A tribute to a very special dog who lived on the streets of Bucharest

  By Jane Wynyard September 26 2013 I was so saddened in 2013 to read about the Romanian courts agreeing to cull thousands of stray dogs after one of them fatally mauled a four year old child. The horrific death of any child is hard to comprehend, but the senseless extermination of thousands of homeless dogs in retribution is even harder.   It was the State, after all, that forced Romanians to dump their beloved pets on the street during the communist era – the awful legacy of a brutal and oppressive political regime – and now it was the State[…]


Thieving monkeys and grumpy vice presidents in Transylvania

By Jane Wynyard – Poiana Brasov, Transylvania, 2005 Forget Dracula, vampires and werewolves. The most menacing creature you’re likely to encounter in Transylvania these days is a thieving monkey dressed in a blue suit that hangs around nightclubs. A resident at the ski resort of Poiana Brasov in the Southern Carpathian mountains, the jittery, red-eyed primate with the sharpest fangs in the business, is usually shoved by its Dracula-like owner into the arms of gullible and unsuspecting tourists. If you don’t pay the 150,000 lei (three pounds, fifty) for a photograph, the monkey bares his fangs, extends his long spidery[…]