“Travels to a Different Time” : 16July1974: Bucharest, Romania: Stay Away From “Nick the Big Boy”: Overnight in a Romanian Villa

Up at ten for a big spaghetti brunch. Sorin loved it but with the right spices it would have been worthy for the top bureaucrats in the Romanian Communist Party! After the tasty feast Sorin left for work while I washed some clothes and started to pack up. I am planning on leaving in a couple of days. I am now at the halfway point of my vacation. I am enjoying my “down time” here in Bucharest. Good company, East German beer and lots of fruit and vegetables. I went out picking up supplies for my next dish boeuf bourguignon. Out on my shopping I saw a beautiful hand embroidered sheepskin vest for $32. I saw a similar one in Contanesti for $82. It will be a hassle to carry but it is a beautiful garment. I really never buy anything for myself so I will splurge. I took the bus home which almost jolts your guts out. It’s like being a bingo ball in a machine.

I couldn’t find beef so I substituted it with pork. He helped me with some of the preparation and had to go buy a train ticket for his mother who was going to Bacau. He said he would be back in 90 minutes but showed up three hours later and I had already eaten. His flat had that rich smell of a dish cooked in wine. He gobbled his down with a happy smile on his face. First time he has had this classic French dish. We had some tangerines and ice cream for dessert. We then stopped over at his mother’s place so he could give her the train ticket. She is jolly rotund woman. We watched a bit of television with her and headed out to a beer garden in a park. We picked up his brother and sister-in-law at Sorin’s villa and we went to the beer garden but it had run out of East German beer so we went to one of Bucharest’s biggest and best restaurants called Pescarus. Not too shabby! Like big party bureaucrats we sipped champagne, had a charcuterie platter (pastrama), ate pastries and listened to jazz. To think of all the pig slop I have eaten it seems that money can make up for what the commoners have to endure! We went to Aviator Square but couldn’t find a taxi so we stayed overnight in Sorin’s villa where I had a room all to myself. Sorin pointed across the square and said that is where “Nick the Big Boy” operates. You want to avoid that thug. There was a heavy police presence at the square.

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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