Well, last night (Thursday), I met a group of folks at a place called Cafe Krishna on Boulivardul Kogalniceanu. Traffic was so heavy on the way there that it took a lot longer than I expected and I was late by about 20 minutes. The cab driver dropped me at the corner of Kogalniceanu and I walked until I found the cafe. The theme was like an old harem. Down dark stairs with small sitting areas on the side. I had no idea where I was going but asked the bartender who was expecting me and led me down a hallway to another little room where my friends Alexandra and Ludmilla were waiting. Everyone else was late also. There was a little niche in the wall of our room with a statue of Lord Ganesh, the ceilings were decorated with multi-colored fabric to look like the inside of a lavish tent. The music, too loud, was Arabic. The whole cafe was full of young people - and me. Our group dribbled in. Two more women I hadn't met, Florin, and then Adrian. It was a cozy group and we talked and laughed and drank beer. I chose a local beer that I liked named Ursus. It has a picture of a bear on the label. The only downside was that there were a lot of smokers. By the time we left at around 10, we were all pleased at the evening's conversations and I, at least, had the beginnings of a sinus headache from all the smoke. Florin and I walked for while and stopped at Pizza Hut to grab something to eat. Pizza Hut here is really much nicer than in the States. I had a thin crust ham and mushroom and olive pizza that didn't have even one drop of grease on it. After dinner I caught a cab, dropped Florin at his place, and continued on to my neighborhood, Floreasca. I didn't stay up long and was surprised to see that it was after midnight when I went to bed. I woke around 3 with a headache and took a couple of ibuprofen. It was no problem to fall back to sleep.
It got so chilly yesterday afternoon that I called Florin to tell me how to turn on the heat in the apartment. No problem - it's part of the tankless hot water system that circulates water through radiators. Very efficient.
Today I will meet Florin and we'll do some business related to an upcoming conference and then sight-see a little - perhaps the Cathedral and Patriarchal residence, have a meal and I'll come home. Tomorrow is still in the planning stages.
Many folks at home have sent very heart-warming messages. Everyone agrees that church is going very well but that they miss me. Also very reassuring and heart-warming. I heard that there was snow in the forecast at home - all I can say to that is Ugh!