“Travels to a Different Time” : 5July1974: Constanţa, Romania: Mr. Culture Eats Slimy Dinner and Drinks Pathetic Romanian Beer After Swimming at Garbage Strewn Black Sea Coast

Up at 8 this morning and after saying good morning to Victoria headed out to search for food which is a chore in Communist Romania. I did find 4 pear nectars at the local supermarket which is anything but “super”.  Being a “hepee” I am always subject to stares from a population that sees few long-haired western tourists or even Mr. and Mrs. Straightlaced tourists. Came home after hunting down some bread. While I ate breakfast Victoria turned on a national radio station with some good classical music which was always cut short by “tourist information”. I went to the Black Sea beach and it is strewn with garbage and cigarette butts. The water is covered in seaweed and its frozen. There are hordes of locals kicking up the sand playing football. There are all sorts of hawkers selling cheap merchandise and food. After the beaches of Yugoslavia quite frankly who on earth would come here for a vacation? After the beach I stopped in and visited a Turkish mosque which was rather plain but offered a spectacular view. The older part of town is beautiful and juts out into the ocean like a peninsula. The new part of town is blemished by socialist architecture with is ugliness camouflaged by rows of trees. Next stop an art gallery with nothing of note except for an exhibit of charcoal on paper drawings that captured the Romania of yesteryear. The archeological museum was the best piece of culture for the day with shards of ancient pottery, Greek sculptures and Roman artifacts. I had the museum to my own which gave it a greater impact than if I had been in a crowd. Next to an incredibly beautiful church called the Church of St. Pierre and Paul. I returned home for lunch and gave the beach another try. Came home and went out for a dinner of some slimy dish which was filling and a step up from pig slop. I had a Romanian beer with it which is 30 cents for half a litre. It is strong at 12.5% but is mostly flat and one can only drink half of it before it totally loses its carbonation. Dessert was an ice cream. I was back at 9:30 and watched a “Musica Popular” show on television which was mostly traditional Romanian folk music. I was in bed by 11:30.

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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