Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Time Out

It felt good to have Wednesday as a down-time day. After the intense travel of the last 10 days, it was good to wake up in my apartment in Bucuresti. I didn't expect to see Florin until afternoon so I took myself a leisurely few cups of coffee and then walked several blocks to a supermarket. It was a pretty good market and I found the things I needed for basics. When I went through check-out, I learned something I didn't know. Markets here don't provide bags. You have to pay for them. I bought one, packed it heavily, and shlepped it back to the apartment. It was heavy, so I learned something else: pack in two bags to balance it out. When I was putting groceries away, I found out that the bottle of milk I bought was yogurt. I'm glad it didn't pour it into my coffee first and then find out.

I met Florin at one o'clock downtown. We went to get haircuts. Another interesting experience. First the stylist washed my hair, then she buzzed it off, then she washed it again to get rid of the hair. Then she trimmed eyebrows, ears and nose. Then she gave me a thorough head, neck and face massage. I mean thorough. The whole thing cost about $15. I could also have had a manicure, but we didn't have time. Next time.

We went to a traditional Roumanian restaurant for lunch. I had stuffed cabbage that was really delicious. It was served with polenta. Florin had ox tongue which he said was delicious. I was tempted to order a bear steak but that was a little too much for me today. We had a strong, dark beer with our lunch. We stopped into a lovely little Orthodox church for a few minutes, then walked down the street for a coffee and then to a travel agent to get my flight to Malta confirmed for October 27. We'll do a lot of other travel before then.

Two quick notes of things I'm learning: coffee is more of a ritual here than in the US. They don't gulp down large cups of coffee. They savor strong espresso or capuccino over a long period of time. I'm getting used to the reduced quantities of stronger coffee that doesn't taste at all burnt like Starbucks. The other thing is the street dogs. There are dogs everywhere. The government has a policy of spaying and neutering dogs and tagging them. The kinds of mixes of these street dogs is quite interesting. They seem to be small to medium. I haven't seen any cats yet.

That's it for today. I'm going to relax and hang out and savor reading and munching on fresh brown bread with salami and cheese. A good way to spend an evening.  If you've read this far, why not click on the "comment" button and let me hear from you.


  1. I love your musings. And I want that kind of haircut!! I am living vicariously through you and having a wonderful time - though my feet are tired from all the walking! I love you!!

  2. A wash, haircut and massage for only $15...Never in the U.S.

  3. I so enjoy reading your day to day activities with Florin -

    Here in Rochester we haven't had any rain in awhile - though it looks as if we should. It has been a long dry spell. However, the weather has been 55 - 75 the last couple of weeks.

    Anne and I are going to Washington DC for the Equality March in October - how's that for a vacation!?

    We miss you - I've been way too busy with Union stuff, but I took tonight off! (Wed, 6:50 PM)

    I so enjoy the leisurely relaxing life of European's - we American's are much to rushed and spoiled.

    Love ya!

  4. This may be duplicate
    Glad you are having a good time and still able to learn new things.
    Take care. Miss you
    Love renee

  5. Bear steak you could have had Bear steak and you didnt!!!! I hope you plan on going back...
    Michelle may be living vicariously thru you... I am EATING... Bear and BEER and you missed it... :(

    Bently says hi... he likes cheerio's .. not sure who got them off the counter maybe long legged Rosie.. but the box was empty and they all looked guilty.. Love Martha Deb Bently Rosie and Gert

  6. Enjoying a cup of Porto Rico Budapest blend,in your honor. I'm sure it doesn't compare to the delicious coffee you're savoring. Such a wonderful journey, you're on. Your daily updates are much anticipated. Love...

  7. The bright spot of my day is checking in here, usually in the morning, from work, while enjoying a cup of coffee! At night I read them from my laptop to Jack! It sounds awesome! Stay safe! ~D

  8. It's been great to have a "taste" of your travels, and I too look forward to reading the updates! Keep them coming and I am so happy that you are enjoying your time. We've had an amazing warm September here in Rochester that's made up for our cool summer. Will try to take some pics and post to my blog this weekend :)

  9. Great to follow ya on your trip. Hope they have decafe coffee as the stuff you are drinking is too strong for me!
    Bob F