Oh my gosh, I dined in Dracula's house

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 04, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Romania  , Transylvania,
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I have very limited internet access, so this entry is mainly to pin my location.  be jealous, muhahaha


We arrive in a spacious, rather clean train station in Bucharest all sleepy-eyed at 6:30am.  Our sleeper looked exactly like the one from istanbul, except less smelly.  We immediately got tickets for the 7:30am train to Sighisoara (40 lei=$18?=cok pahale!) and proceeded to McDonald's.  Natasha got some fish sandwich through a mutually intelligible conversation with the cashier- in English!  While she was in the bathroom, a very handsome guy (a more cheery, fresh version of Prince William) stopped in front of me and gave me a broad, warm  smile.  My immediate thought in half-sleep, half-delirium: Oh, my, gosh, Romanian guys are super cute and friendly!  Then I noticed a glimpse of recogntion in his eyes and realized it was the German guy I had met twice on this trip!  He was the one I watched the last fleeting scene of Istanbul as the sleeper train departed to Bulgaria.  I also ran into him at the hostel in Sofia three days ago and did the same thing (oh, he's cute, but what's with the enthusiastic hello? OHHH, hey!).  I thought you went to the Black Sea coast, I asked.  He said he was making an overnight journey to Transylvania as well and staying in Sibiu until Friday, then Budapest.  Then we had to dash to our respective trains, probably the same one, but wow, what a chance encounter.  Running into people is somewhat inevitable since I meet innumerable people everyday, many of whom have similar itineraries.  Still, three times in five days?  I say that's pretty cool.  I should try to get to know people who are headed up north since I may run into them again.  A kid headed south made a very unpractical move of facebooking me.  Facebooking is so universal!  So many other things are not, like MILK.  The kid and I had a brief, unresolved debate over American milk versus British milk.  In America we have whole milk, skim, 1%, 2%, soy... He booed these endless choices because the best milk in the world is the two jugs of fresh milk that get delivered to his door every morning by some elderly milkman on a bike.  He also misses tea time and plans to drink tea 5 times a day once he gets to his "gran's" in a few weeks.  I understand, as I will be going to drinking 5 glasses of FREE water at every restaurant I go to.  And I shall drive to H-mart and the surrounding restaurants 5 times a day to eat dduk bbok ki, jja jang myun, soon dae, soon doo boo, naeng myun, galbi- should I go on?  Oh, Zaxby's is a must.  So is teriyaki chicken in honey oat bread from Subway. 

Anyway, while I'm thinking these things, the train arrives in Sighisoara.  A handful of backpackers crawl around the station.  I lead the way.  The direction is very simple: take a right from the station and walk 250m.  We do just that and hello, Nathan's Villa!  After securing 2 beds, we take a short walk to the city center.  Sighisoara is Romania's only UNESCO World Heritage city.  It's a charming midieval town where Dracula was born.  We did an obligatory visit to the museum, where we paid the student price without being questioned.  The entrance had introductions in about 7 different European languages but no English.  None of the artifacts were labelled in English, so I can only vaguely guess what the things were.  Interestingly, all the warning signs are in English: Do not touch! No photographs! Watch your head!  Americans presumably need no intelligent explanations, just warning signs to stop them from their usual idiotic American deeds. We wandered around and climb up narrow, creaky staircases.  I think 2.5 lei was definitely worth visiting the clock tower just for the view at the top!  I could see the beautiful layout of the city.  A little sign said that New York is 7,200+km away, which both scared and saddened me for a brief moment.  We wandered around the town, visiting churches and a cemetery and cafes.  It was the most touristy place we have been so far (not that that says much).  No visible Americans, just a lot of Europeans.  Despite the number of tourists, the restaurants and stores and our hostel accepted only cash.  We ate dinner at the famous Count Dracular Restaurant, situated in the very house the dracula was born.  The food was hella expensive but sooo delicious.  Sooo delicious!  And interior of the house made me feel immersed in the midieval times... The bars here close around 11-midnight, so we unfortunately could not enjoy the town at its eeriest.
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