My husband and I were hunting old fortified churches not on the general touristic maps south of Sibiu on the way to Hunedoara. We went through an area that our guidebook referred to having been "taken over by gypsies" or Roma people. Most places I have traveled, Roma get a pretty bad rap. But they were selling the coolest copper and bronze pots for making chocolate... so we stopped. We met Eva who got very excited that we were from the US and she went and got he husband. We spoke Italian, English, Spanish and very bad Romanian. The husband, Victor, spends some time each year in Italy, working. They have part of a partially finished house. They have a friend who lives in San Francisco and they love reading the Romanian/English dictionary he left behind. Eventually the children came out to meet us, we bargained HEAVILY for the pots - customary - and kept talking. The corners of the house were decorated with fabulous dragon-like tin doodads and baubles. We took their picture when we left and promised to send it. They gave us their address, name in block letters, Street, Romania. That was all. They did not have a single photo of the whole family together. I will definitely send them that picture. They were so kind and full of laughter. My grandmother was Roma and Irish and they reminded me of her, keen sense of humor, shamless bargainers and open and generous. It was a lovely hour spent along the roadway in what is one of the most lovely places we have ever been.
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