Andrzej Stasiuk is a stressed and indefatigable tourist. His trips take him from his local Poland to Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Moldova, and Ukraine. via automobile, teach, bus, ferry. To small cities and villages with unfamiliar-sounding but surprisingly evocative names. “The center of my Europe,” Stasiuk tells us, “beats in Sokolow, Podlaski, and in Husi, no longer in Vienna.”
Where did Moldova finish and Transylvania commence, he wonders as he's being pushed at breakneck pace in an historic Audi—loose wires striking from the dashboard—by a driving force in shorts and naked ft, a pass swinging on his chest. In Comrat, a funeral procession strikes slowly down the most road, the open coffin on a pickup truck, an previous lady wearing black brushing away the flies above the face of the deceased. directly to Soroca, a baroque-Byzantine-Tatar-Turkish encampment, to satisfy Gypsies. And the entire option to Babadag, among the Baltic Coast and the Black Sea, the place Stasiuk sees his first minaret, “simple and critical, a pencil pointed on the sky.”
A fantastic journey of Europe’s darkish underside—travel writing at its best possible.