I didn't have a chance to interview Munteanu in 1990 when I was in Romania because he was still in detention. But I met him last year for a conversation in Bucharest. I was surprised to discover that the activist who had captivated huge audiences of protestors for weeks at a time in 1990 never particularly relished that role.
In 1990, the issue that catapulted Romania into the headlines in the West, after the rise and fall of Ceausescu, was the country's orphanages. Journalists and foreign health care workers were appalled to discover the condition of babies and children in the many state-run institutions in the country.
In front of Ovid's statue in Constanta, I met up with Mircea Tuglea, a writer, translator, literary critic, and teacher who lives with his family in Constanta. We spent a good part of the day together, as he discoursed on various sad topics but always with a joke or ironic aside thrown in to lighten things up.