Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

Isabel Fonseca

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 067973743X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Isabel Fonseca describes the four years she spent with Gypsies from Albania to Poland, listening to their stories, deciphering their taboos, and befriending their matriarchs, activists, and child prostitutes. A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture. 50 photos.

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belongings includes gold watches, gold brooches, diamond earrings, amber earrings, earrings made of Hungarian gold coins and gold francs, coral and emerald rings, gold chains, and so on. Why bother to copy out that inventory? Perhaps because it seems a way of placing them, via their heirlooms and baubles, among the rest of the victims, with their relics in glass cases. Between November 5 and November 9, according to the personal and precise instructions of Adolf Eichmann, five transports were

believed the old man from Emilia’s neighborhood who told me that he had never once seen his wife—and mother of their five children—naked. This same man had a tattoo covering the whole of his paunch: a tattoo of a voluptuous naked female. To the delight of a gathering of neighborhood kids, he could move his chubby torso and activate his tattoo muse, now a true belly dancer. Emilia at age thirteen, in 1978, sitting with her ceiz (dowry) (photo credits 3.6) Looking through the pictures, Emilia

knew the whole story, finished for her, “A rat tattooed on his penis.” A Gypsy man may ditch his wife, leaving her with only the stigma of having been left—and therefore with her stock drastically devalued. For even if the “divorcée” is still a teenager, she is now likely to land only a divorced man or a widower. Though it was she who would do the leaving, Emilia at fifteen was used goods. And she knew the score. After we had got to the tattoo episode, Emilia understandably lost her enthusiasm

liqueurs, and a small TV. It hadn’t been touched since he himself had been interred two years before. Why didn’t they live in their town house? Stanka shrugged. “It is for guests.” That is, for prestige, like the fitted-out sepulcher which showed that they could afford to throw away furniture and a TV. “What matters is this view,” she continued, putting an end to my impertinent questioning. I asked her where she had traveled as a young woman. “Oh, through thousands of fields in every direction:

chinless Romanian postman with a pitchfork and a striped conductor’s hat. If private property, free enterprise, and café life were new in Bolintin, the concept of theft certainly wasn’t. “Under the communists, everyone stole,” Mircea Oleandru, the local chief of police, told me. “If we and the Party hadn’t permitted it [for the same policemen were still in charge here], there would have been an uprising. But in those days there were limits.” Oleandru was a big man with a thin crescent-shaped

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