The ‘bench outside’ is a rather prevalent feature of Eastern European countryside. From old people sitting alone attentively observing what’s happening on the street, to groups of neighbors having a chat, to young couples dating, you’ll have plenty of people to wave at and exchange smiles with on your way cycle touring there.
It took me a while to realize that i actually grew up myself in a house with such a bench outside — and also a lovely old lady who spent much of her time chatting with all the other lovely old ladies in the neighborhood.
Over time i saw the gates around the block (including ours) grow taller and advance into public land, sometimes becoming walls — probably more to protect the thugs from us than us from them? Whether this change was for better or worse, something was definitely lost in the process.
What about you? What has been your experience? Please comment below — i’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
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On the photo: lovely ladies chatting by the “bench outside“ in Suhaia, Romania (April ‘17)