So, where are you from, the Chinese man asked the young woman, eager to chit chat. From Roman. Nice. I've heard of Roman, the capital of Italy. I heard there was a saying that all roads lead to Roman, he laughed, proud of his knowledge. I'll visit Europe myself someday, and certainly Roman. What, Roman's not in Italy? It's in Romania? Oooh, yes, my bad, I thought you meant Milan. Milan's in Italy. Of course I knew that. Sorry, yes, Roman is the capital of Romania, naturally. I can't imagine why I ever mistook it for Athens. Now, I'll never get them confused again.
(Translated by Diana Mîndruţă-Tănăsescu / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)
Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In June 2021, the group has 6.650 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes almost daily. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)
Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficţiuni Reale.