“Travels to a Different Time” : 6July1974: Constanţa and Continesti, Romania: Revenge of the Slimy Meal and Pear Nectar: Not Good Enough for the Young Communists

I woke up with a queasy stomach. I think it was the slimy meal I had yesterday and the 7 pear nectars I drank. Of course, the two more pear nectars for breakfast did not help. But there is an issue with fresh fruit here and that is shortages! I packed up and had difficulty finding the bus to Continesti. I had a long walk to the bus station and feeling super queasy got on the bus which crawled but perhaps that was me feeling sick and impatient. The stench of body odour and garlic breath almost made me hurl. I had to collect myself for 10 minutes after getting off the bus. I went to the nearest cafeteria and had a Pepsi and an aspirin. I found a campground and paid for two nights after waiting in yet another line-up. The beach beckoned and I suffered through and through with the freezing water. I returned after a couple of hours and yes another freezing cold shower and the toilets stink and yes no toilet paper. I suppose that is also in short supply like most everything else in Romania. Feeling somewhat better I bought Le Monde and was reading it in the campground when a guy called Pierre from Quebec approached and said “Bonjour” seeing that I was reading Le Monde. He writes for a big Montreal daily Le Jour. We talked politics awhile and decided to go to a nearby cafeteria which was part of an international socialist youth camp. We are not young socialists and did not have a special ticket to enter. We are young but not recognized as young socialists. So much for a spirit of internationalism. How international is this camp? In Romania it seems sucking as much money from the tourists is the game. Pierre, who is here writing an article on European socialism, said it is the hard-working capitalists that are providing the edifications and foundations of Romanian socialism. Our campground spot is double what the good communists pay. Discrimination! We returned to our tents to a meager meal of bread and ham. I had the chills so crawled into my sleeping bag not even bothering to brush my teeth.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" 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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