People IV: Seaside Night Traders

During the night, the salt in the air is easier to be noticed. Along with all that popcorn, grilled corn and fat sunken doughnuts smell, you can still feel the scent of the sea sometimes.

In North Mamaia (Romania) the beach is narrow so you can also distinguish the waves crushing lazy on the very shallow shore. The main attraction here are the beaches you know? That’s because you can go 100 meters away in the water and still have it barely reaching your waist. It’s perfect if you want to let your kid have some fun in the water while you drink yourself to death under an umbrella. The kid will not drown for sure.


When darkness falls (and my ISO is never prepared for that) that Northern stretch of land divides the tourists in two:

  • the older area, still bearing the smell of communism even in the 5 stars hotels around, gets the “social calls” – families, classic-romantic couples and the older ones
  • the newer area, where the apartments popped up like mushrooms after the rain and where the clubbing/megalomaniac zone is, takes the people that are here for the party, for “the juice”

While in the clubs area the “night traders” could turn out to be “hard to catch” on camera and maybe a little bit to dangerous for that sort of thing (at least for me), in the quiet zone the things are not so “quiet”. That is because the night traders appear all around the corner. The beach in front of the walkway is being taken over by different kiddy contraptions that either make the child fly, eat to much sugar or put himself in danger.

Among all of them, I can still check-up and shoot my kind of people.

It may be the senior sketch artist that has to retreat because maybe his eyes are a little bit too old to draw in dim light.

Seaside Night Traders Senior Sketch Artist

Or it may be the little girl, upstairs, the one with the roses. She sneaked in the terrace we had dinner and managed to offer flowers to at least 6-7 tables until she got caught and taken out. Always with the eyes on the waiters, always checking them up, she knew exactly where and when to stand, having the darkness as her ally. She knew the place well and she knew their movements.

In the same place I met a guy that when he entered, he was so sure of himself that I thought he was going to perform some magic tricks for the people there. You notice a tuxedo on a Wednesday night even if you’re blind. And with the tall hat, he looked magician material to me, but no…

Seaside Day Traders the Tuxedo Man

He was selling his own books and the story that he is the guy behind the main character in a very famous movie we have in Romania – Filantropica. Before leaving, when waiting for the check to be picked up, he came to me also and tried to sell to me some of his epigram books. Never been a fan of epigrams so he didn’t find a keen buyer in me. Didn’t even believe the story he was telling. I guess I’m getting older and not falling for the bullshit I fell before in some other similar occasions.

The only thing that made me question his story, along with the fact that the guy was speaking pretty fluid in his native language and the stories were too well made, structured and eventually told, was the fact that the restaurant was letting him do that.

Why wouldn’t you let the little girl sell her roses too then?

Seaside Night Traders Clowns

On the way back, two clowns, walking traps for kids up that late, were dance-walking in a very creepy way (if they were alone on the walkway, at midnight). Magnets for babies half asleep, always shining that fake smile, with their rubber figurines and that plastic smell balloons have. I wonder how much money a dancing, balloon shaper-clown makes a night in a middle of a children frenzy zone like the one they patroling is? I guess you can’t escape clowns. They’re smiling from McDonald’s, they appear in horror movies (what’s left of horror movies?!?!) and they are the central figures of any circus in Romania because animals are banned nowadays.

You can’t really trust a clown…

I don’t like clowns…

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