The road so far

So, I welcomed the new year in Romania. We traveled from Bucharest to Brasov to Sighisoara. Here’s a fast summary and pictures of trains:

Highlights

  • The big, bulky Soviet-style buildings in Bucuresti. I love Brutalist architecture.
  • The bathroom in the first hostel, where they always blasted Bob Dylan and rock-country tunes for some reason. The musical choices in the reception area, on the other hand, were terrible. I took a shower for one hour and a half on the first day.
  • Our Australian room mate whose only topic of conversation was his balls freezing off.
  • Calling our ex course mate in Denmark to wish her a happy new year and finding out she was about to jump on icy water following another crazy Danish tradition,
  • The drunk English civil engineer dude at New Years eve who invited himself to our company by proclaiming ‘ I love the Soviet Union!’ and proceeded to answer my question about architects and civil engineers by chucking items off our table after he labeled them ‘ the architect’. I barely managed to save the beer bottles from his wrath.
  • The fireworks at New Years eve and the mulled wine that helped us survive. On that day we found out that the temperature in Bucuresti was lower than Moscow, Alaska and Siberia. Canada was still colder though.
  • Acoustic guitar night in the Brasov hostel. We listened to Moldovan and Russian contemporary folk songs, the lyrics of which were kindly translated by Ana, a beautiful Russian scientist.
  • Hitching a ride in the passenger seats of a truck along with seven other people after turning down a taxi because we were five and ‘ couldn’t fit in the car’
  • The guy from Hong Kong who was telling me a story about his credit card getting swallowed by an ATM and then proceeded to have his card swallowed by an ATM 10 minutes later. When we left him in the hostel, he was on the phone with his dad, sorting out a solution. I really hope it worked out for him.
  • Our train catching fire just before reaching Brasov and having to deal with the smoke until it reached the station. It wasn’t a major incident so so one really cared.
  • Reading the words ‘ Nuclear’ and ‘ Ukraine’ in a news report in a cafe and finding out there had been a report about a nuclear leak. We weren’t that excited. However, I was excited to listen to a report that included the Romanian word for Greece and the date of January 25.
  • Reading the folk tales about vampires which were totally crazy. The one I remember is that a woman is possessed by an evil spirit if she goes out with her head uncovered.
  • Slipping and falling down only once despite the fact that we were constantly walking on ice.
  • Finishing the only book I had brought along during a 5- hour train ride and then starting over because there was nothing else to do.

Low Points

  • The 5-hour train ride without seats where we had to sit on our suitcases in the corridor that led to the bathroom. We were forced to stand up every 5 minutes, whenever another passenger visited the bathroom
  • Waiting for the bus for half an hour at about 10 degrees below zero.
  • Taking a hot shower and feeling dizzy because of the change in temperature
  • Looking like a red Michelin man thanks to wearing  my father’s ski jacket.
  • Finding out that my waterproof boots were not in fact waterproof.

Items acquired

  • A Moldovan banknote featuring Stefan Cel Mare- part of his story was narrated to us by our Moldovan room mate and then translated by Ana.
  • A Viking helmet offered by a Belgian guy who had allegedly traveled to China and Tibet by car.
  • Pottery
  • Lei that I didn’t manage to spend in the airport
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