In Moscow we heard the radio in cabs and blaring over the loud speaker from the skating rink out our bedroom window--Mageec eeeeeef eeeeeem--but I didn't hear the same songs enough that any became familiar.
Like cigarette smoke, Romanian pop music constantly wafts through the air. And like the cigarette smoke, I've gotten use to it and sort of enjoy my new addiction.
Top 40 radio, or more like Top 10-at-Most radio, accompanies us constantly: in the car, at the grocery store, at the dentist, and playing on my co-worker's computer as I walk past her office. On the school bus the kids are exposed to second-hand songs. Our hatred of Broken Angel unifies us.
O stea They don't play this song O Stea enough, (click the gray bar to hear! it's good!) even though it's number 8 this week. During Ceausescu times songs had to be in Romanian, so as a backlash Romanian songs are sometimes in English. I like my Romanian pop in Romanian.
Apa (feat Cabron) If I make a Bucharest video this number-one-song-this-week will be the score, since I can picture the Arc de Triumf, Herstreau Park, people making left hand turns from the right lane and Bucharest going by frame by frame. For a while these posters of the singer plastered Bucharest. Guess we missed hearing Apa live.
A friend who recently moved to Moscow really misses hearing the band Smiley on the radio. When we aren't living in Romania I will miss the soundtrack of Romanian pop hanging in my hair and clinging to my clothes.
As much as Moscow was about snow and ice rinks, and Niger was about going to see the giraffes, these songs are about parking on the sidewalk, buying freshly baked pretzels after class on Piata Amzei, the smell of turpentine, having an 11 and 15 year old, and life in Bucharest right now. Back then.
KissFM is here, if you want to hear what it sounds like to live here or in case it's been more than five minutes since you've heard Casablanca.