After the ten months I returned to England but in the meanwhile I met Cătălin; I had seen him about Christmas but I was not interested in a relationship in Romania; I knew there were five months till my departure. He kept coming to me, asking me for books in English to read and I lent him books.
Cătălin: There, at that home, we played table-tennis. There was a time when we played from about noon till midnight. But I was looking for a way of getting closer to her because I was very fond of her. I saw her reading and then I thought of asking her to lend me a book. Then I tried to speak to her, apologizing that I hadn?t brought her book back.
Chiara: We started talking at about the beginning of February and we talked about our future. I had already enrolled with a faculty in England because you have to enroll a year before. I had enrolled on Christmas when I was in the 12-th form and I enrolled for a program a year later. So I had my place but I informed them that I would leave for Romania for a year to learn the language better. I was to attend the Faculty of Letters as I might say but here it?s something else. It is called Foreign Language Department, University College of London and the faculty is called the Faculty of East European and Slavic Studies; so I told him that I would study in England for four years and I would come back to get married. The third academic year is a year of practice with us, so I would have studied six months in Romania and six months in Russia. I had enrolled with Romanian and Russian. Romanian because I didn?t want to forget it and I wanted to improve it grammatically as I already spoke it and Russian not to get bored if I had studied only Romanian. That was the purpose and Căăalin agreed. But we thought of bringing him to England too, to get a degree in London and he was accepted by the faculty but he needed ₤18,000 a year. We didn?t have that sum of money. The tuition fee was ₤6,000 and he needed also some money to live on; I had already found a free lodging. I could find nobody to help him; we tried to find a scholarship but they didn?t have any. He could have sung in the University choir and that would have meant ₤1,500 a year but it wasn?t enough.
Cătălin: I hoped I would go to England and that?s why I hadn?t enrolled anywhere else. The enrollment would finish at 1:00 p.m. on Friday and I was handing in my file with the faculty at 12:00. I knew I had a good mark and I enrolled only with that faculty where there was an Economic Informatics department.
Chiara: We parted for the first time for six months; I left Romania in July and we didn?t see each other till 16 December when my parents sent him money to come to us in Belgium; I was really amazed by my parents? reaction. I think they understood it was something serious. He came to us and stayed for a month. We used to chat on the internet and I phoned him every other week. When he came to us on Christmas he tried to convince me to study in Romania. I didn?t agree because having started a faculty in England, the English degree is anyway better than the Romanian one, as the studies are easier being more interesting and more useful. Many subjects studied in Romania are useless. In England I had 13 classes a week, 1-2 books to read every other week. I told him I wanted to get through it not to start something and let the matter drop. I didn?t know how my parents would react. I thought that it would not be well and if we said in the beginning that we would wait for four years then we had better do that.
And he came back and three other months elapsed till Easter when I had a month holiday and I came to Romania for two weeks (I stayed two weeks at home) and then I decided to come to Romania as it was too difficult, because a long distance separated us and I said we might either part or I should come to Romania because we could no longer live apart. It was difficult for me to find good reasons on Christmas, but, after three months on Easter, I myself decided that it would be better for me to come. Anyway if I was thinking of settling in Romania after graduating faculty, why should I stay longer? When my parents learned about it they reacted like me on Christmas. They said that an English degree was better, that nobody admitted a Romanian degree if I wanted to leave Romania and work somewhere else and advised me to wait longer, but finally they didn?t say anything. What counted more was the fact that my father wanted to attend a faculty but his mother sent him to another and he didn?t know about it, he just learned that he was no longer enrolled with the faculty he wanted to attend. I think this is the reason why he wanted us to choose what we wanted to do in life. Then I discovered that the tuition fee would be bigger. In England I had to pay ₤1,000 a year as a British citizen and in Romania I was to pay ?3,100 a year as a foreign citizen. But I compared the boarding fees and my father said that the difference wasn?t too much and if I really wanted that I would?