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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Romanians Disappoint in Tester Graffiti Gift!

KesterTester49a - The Eyes May Have it in this Pic - But Local Nationals Fail to Identify Their Very Own Graffiti Street Art

Photo: Yet another example of outstanding street art in western Romania on a decaying wall that appears to have bullet holes that I assume are a result from the 1989 December Revolution. Photo taken in autumn, 2010. This work has probably disappeared by now due to property redevelopment.

Apologies for lateness this week, I've had a hard time with deadlines converging and had to concentrate mostly on remunerative work.

And I decided to publish the results of this Tester not in KT50, but in a separate post, as I thought it might be rather long. And anyway, this city deserves the accolade, which I've designated KT49a.

This kicked off as a rather difficult Tester, in part because I thought one or two contacts in the target city would respond, but I would then release new clues that would make it easier for non-locals. In the end, it turned out all locals failed to respond, and then one crucial new clue probably made this a bit too easy.

Rapid response was first in from Rachel Appleby, who opted for Cluj, Romania. Not a bad guess, Rachel - right country, but not quite the right choice of city, I'm afraid.

Sandor Nemeth followed with Ljubljana, before in swooped Alex Faludy, modestly claiming it was "easy peasy" and plumping for Timișoara, Romania.

The thing is, I'd talked to Alex a month or so back about Timișoara, and, fearful of the draconian EU insider=trading laws, I felt obliged to make Alex's punt ineligible. At this, Alex got all uppity, and said he knew about Timișoara's multi-ethnic heritage long before I shared my incredibly illuminating insights, and he was claiming unfair dismissal or some such for denying him a famous victory. (Honestly, the accusations I get for trying to make people famous and all in exchange for just two beers.)

Then I released more clues, and Alex got yet more grumpy and said I was only doing this to prevent his fully deserved Tester crown being awarded instantly.

It is true that the second set of clues initiated a flurry of correct answers. Benedicte Williams admitted she couldn't tell from the first pic, saying: "I thought of Sofia for a minute, as it also has a lot of graffiti, but your second photo and extra tidbits of information made it easier. "Five days" of fame + statue of a wolf in front of an art nouveau building (Dauerbauch Palace) = Timișoara, a city I am very fond of too."

Benedicte was quickly followed by Hubert "Poirot" Warsmann, who swung into action with: "Hi Kester, well the second batch of clues is a give away really." OK Hubert, rub it in!

"Timișoara it is. Btw, looks like rugby has taken over football there. The local team collected 5 national titles in the past ten years with SA and NZ coaches in charge and at some point a partnership with Saracens. "

"5 days fame would suggest Temesvar (Timișoara ) in 1989," chimed in Alan Sutton, while Tom Chilton concurred: "Temesvár. I had an inkling, strengthened by the five days of fame hint, and confirmed by discovering that the local team plays in a revolting shade of violet. I've never been there and this may be the prod I needed."

Photo: They may play in a "revolting shade of violet" (I'll let you decide), but this friendly groundsman let me into the original "Poli" ground to take photos on a Sunday afternoon. I think we chatted about the Glasgow Celtic and West Ham games in happier, more successful times for Poli too. Pic from 2015 visit.

Photo: The previous day, I had been welcomed by some of the leaders of the "Phoenix Poli" - formed by grass-roots supporters of the old Poli who could not longer stand the financial googlies that had been going on at their beloved club. IIRC, this Phoenix Poli team were top of the third Romanian league at this time. (Sorry, Tom, still seems to the be same "revolting shade of lilac". :) Photo from 2015.

But back to the growing excitment of who will win KT49.

John Cantwell, frush from his hols, confidently proposed the same city. " The wolf statue was not too difficult to track down and a scan of google maps street view revealed the building in the background behind the wolf."

How can I ever win when you lot turn to google, John? Talk about tilted playing field!

Finally came Priit Pallum "The graffiti photo should have been taken in Timisoara, the town surely has an Hungarian verison of its name ending with –var"

Photo: Another view of Timișoara, one perhaps not so frequently portrayed, showing a river vista with Orthodox Cathedral in the background. This from October 2015. So that made it seven correct entrants to go into the Black Woolly Hat. But I felt a bit bad about Alex's entry, since indeed he'd answered correctly, based only on the first, limited clues - and had got it right. So, I consulted the Competition Committee, which unanimously agreed seven numbers would go into the hat, along with an extra number 8, also allocated to Alex, to balance up any perceived wrong, justified or otherwise. Then I couldn't find the Black Woolly Hat, and decided a red Zwack Unicum cap would have to do for this week. And guess what? The winning slip was number 1, Alex didn't even need the extra number. I suppose, as Christian minister, he'll be claiming it's God's Will. I suspect that might be true, on the grounds that God wants him to buy me my beers - not only for this win, but for the last time, because I'm pretty sure I never got any for his last KesterTester victory. Congratulations Alex, and thanks for all entries. Now what about KT50? I know it's a bit hard, but there are only so many industrial sites in Hungary. I could give another clue, but it would be even worse than the "Five Days of Fame" hint for Timisoara - and the website would crash as everyone between here and Vienna emailed in. I think you'd better go, take another look, and ponder it slowly, relaxxed and with your eyes closed. Perhaps with a beer in hand. Good luck from a Budapest bathing in late summer September sun.

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