“Until I was ten, I lived in an Old World across an immense sea. Now, of
course, I know it to be the continent of Europe, and the year to be 1915. But
as with everything, then was then, and now is now.
Most of the time, when I contemplate the life I led sheltered within the
Rom tribe, my memories swell out like balloons – free, colourful, and happy.
Our family was one of a small Gypsy caravan made up of about fifteen
vardos or wagons.
My memories juxtapose themselves much like the way
the women of Rom wear their long skirts. Gypsy women are never content
to wear just one skirt; they wear layers and layers of fabric, arranged in
differing lengths, to display luxuriant palettes of prints and textures.
My childhood among the Rom is layered as that, richly. But
because I myself now have become more like a gadjo, my feelings about my
past have become twisted around like a snake engorging itself on its own
tail. So perhaps it wasn’t like that at all.”
Book I: The Gypsy’s Song