Happy Cemetery!

“Stop the car!”

happy cemetary

I was sick as hell. The Carpathians are unforgiving in the winter. We had just come up from Sighişoara, the boyhood home of Vlad Țepeș (affectionately known as Dracula) and I couldn’t get myself right.

Part of it was the Ţuică, fruit alcohol that my travel-fatigued liver couldn’t understand. Part of it was slamming along potholes the size of mortars in a Soviet built Dacia.


“But there is nowhere here,” my driver sagely advised like a giant ungreen Yoda.

“Stop!” I bellowed.

We skidded to a halt and I tumbled out.

The cemetery was waiting.

I miss it all now. Adventure is someone else going through hell and now I have become someone else to myself.

Tonight I’m writing a book proposal about the happy cemetery. If you are an agent, give me a shout. I’ll make you a superstar — trust me, baby.

The people of Săpânţa know how to die. One side of the grave marker shows the deceased in the full stream of life; the other, floating on the surface. A jolly poem often accompanies each. As baseball, there is no crying in Săpânţa.

It’s like Edward Gorey married Melissa and Doug. Come to Transylvania and enjoy the happy cemetery. And don’t bother about the return ticket.


happy cemetery


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