October 25th 2016, Bucharest, Romania

I believe in small things.

Friday started past midnight, reading the fascinating lived history of Farah Pahlavi, the (last) wife of the lat Shah of Iran. In these moments when I almost feel I will give up, it is the book, the story, the model, the image that motivates me to continue. Every once in a while, the book is so sad, that I cannot breathe properly.

6:30 am the alarm yells at me. 8 am, I arrive at the court and check the file for any novelties. 8:30 am – the judge has dark black hair which is not in a pony tail. He looks like one of my ancestors and inspired hope for decent judges with no need or desire to humiliate or – not in the most subtle manner possible – suggest the lawyers that they are inferior.

I spend the day researching for a new arbitration case. It is lovely to start from nothing and get to one point, analyzing the case, doing legal research, correlating facts and legal provisions, presuming aspects and turning out to have been right, sewing the threads of the defense.

15:00 Litigation department meeting for distributing the cases for next week

15:40 Brainstorming on the arbitration case, outlining the pluses and minuses and discussing the main ideas. Litigation partner hops in announcing new tasks for next week and I remember some others, too, in the very same moment.

…I rush the taxi driver and run to the ticket counter. There is a 20 person line and the train leaves in 13 minutes. Usually this is a luck number, but not this time. I buy tickets for another train and relaxed.

How I figured there is no escape for me:

I sit down to wait for the train, Behind me a senior citizen is dictating to a young man next to him, who has a laptop in front of him: Decision no…, Contract no…, National Directorate, Anti-corruption Resolution no….

Now, I think I should mention that I have a court file in my purse (the only luggage I have), the robe, legal review articles on abusive clauses in consumer contracts, articles on the rulers, history, geography and succession of legal regimes of Iran, an article on GAFTA, the Romanian Constitution, make-up, quite an excerpt of the General Theory of Obligations on torts and contractual liability, the academic program of the 2014 Hague Academy, my schedule on the whole year of 2014 (on recycled paper, which is written on one side – the score verification of the LLM exam which I treasure greatly as I answered all questions correctly, contracts, emails etc.), Legal Order course syllabus, to do list for Vis Moot, LLM schedule, sleeping pills, back ache pills, the green pen from the Hague Academy I am writing with, about Financial Times newspapers, Business Magazine issues (which I share with my train neighbors)  and a booklet of the biggest investments concluded lately. I see some of the clients I worked for, some law firms, I make some connections.

I am in this train leading me to the only still populated medieval town in Europe. Alone in the wagon, just me and my magical purse – a small island of universe. Actually, I was supposed to be on the flight to Paris to celebrate one of the friends I made in Hague. The most transnational thing I know is friendship. I do not step out in Charles du Gaulle Airport, but in my home garden where my mother waits for me with her arms opened. I checked in today more than 20 hours ago, I went to court, to the office, to meetings, I drafted and researched, attended LLM classes, missed one train, changed vehicles, travelled one more hour and I am still smiling. I am back to the place which I left half a decade ago, when I was yet another party girl.


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