teaching (she was a teacher) and welfare work (he was a social worker).
In the evenings, I noticed my Mom being engaged in long talks with the young woman. On approaching them, they became silent. It was only when we were back home that Mom revealed the secret; the young woman was born in our hometown, fruit of an extra marital relationship. At a certain stage, she and her mother had to leave town and go as far away as possible from "the scene of the crime". Small World.