We met Mrs. Dușița G. on a very hot afternoon, when she was walking to Regina Maria park in Fabric. We sat on a bench and enjoyed a few minutes of stories.
We found out that she had recently moved to Fabric from the city centre. ‘I lived there for 42 years, in a bigger building (...) where the Culture Committee used to be, and Transilvania Bank is now. Very beautiful, very long. I really liked the centre’.
Fabric took a while to grow on her: ‘At the beginning I didn’t really like it, I was used to being in the centre. I used to work in Fabric, though, at the ‘Progresul’ Cooperative. Out of 35 years, 30 were spent working here. In time, I got used to it. But, even now, I don’t pay my bills here, in Traian Square; I go to the city centre. I walk. Even though it’s hard, my legs hurt, my health is not great, but you have to fight for your life until the very last moment. It’s a fight. And there’s a lot of ambition. I think few people have the ambition I’ve had in my life’.
At ‘Progresul’, Mrs G. was an accountant. She remembers that ‘at the corner of Neculuță St., there was a framework unit, which was the cooperative’s. Now it’s only a ruin, there’s nothing left. It moved a few houses down.’
Mrs. G. doesn’t remember much of old Fabric: ‘I don’t remember Traian Square to be a market. Since forever Badea Cârțan was the market. But maybe I just didn’t walk around the area enough. I was drawn to the 700 market, I liked the area, it was close to Bega. At first I lived in the building where ‘Bega mică’ (little Bega) is. Now it’s ‘Bega mare’ (big Bega). Before, there was only a small market at the ground level. And I didn’t like anything here. But, you know, everything in life takes some getting used to’.
But in the context of Timișoara European Capital of Culture in 2021, she is happy that ‘at least something is done. I like Liberty Square, the pedestrian areas. (...) I like how they look like. I particularly liked it on the 1st of May, I went to see the flower exhibition - the arrangements, the umbrellas on Alba-Iulia Street.’
We were curious to know if, in her opinion, the city centre’s spirit could ever reach Fabric, but things, she said, move slow: ‘One of the real estate agents told us that in 4-5 years’ time Traian will be beautiful. But it doesn’t really happen, or it happens too slow. Look at all the ruins of Dacilor St. There are houses which are intentionally devastated. To reach the hands of those who only want to profit.’
Mrs. G.’s favourite area in the neighbourhood is Zlatna St. because ‘it is cleaner and much more quiet’. Where she lives now, people seem ‘very mean, and there’s no one to talk to, I have no friends, I have no one. And, anyway, I don’t like having strangers in my house, my door is always locked. I can count my good friends on one hand, there are 4 or 5, not more, I think they’re enough.’
Mrs. G. tells us she is chatty, so we hope to find her in the park some other time and exchange a few thoughts. Meanwhile, we will send us a Fabric postcard, maybe the neighbourhood will grow on her some more.