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Tom’s European Vacation (Part 6): Bucharest

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Arriving at Gara De Nord the first thing one notices is that we’re back in Latin Land! Yes, after my baffled head scratching and sign language in previous countries since Belgium I’m in a land where ‘Gara de Nord’ is clearly understandable to me. Phew!

That, unfortunately, was where the similarity ended. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The written word is very similar, seemingly a strange mix of French, Italian and Spanish. TheDSC01999 spoken word might be too if you’re not quietly falling in love with the girl who’s serving you food in MacDonalds. OK, ok, I admit it – I had a MacDonalds in Romania, in the station – I was hungry.

Now, Bucharest is a funny old place, there’s not much one can say about it other than the fact that it’s Grand – in a proper Yorkshire type way. The streets are grand, the buildings are grand. Everything, in the parlance of a southerner is big.

It would be wonderful if I could tell you that I started to integrate into society and get a feel DSC01998

for the way of ‘Romania’ – but in all honesty it just seemed strangely closed. As if everyone had their own private business to get on with and I wasn’t that welcome.

(To the left is a photo of The Peoples Palace built by the self confessed ‘Genius of the Carpathians’, Nicolae Ceausescu – the dictator of Romania until circa Christmas day 1989 when they shot him. I say it was built by him, rather, it was built by the people whilst they starved as a consequence of the build project. So big I couldn’t fit it all in.)

Using my trustee Europe on a shoe-string manual I sought refuge in an Irish bar to see if I DSC02002could find someone who might enlighten me as to how things work in Romania.

Many beers were had and much fun – although I didn’t learn too much other than the Irish can drink as well in Romania as they can in any other part of the world! Oh, and Romanian girls are gorgeous – at least the ones I saw. How I got back to the hotel that night is still a bit of a blur, but I made it all the same.

Strangest moment – receiving a phone call from an agent offering me work. When asked, ‘Is it a good time to talk’ – i.e. are you at a customer site, I had to reply, “No, actually I’m in Bucharest”. Silence & much confusion.

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