Bitter honey

It wasn?t easy for me then, meaning that it was all so sad, but I?m not in the least ashamed because I kept working. I had to get over that period when there seemed to be nothing one could do to earn one?s living. And I need money even for as little as a camera. It was then that I remembered about my hobby, bees, and I used my knowledge of them working together with a colleague who had more beehives. I too built some five or six, and finally ended up with ten of them. Using beeswax, propolis and mastic resin, all mixed up in certain quantities, I prepared a depilatory wax and managed to burn my legs and those of my wife. And I would take the thing to the local fair, actually to that Dâmboviţa bazar, and we arranged the cubes one next to the other ? We would shout: ?Don?t shave with an axe, use beeswax!? And there was another former colleague of mine, a film director, who sold shoes, clothes she had received from Israel. She sold these things, and, right next to her, I sold my depilatory wax and made some money that I used to get sometimes a new lens, some other times a new tripod and that is how I set up a studio of my own and got back in business.

I used to have beehives scattered around, but in time I started collecting them from my friends and taking them away. Where to? I had my place in one friend?s bee garden, at ?Sahia Film?. A friend had only one of my beehives. I collected that one too, and managed to gather ten of them. He owned around 70 or 100, and a big lorry where he had set the beehives. Each time I went over to help him I was happy because it was an opportunity to get out of Bucharest to the wonderful forests and fields surrounding the city. My beehives were in his bee garden. We would travel to the Danube Delta where we could find wild flowers and the first yellow rape flowers. Then, twice a year, we would search for the false acacia flowers, first in the fields around Bucharest, then over at Drajna de Sus, where we found the false acacia blooming for the second time. And I got some honey from him, as he couldn?t sell it all. I knew people, some rather wealthy, who would buy honey from me. And I sold his honey and a little of mine to them. I also made the depilatory wax myself. It was virtually brain surgery. I remember I used to add four measures of mastic resin and one measure of beeswax, and the compulsory ingredient, namely 100-200 grams of propolis, as it has aseptic properties. There was another substance that I would use, some mineral oil product resembling wax. But it?s not of the same quality as genuine beeswax ? Use Reu Davy depilatory wax!... I did a responsible job, I gave it a pharmaceutical aspect and I also tested it to see if it was good, if it peeled off. And there were times when I and my entire family burnt our skins ? yes, the family were called to participate in my experiments. I would also prepare syrup bottled in special containers. I added honey from lime tree blossom, from wild flowers and so on? I recommended that it should be taken in the evening, against fatigue. One small glass of lime tree honey to be taken in the evening. The same kind of honey can be added to lime tea and you sleep like a baby ? Sometimes I would laugh my head off and there was no one around to take shots of that. Of course, I had labels too. Check this out, colour labels: Davy Apicultor ? I would stick this on the depilatory wax. ?Depilatory wax ? a recipe from the Pharaoh?s Egypt? ? The labels were for the 100 and the 200 grams containers. Look, from 1992 ? ?Validity 2 years. It lengthens the time period between depilation sessions.? And I had all the necessary documents. One can tell that mine was a legitimate business. I was authorized by the state ? ?Production and selling of food and beauty products prepared from bee honey and other derived substances. Arrangement services and facilities for hygienic comfort, agro-tourist camping import-export.? What do you think?! I have a certificate for agricultural production activities ? I didn?t need it to sell my stuff at the local fair. Anyone can go and sell anything they please there.

I used to tell the story about the propolis to the people who gathered around my camp. They asked why I added propolis to the composition ? Well, let me explain! I told them all about propolis, about the poplars outside villages, about the little mouse who dared to enter the beehives ? I would make up a story of some sort. And they would buy one or two chunks of the thing, and I earned yet another two or three thousand lei from the long story.

I know one thing, namely that, if you make one think or another, you can?t be sure who?s going to sell it. I had to sell it somewhere. I took it to a stand in the old city quarters, in Lipscani Street where there was some big department store. Some times people bought it, sometimes they didn?t ? So I said to myself: why don?t you take it to the local fair. And there I took it. I had heart from this colleague of mine that she went there to sell clothes. So, I went along ? She would go there and recite her little ?poem?, something with a ?hat? and ?this and that? ? And I went there with her to find a place ...

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