On the cheap

in Focaal

September 2003, while getting on a heavily overpopulated train from Cluj-Napoca to Blaj, Romania, there was not a single quiet compartment available. Or rather: there was only one such place, occupied by just a single young, pretty and overly sexy woman in her mid-twenties. As she sees me looking through the corridor window, she opens the door, asks in English where I am from, and then invites me into her strangely private space. As the train leaves the station she closes the curtains at the corridor side. A few minutes later the door and then the curtains are opened by the train conductor, a man in his fifties. He comes close to the young woman and points his finger at me. The woman apparently needs to explain who I am and why I am here.

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Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology


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