Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memories from the Lake of Tekir

I'm following a blog of a geography teacher (Viorel Irascu at; 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.


  1. I love when kindred spirits find each other. What a beautiful place. I think I'll have to put that on my list of "must see's." (It's quite a long list). I'm most fascinated with places with romantic pasts and paranormal experiences. I bet some beauty outlet sells the mud in jars, but I bet it loses its efficacy so far from the source.

  2. What a neat story, Duta :) It is indeed, a small world. I love how you teach us such neat historical things with your posts and you tie it all up with your own really cool personal story! You make me smile :)

    I love those mud baths too. They make your skin so soft. I think sometimes too, when we travel and just let life unfold we have the best times! Losing the suitcase at the start set you up to be free and just be...exactly as you out in the world. I love that feeling. I find it freeing. You can do whatever you want, look the way you want, be a mess if it happens and you've got a great excuse, "no suitcase"! LOL Love that!

    So good to be back and see you here again. I've missed you!!!!! You are my very favorite blogger :) (don't tell the
    Hugs to you, Duta :) Have a Happy Day!

  3. What a wonderful story!

    I had no idea where you were going with this. Being an ex little girl too, I can see how there was much drama in not having your wardrobe. Cute.

    Duta, I love how you remember things and you tell stories. Every time I come to you blog, I never know what to expect.

  4. I wonder if that mud would help with my arthritis?

  5. What a lovely and very fascinating post. I could imagine myself as a young girl there.

  6. Small world, indeed! And talk about "healing mud." Wow! It sure brought you all toghether.

  7. You have such interesting stories...did you keep in contact with the couple?

  8. Duta, Again, what a wonderful story. You have, and continue to live such an interesting life. Isn't it amazing how many unique and interesting experiences await us if we simply relax and allow them to happen. Meeting that young woman from your hometown certainly proves that the world is a small place. I never cease to be amazed by the things that happen to me that I would never dream in a million years could. I do so love reading your stories, so well told.

  9. Hello Duta, Lovely to share your memories, and the places you have been during the journey of your life. Also, thankyou for introducing me to the world of blogs. You have gathered a great collection of people together, and I enjoy browsing through your friends when time permits. You are a wonderful person, and give a lot of time to blogging, for which, again, I say thanks.

  10. Vad ca amintirile nu-ti dau pace, poate e mai bine asa, sa retraim prin altii, prin poze si prin relatarile altora propriile noaste melancolii.Multumesc pentru referinte.Cu respect.Vio.

  11. Oh, the places we go with you! I love being packed up with you and taken on your very interesting world. I look forward to the travels and experiences that I cannot have smack in the middle of this large farm in Missouri. I enjoy every word of your well traveled experiences. Thanks sweet Duta. Isn't it interesting when the story makes a complete circle. What are those odds?

    You have a most enjoyable weekend and I can't wait to go on your next adventure. God bless....

  12. Autumnforest,

    This place has a rich past, a special location, therapeutic and touristic facilities.
    It's indeed worth visiting and exploring.

    The ChicGeek,

    I'm glad I make you smile. Smiling is good for our health.
    Loosing the suitcase was a terrible blow to a girl who was just waiting to show off her dresses and shoes. Fortunately, in the end,
    it all turneed out ok

    Have a Happy Day you too!

    Entrepeneur Chick,

    "I never know what to expect" - I consider this a compliment. And you're right about the 'wardrobe drama' - it was heartbreaking loosing the little suitcase with my clothes and shoes.

    The Bug,

    Sure. The mud of this lake has won a first prize in Paris for its therapeutic value. You'll find a lot of info on the Web regarding
    treatments done there.

  13. Angel Mc,

    Yes, indeed. Nice memories keep us going on.


    Thanks for the compliment.
    Stories about young girls always take us back in time.

    Ronda Laveen,

    'Small world' and 'healing mud' - that combination made my summer vacation as a school girl, an unforgettable one.

    Sue (Someone's Mom),

    Yes, indeed. We were in touch by letters for a couple of years, and then it stopped; I don't remember how and why.

  14. C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hmmel Wilson,

    Life is full of surprises, part of them interesting and unique. The encounter with the young woman was a complete surprise for my mother who was familiar with the circumstances of her birth.
    Thanks for loving my stories.


    Your comment is full of praise to me and my blog. Thanks a lot.
    I enjoy sharing memories, and I'm glad people like that.


    Amintiri de acest gen nu se uita cu usurinta; dar a fost postarea din "am plecat de acasa" care mi le- a rascolit, si era normal sa mentionez acest blog.


    Your comment, as always, is full of life and temperament like you are.
    Have a blessed and enjoyable weekend too!

  15. I could use some healing mud tonight. Great story - as usual. I always enjoy your blog.

  16. What a lovely post DUTA ~ I felt I was there ~ a little girl ~ with you!

    I love mud too ~ but I was not allowed to play in it... I would instead go to the sandbox and dig beneath the sand to find clay! And mold and sculpt ~ and create little sculptures ~ little beings!

    Thank you for the memories DUTA

    ~ MCJ ~

  17. Lovely interesting story, again Duta.

    It is unfortunate that the girl had to leave because of something that was no fault of her own. And it must have been difficult for them to start over in another place. Furthermore, to know it was this "secret" which was the reason that life took them on this journey.

  18. I like this beautiful place. Have a great day!

  19. What a beautiful story and what a fantastic blog!

    It is so nice to read 'real' things and from somebody who is so honest and candid about their own lives.

  20. Kyss,

    Thanks. I like your humour which is btw well displayed in your posts.


    I appreciate your stopping in and your kind comment.(I greatly enjoy your little poems on your blog).


    It was like in a soap opera (telenuvela). Her father's wife wanted them out of sight, and since he was an influential man he found the way to carry out her wish. Sad.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    I'm glad you like it. Have a good day too!


    Welcome! Thanks for your warm words.

  21. DUTA, I didn't realize you are Romanian. What a history the country of your birth had in the twentieth century. Your mother saw great change, and truly terrible things, didn't she? I imagine you must have also. I'm just mentioning that because I couldn't help but think of that when you mentioned memories both traumatic and wonderful.

    You do describe things wonderfully, Duta. When I read about the little girl, I remembered that the habit used to be, long before that little girl was born (and long out of fashion by the time she was) to refer to someone born out of wedlock as someone's "natural" child. "He is the natural son of who knows who." That sort of thing.

    I know the implication is exactly the same, but I think it has a far more accepting, and gentle ring to it. Just one of those odd areas where our approach things became more rigid, and less accepting. More judgmental. It was always particularly hard on a woman -- but then so is history in general -- to be the natural child of anyone, but many natural sons went on to prominence.

    Sorry, what a tangent. I was just thinking about how we became less liberal minded, in some ways. It is such a rare thing in history to see that, and that's what your story made me think about.

  22. How special that this young couple took you under their wings:) It must have meant the world to this young woman being able to confide in your mother.

  23. Land of Shimp,

    Yes, I was born in Romania not very far from what is known today as Ukraine. Before I was born, the border was flexible, one day that region belonged to Romania, the other day to Ukraine. My great-grandmother was born in Ukraine and emigrated to USA from Romania.
    Only several years ago, through the internet I found out about her & her descendants (one of her nephews being a former senator in Michigan). I, myself have never visited the USA.

    "natural" child sounds much better than the other names. You're right; things used to be very hard on the woman and on the natural child.

    jeannette Stgermain,

    Indeed so. After the trauma with the lost suitcase, the encounter with this couple was a miracle. And it was also a miracle for the two women. The young woman wanted to hear news about her father and his family ,and she also expected my mother to tell him upon return, how everything turned out ok for her.

  24. While I read this post I felt like your student and you the teacher of history with a compassion for humanity. It reminded much of the book "The Scarlet Letter." Peace

  25. Lady Di Tn,

    I know what you mean. Luckily, times have changed since "The Scarlet Letter".
    Thanks for stopping by and Peace to you too!

  26. I just noticed your new to my blog so I jumped over to check out yours....Welcome! And what a beautiful story....

  27. What an amazing place. I love the photo you included of the donkey and Tekir. How lucky for you to have had such an extraordinary childhood!

  28. Cousin B

    Welcome! Thanks for stopping in.


    I agree. It's an amazing place, and the photo of the statue is lovely.

  29. My holiday gift to blogs I follow is to tell them what I love about their blogs. I follow around 100 of them, but I must say that visually, yours is my favorite. I just love the simplicity and feeling as if I'm at a friend's summer home. It just feels fresh and relaxing. The photos are beautiful and the stories enchanting. You come from a very magical place inside and it shows. Keep it up!

  30. Autumnforest,

    Thank you very much for the gift.
    I am flattered by your warm words and very glad that you like my blog.

    Happy Holiday!

  31. I didn't know the legend about Tekir and Techirghiol, but I sure know de lake. The first time I was there I was so shocked to see all the women naked...:)

  32. VertAnge,

    Well, now you know. It's a nice legend, and the place is even nicer. Indeed, it's a bit of a shock to see all those naked bodies smeared with mud.

  33. Such captivating photos, such lovely stories. You are so priveleged to have visited all these places and now it is our privelege to follow you around and share in your travels and adventures. Thank you.

  34. A human kind of human,

    Thanks a lot for your comment.
    I feel glad and honored that you like my photos and my stories.