“Travels to a Different Time” :3July1974; Bucharest, Romania: A Sulky and Jealous Woman: More Line-Ups and Bureaucracy

Up at 9 a.m. and I had breakfast with Sorin and his wife. Sorin had to go to work. He is an engineer. I was left behind with his wife who is very sulky and uncommunicative. I wrote some letters, looked at my maps and made some tentative plans about future destinations. Sorin came home for lunch and we had vodka, bread, cheese and stuffed peppers. After lunch we had a walk to his site which was a new hotel under construction. I walked around the city for 4 hours and went to the Carpati Tourist agency and asked if there were student accommodations to some sour looking woman who said they had no such accommodations in Bucharest. That was a load of crap as the city map I got from her had numerous student accommodations marked. I pointed this out to the sour woman who said they did have student accommodations but they are all full and private accommodations were a huge $12 a night! Can I believe anything this bureaucrat had to tell me? I discovered a main street for what seemed to be ordinary working people and discovered an incredible marketplace. There was a peasant begging and her child was eating a dirty piece of bread. I think they were Roma people known as gypsies. I have seen some of their horse drawn caravans here in Romania like out of some movie. I gave some thought to what Li Li had said about how hypocritical the Romanian Communist party was by saying that all people were equal. Given the way the Party members live what baloney that all people are equal. That is very evident here in Romania. I purchased a pound of raspberries for 50 cents and some visjne which are soft cherries. Fruit is not fully in season so I will have to wait for a big bash of grapes. I ate the berries and then got lost. Getting lost in a great way of discovering a place. I soon saw my marker “The Intercontinental Hotel” and got back on track. I passed by an ugly glob of a building called The National Theatre. After that to an art gallery with some good paintings by Stendahl, Maisichheui, Lazarescu Florina and many other Romanian artists. Sorin was home when I arrived and we had some cookies and some of the visjne I bought followed by vodka but this Romanian brew is very harsh on the throat. Sorin said the sourpuss was not his wife but his girlfriend from Bacău and she was jealous of me and did not like me. I am heading out tomorrow but he asked I return and he would give me a great tour of Bucharest. Sorin and his sulky girlfriend went to a party and said they would return around midnight. They left me a key and I went out to The Intercontinental Hotel for dinner. Dinner was a less than memorable smattering of French fries and 4 meatballs. I wanted a beer but there was a line up for tickets for the beer and another line up to pick up the beer. What is going on with these stupid line ups in Romania? I took the 37-bus home and had a vodka and orange juice and leafed through some Romanian magazines. I dozed off around 11 until Sorin and sourpuss returned at 12:30. I had enough energy to do some jungle imitations which sent Sorin into hysterics. A sailor imitation was good too but this did nothing in my popularity contest with the sourpuss.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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