We had good jobs, a home we had built on, four mountain bikes and city ones, days full of roaming or tranquilities, calm, sunny days, rainy days and dancing days. We’ve had everything we needed. Our life flowed on her warm and clear track.
But one day we fancied: let’s do something cool! And we started to topple down Maslow’s pyramids, to shake the life we have built up here to … run in Romania for a month. On tandem. With tent and dog.
It itched our backs… there’s a say in Romanian. Why, on Earth, we tied our heads without aching? Go and talk to bosses, find a tenant for the period you are gone, do research, postpone the final exam, postpone the third volume of “Mister Tic” (Domnul Tic), buy another bike (long as a fasting day), get in touch with dozens of people, buy a cart, bike racks for luggage, long-way saddles, GPS, recorder, lens wide angle, field site, site theme, tent, sleeping bags, sport clothes, rain clothes, helmets, shoes for any weather, bear spray, auxiliary batteries and, God !, the list is never-ending. No more fully sleeping nights, after sleeping a while, we wake up thinking about everything we still have to do.
But perhaps the most touching part of the project is that people rushed to help us! The team gathered on our tandem: Valentin Acatrinei (site), Maria Dinu (logo), Andrei Boroşanu and Mihaela Horecica (take the tandem, bring the tandem), Lidia Melinte (English translation), Gabriela Obeada (Spanish translation), Laura Grille (proof reading in Spanish), Diana Dreams Factory (handmade “receipts” for people who come with us on tandem). They “bought” one day on a tandem: Liuța and Adrian Baban, Dana Sandu, Mihaela Ciobanu, Diana Flutur, Dana Cirisoiu, Matei Psatta, Ciprian Lazarovici, Ana Popescu, Andreea Husarencu, Nicoleta Stoian, someone who wants to make a surprise to their loved one, Evelina and Andrei, Loredana Dumitru, Lumi Lem, Steluța, Corina Pandrea, Rodica Mihai, Dana, Andreea Miron, Anca, Oana, Bianca, Floricica, Corina Iulia, Oana Alexandra Jipa, Laura Forro, Monica Baican, Cerasela.
One word explains everything: tandem. Another metaphor which means “together”. We, all of us who believe in this project. petandem.ro is not just three on a bike with four pedals. petandem.ro means all the people with whom, hand in hand, we’ll be able to see Romania, to feel it, to photograph it, to put it on paper in several languages, to print it and give it wings to go into the world. It means that on our tandem we won’t be only three. We will be 7, 13, 40 or 87. As many people feel “in tandem” with us. People who want to join us to create something beautiful. Something undone. Something unwritten. Something unpedaled. Our country seen through different eyes. My eyes as a writer. Andrei’s eyes as a photographer. Tic’s eyes that enjoy 30 cm up from the ground.
It is about together. It’s about being part of this story, about traveling a day with us, about sweating, laughing, crying, sleeping on the ground, feeling the thrill of the things that are gathering in the eye and in the pockets of memories, about rubber-necking, about saying hi to unknown people, about smiling and living. Together.
We do not know entirely what we’ve harnessed on, that’s clear. Even more clear is that we cannot do the other way. Our hearts are banging drums.
We try to give Romania what belongs to Romania. Two young people on a bike, teeming through its corners, seeking for its human and visual potential. Two young people and a handful of friends helping them fulfill their dream. A different book, about a different country, seen through a different lens. The one of three travelers: Tic, Andrei and Laura. Together with you, as everyone, in one way or another, will be part of this story.