The charcoal burner & his wife


Outside the Romanian village of Viscri, we met a charcoal burner and his wife. They spoke little English but they were thrilled to have visitors, inviting us to cups of tea and showing us around their site.

They showed us their family photos, including their wedding pictures, and then gestured to me to take their photograph. I’ve since sent it to our guide to forward on as they didn’t have a mailing address, but I don’t know if they ever got it. I never heard back.

I didn’t know that charcoal burners still exist. I assumed that the charcoal you buy in hefty bags from the petrol station are burnt in big modern ovens. This couple’s set-up is basic, with big stacks of wood next to a smoking pyre, which glows hot under an already intensely hot sun.

May Day is a spring holiday and it also celebrates International Workers Day. This one’s to them, the charcoal burner and his wife. Tell me though, isn’t that a great story title?

~ Spotted Cow

wood stockblack fingernailsburning charcoal

8 thoughts on “The charcoal burner & his wife

  1. For some reason I have tears running down my face right now. People are people, aren’t they? Thanks for broadening my horizons and also closing this big bad world up a bit (in a good way). Sigh.

  2. This picture, and the story behind it, is just amazing. You captured such spirit and pride and genuine happiness in the gentleman’s eyes. I do hope, like you, that they received this wonderful photo!

  3. What an incredible experience you had. The few Romanians I’ve encountered whilst traveling are always so friendly even if we didn’t share a common language but I’m still baffled as to why two Romanian women would wrap wire around their waists whilst traveling in a train but hey, the pretzels were good! 🙂

    1. Gosh, I did not see that, the waist-wire-wearing women … sorry got carried away by the alliteration! Perhaps it’s something mystical like preventing lightning strikes ! Ha !

      1. Oooo, alliteration, you know the way to my heart! I only noticed their accessories when we were finally coming into Istanbul and they pulled up their shirts to adjust their “coiling”. I think I just laughed at the time but now I’d probably be jumping out the window in fear in was something sinister. Oh the times they are a changin’ 😦

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