When in Romania

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

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Where I stayed

Flag of Romania  ,
Thursday, August 21, 2008

I am addicted to moving the pins on the map.  I don't have the time to write entries.

-edit- Ok, here is the entry:

We are staying at a hostel called Kismet Dao.  Kismet means fate, and Dao refers to Daoism.  Our room is called The Sweet Room.  It's next door to The Shagging Room.  Inside, we exchange a conversation like the pessimist (me) and the optimist (her) that we are:

"I like this room.  It has clouds everywhere.  It's like a Winnie the Pooh room."
"Clouds? I thought those were paints chipped off the wall."

Brasov is the biggest city in Transylvania and definitely had sights worthy of a day or two of exploration.  We looked at various churches in Brasov and rode the cable car up to Mt. Timpa, which displayed the white Brasov sign reminiscent of the glamorous Hollywood sign.  Even the font looks the same. 

On the main road by the city square, bars lined up in the middle and exchange places decorated the walls.  The exchange places had USD, GBP, Euros of course, and some had really foreign currencies like JPY and Swedish whatever.  Strangely none of them, not even the banks, offered exchange for the currency of Romania's two neighbors, Bulgaria and Turkey.  Granted I only have about $40 total to exchange, but I still want that money!  So I came back in the hostel and walked towards the staircase, where two guys were exchanging words and money and one guy was just chilling.  "I am so glad you're going taking this.  Moldva money is useless outside of Moldova- I can't exchange it anywhere!"  I chimed in, "Oh my gosh, me too!  My Bulgarian leva and Turkish lira are absolutely useless!"  The guy who came from Moldva said he was from Turkey.  He looked German, so I figured he meant that he was coming from Turkey.  No, he said, he is really from Turkey.  Like, he is Turkish.  A German-Turk at that.  Instant bonding.

Natasha and I invited him and the guy sitting on the staircase to go out into the city with us.  The latter was a French guy from a village with 3,000 inhabitants.  In June and July, the 19-year-old Romain saved up money from giving guided tours in a medieval castle just a mile from his house.  In August, he was 20 and traveling all over Romania.  Having studied in Toronto for a year, his English far surpassed what you would expect of French people.  So we had a happy group of ESL-ers going to town.

We hung out at bar-restaurants discussing profound things like why the German-Turk (GT) was not looking forward to assisting a OBGYN surgery in the upcoming week and Which country has the longest border with France (A. Spain B. Germany C. Italy D. Brazil... the answer is D!  Please wikipedia this... French people can technically take a domestic flight to this one place in South America!).  Oh, and the poor GT has to serve in both the German and Turkish militaries.  But apparently he enjoyed skiing down the Alps in a white uniform and a machine gun, so I am not too worried. 

We were making our back up to the hostel when a group of Germans flagged us down.  The three of us were confused while GT chatted with a family of four and the father's boss with the #4 franchise business in Germany.  They were so jolly and merry!  Really, like the people from Beer Fest!  I can't imagine what Oktoberfest must be like, with thousands of people like this, except even drunker!  The son, a student at University of St. Andrews, asked us why we all decided to come to this "shit country".  Having Romanian-Germans parents comes kills the appreciation for such a beautiful place, I suppose.  He would rather party in London, he said.  When I was 18, I did not imagine myself wanting to go on a self-guided UNESCO World Heritage tour either.  We chilled with the Germans (or rather, we chilled while they caused a rauckus?) until the street cleared out, got shushed by the Romanian police, and got harrassed by gypsy girls. 
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