Urbex Braila: in the old harbor
Before you get a glimpse of my native city I have some notions to share with you.
Urbex is the name of an activity coming from the idea of urban exploration for which having a camera and a bike is more than you need for a short adventure in any town.
Zoaie means water with soap, coming from washing the disches. In Braila you can find this everywhere in the street at the outskirts of the city. Sometimes, you will be surprise to see it in the center. People who do not have a drain installation in their neighbourhood, throw it in the street in order to make it vanish quicklier. We also have a saying about zoaie which is related to private space. We, romanians use to say about « washing your clothes in public » as a manner of telling your family problems to everyone.In fact, this is litterally translated into action by throwing zoaie in the street. When I was little, I liked this habbit cause it made the street where I played all day long, suddenly nice and clean.
Mahala is a Balkan word for « neighbourhood » or « quarter », a section of a rural or urban settlement, dating to the times of the Ottoman Empire. It was brought to the area through Ottoman Turkish mahalle, but it originates in Arabic mähallä, from the root meaning « to settle », « to occupy ». It is rendered as follows in the languages of the region: Bulgarian: махала, mahala; Bosnian and Serbian: махала/mahala or маала/maala; Romanian: mahala; Albanian: mahallë; Greek: μαχαλάς, machalas; Macedonian: маало, maalo or маала, maala; Romani: mahala; Aromanian: mãhãlã. A mahala was a relatively independent quarter of a larger village or a town, with its own school, religious building or buildings, mayor’s representative, etc. Mahalas are often named after the first settler or, when ethnically separate, according to the dominant ethnicity.
In Bulgaria, mahalas were administratively considered a separate type of settlement on some occasions; today, settlements are only divided into towns or villages, and the official division of towns is into quarters. In rural mountainous areas, villages were often scattered and consisted of relatively separate mahalas with badly developed infrastructure.
In Romanian, the word mahala has come to have the strictly negative or pejorative connotations of a slum or ghetto that are not present or at least not as strongly implied in other languages.
Now… here is my urbex in a mahala from Braila through zoaie:
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