It’s 6 a.m. and I am rushing through Brussels airport. Security, passports, armed military, escalators, smell of kerosene, coffee and wanderlust…. I am flying so often, I got to know the shortcuts in the departure terminal. I also know the best places for coffee and bagels plus, where you can get good discount on Belgian chocolate… all in all, a familiar place.
Anyway, I am leaving!!!
Yet one more time: leaving the town that, under general rules, I am calling “home“, but somehow particularly never got cozy enough for me. Being again in the airport brings almost a sense of relief, how bizarre! In this specific moment, it feels oh-so-good to leave behind, even for few days, this frantic city, shadowed by recent terrorist attacks, where bomb threats and sirens became part of my daily routine. Leaving this city where, in the past years, I lost my sanity and my sense of direction….
“I’m buying coffee… no sugar, right?!”. He kisses my forehead and grips my hand tightly.
“Right!”, I reply automatically, being lost between the morning lethargy and my general unrest.
I usually do the airport routine all by myself. This time I am with someone else – which I barely know. But he is warm and has a kind nature; he is also somehow reading me and that is totally baffling. Plus he knows I take coffee with no sugar, which is more than any of the guys I dated lately knew about me. So my morning is brightening up.
Down to the gate, still half asleep, I am sipping my coffee (with no sugar) and figuring out the itinerary: google, TripAdvisor, tips on the local life etc etc…. again, just airport routine, I rarely plan my trips in depth. I like letting the fate work its magic.
“How do you translate in your language the word wanderlust?“, I ask out of the blue.
He raises his right eyebrow in confusion.
“Eeeem, no idea! I guess…”… and then he mumbles something, which I could not decipher.
“Hmmm, ok, too long”, I snap. “Do you have a pen?”
He points out to a pocket in his backpack (and I thought: even if I ever had packed a pen, I could find it only by ravaging the whole luggage… I am such a mess with traveling!).
So I take the pen, and scribble on my plastic coffee mug: “CU DOR DE DUCĂ“. Because, all of a sudden, I feel this crazy need to escape and run and travel. Escape from what I was (bored and slightly depressed), run towards what I might become, embark into meaningful journeys, not just trips across the continent.
And so it started…
If you look into Romanian – English dictionaries, „dor de ducă” is translated literally as „with warderlust”. If you try to translate it the other way around, you might get no results. That’s because, in reality, it is too complex and full of meaning to pin it down in few words.
For me, the meaning of the phrase “cu dor de ducă“ goes much beyond the classic activity of traveling. It is about the process of discovering yourself; it’s about challenging yourself beyond the limits of your daily routine. And, to a large extent, it is about emotional and physical unsettledness. It’s also about running, escaping, venturing…
The words are melodic and full of connotations. They are deeply rooted into the Romanian heritage; they send you back into the olden days, in the ancestral times dominated by pagan rituals and melodic enchantments. It is not archaic wording, but you would not hear it too often in a conversation nowadays.
CU DOR DE DUCĂ underpins in me the flaring desire, even need to always discover something new (about myself, about the world, about people), while never forgetting my origins, my heritage, my core. It is about my turmoil, my fears, my lessons…
I have decided to name this blog “CU DOR DE DUCĂ“ for many reasons. Firstly, because it is a beautiful combination of words and, basically, expresses a lifestyle. Secondly, because that coffee and that person changed the course of my life somehow, even if both him and that plastic mug are long gone now. Thirdly, because it is a shy attempt to get others to understand the meaning of “cu dor de ducă“.
Finally, because it defines pretty much everything that I am and I do.