10 years ago


What was I doing and who was I in 1998?
I was 14 years old. Wow. I’m young, aren’t I? :)) Stingo was 22 in 1998. And Monsoux was graduating in 1997.

I was in secondary school. I joined the PAL-TIN project in May 1997 and that has greatly influenced me. I started focusing my immense energy on something useful and interesting. (I really wanted to do something special with my time, but didn’t know what. Piano lessons and other such things were not an option.)

At 13 years old I learned how to write projects and budgets. On November the 30th the first project I coordinated took place. It was a success – I was so proud!

And because I was so enthusiastic and passionate about writing projects and spending my free time convincing people to sponsor them, because I could speak English and had a passport, in the autumn of 1997 I represented my colleagues at an International conference in Bulgaria. That was the first time I was leaving the country. Wow. It was an amazing experience for a 13 year old. Here’s a picture of me from that Conference: (had long legs back then as well…)


In 1998 I went to the second edition of that Conference. On our way back to Romania we stopped in Varna, Sozopol, Balcik… I’ve already shown you a picture from that time, in a different post. This is me in Balcik:


For ten years I continued to volunteer in NGO’s and that has had the biggest influence on my life, not taking into consideration my mother, of course. I traveled, I got to meet people from all over the world with the same interests, I spoke foreign languages and worked on International projects. I am still very good friends with people I met in that period.

In 1998 I was doing these things: going to school (being extremely bad at drawing!) and volunteering. At school I was doing pretty well and I was already determined to become a journalist. I was writing a lot. I kept a diary for 12 years (started in the 4th grade).

In 1998 I went for the first time in Western countries. It was a Jeka trip – a few weeks in a bus – going through Hungary, Germany and Austria. It was fabulous. I visited Schonbrunn, the Mozart museum (his home in Salzburg), I went shopping in Budapest, I cooked in Tirol! :)) A guy talked to me about “goa” and Moby and my taste in music changed.

This is me in Salzburg, climbing on Mozart’s bust. I was a vandal.


I had a huge crush for a guy who was 3 years older than me and looked at me as “a nice kid”. I was hurting so much! :)) He never kissed me although I wanted that so badly. Haven’t seen him for years. I think he became a pilot or something, I remember he cared a lot for planes and studied some kind of engineering. Anyway, he was cute, that’s the important part.

My best friend was Ioana. A girl who I lost contact with although she lives a couple of buildings away. We had a fight about something (when we where in high school) and I refused to talk to her for a couple of years. After that, it was impossible to go back to our friendship. We went separate ways, I guess, we are very different now.

We used to laugh a lot. All the time. For silly reasons. For example, when the first Romanian Music Television started to air, they had promos with different artists saying the name of that television: (Hello. I am X… and I am Y.. and together we are W band. You are watching Atomic TV”) Salut. Sunt X… eu sunt Y … si impreuna suntem trupa cutare. Urmariti Atomic TV. And we would say “Salut. Eu sunt Gaz.. iar eu sunt pe foc… iar impreuna suntem Gaz pe foc” or “Eu sunt Negura… si eu sunt Bunget… iar impreuna suntem Negura Bunget” and that made us laugh for hours!!! ” :))) Damn, I still think it’s funny!

In 1998 I listened to rock music. Mostly because my friends were big fans of Metallica or Sepultura or Marilyn Manson. I liked them to, but wasn’t that much into that. I went to wild parties where I was usually the youngest guest and one of the few girls invited and I loved that.

I had very bad taste in clothes. I was either wearing a lot of black (the rock music, you know…) or colorful outfits bought from the street market by my mother. That’s the only thing that makes me frown when I see old pictures: the clothes.

In 1998 I liked Romanian novelists. It was the age, I guess, and the school. I liked Marin Preda very much. And Sadoveanu.

I had a computer: 486. A typing machine, really. I used Norton Commander! :))

Also, about then was the time I started surfing the Internet (Alta Vista ftw!) and using mIRC – for that I went to my mother’s office.

Stingo said I should post pictures from that time. It was fun looking through the pictures from that time, to select a few. Really. I was very happy back then. I still am. 🙂

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