Then I met his family, a gypsy family with
nine children. (I am using "gypsy" instead of "roma"
advisedly, the people I know describe themselves as cigány,
which translates to gypsy, the Hungarian
gypsies of Romania). They live in extreme poverty. Starving.
Having to beg to get enough food to eat. Racism
and bigotry is rife in Romania, seemingly encouraged by
the authorities....after all, a people in such deep shit as
the people of Romania, need a scapegoat.
On returning to the Land of Plenty, my
friends and I had news that they, and the other
three families who live in the same courtyard, were to
be evicted from
their apartments. As bad as those apartments are --one room,
small kitchen, and an outside toilet-- they are still places
to live... and in that they are luckier
than many other gypsy families. But a crooked landlord
made them sign fraudulent leases, and as a result, they lost
the right to stay.