“Travels to a Different Time” :15July1974: Bucharest, Romania: Sorin Has to Register Me with the Police: Meeting up With Pusha the Daughter of a Defector: My Imitations Cause Mirth and Terror

Up at 10:30 and Sorin and I went out to buy some milk, bread, cake and Romanian “Corn Flakes”. The milk was not very good and Sorin said if you arrived before 8:30 there was a higher quality milk available. Sorin has never had spaghetti and meat sauce! Is that possible! So we went to the market to buy the supplies. We squished into a tram and arrived at the marketplace. It was a huge market full of peasants selling produce from their personal plots. Finally an abundance of food including fruits and vegetables which is good as I feel like scurvy should be setting in soon. I purchased all the supplies needed for the sauce and we headed back in the sardine packed tram. Sorin departed for work and Chef Robert prepared his spaghetti sauce which despite the lack of spices was perhaps the most satisfying food I have seen in Romania. Another girlfriend of Sorin, Pusha, arrived and they had a cognac and a beer for me. She is not that attractive but unlike his previous girlfriend she is very intelligent. We left to see some Davis Cup matches but the line-up for tickets was too long so we walked to a nearby park and played some Frisbee. A crowd of 15 Romanians gathered to watch us. Frisbee is new to them. Some kids joined in the game. They always ask for gum and money. Many of them smoke! We then went a block away from Pusha’s family’s flat and she went into change and Sorin told me her father had recently defected in New York and it was not a good idea to go in with her as the secret police were most likely watching. The idea of a Westerner like me going into her apartment would only aggravate the situation. Sorin said that he had to register me with the police as you have to do that if you have a Westerner saying with you for more than 48 hours. We went to a restaurant and had some East German beer and a platter of cold meats. We walked home through the park and my dirty old man cough and jungle imitations brought laughter to passersby’s. Then we were followed by two musicians with an accordion singing songs to us. I then did my Fuhrer imitation which sent two ladies running down the street in terror. We hailed a taxi and dropped off Pusha.

The author introduces spaghetti sauce to his Romanian friend

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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