“Travels to a Different Time” : 17July1974: Bucharest, Romania: Too Much East German Beer: Jumped by Gypsies at 2 a.m.

I finally bought the sheepskin vest and with help of some black-market exchange I ended up paying $20. The day was roasting hot as I went to the market to purchase ingredients to make another batch of spaghetti. I purchased all the ingredients at the market and went into the “tourist shop” to buy East German beer but none available. I use the words “tourist shop” as anyone with Western currency can buy goods not available to those without Western currency. Therefore Western currency is in demand on the black market. A good way for a low budget Canadian traveller to stretch a travel dollar.

After the sauce had bubbled to perfection Sorin and I went to play tennis at a beautiful park called Herăstrau on a lake of the same name. We met a few of his friends and Pusha.  We played some tennis and Frisbee and went into a beer garden in the park. A large tub of prized East German beer arrived full of ice. You really don’t want to drink Romanian beer as quite frankly it is undrinkable. I noted some Romanian guys entered and pointed to our East German beer but the waiter said they had none which was clearly untrue. It so happened Sorin was a regular at the beer garden with his friend the son of the Ministry of Energy and they only drank East German beer. Get the picture. The six of us consumed 25 bottes of delicious brew. After leaving I played tennis in the street with some Germans. As we walked further at 2 in the morning a band of gypsies jumped out of the bushes and started playing music. I said let’s ignore these clowns and walk on but Sorin gave the money which was preferable to being held by knifepoint and robbed. We returned at three in the morning and had a huge batch of spaghetti.

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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