From May 23 to May 28th I was in Romania. I was going to a conference on International Social Work/NGOs that another Fulbrighter had put on for her research part. It was a long drive to get there through Serbia! The border was super long going into Romania as well. I guess that it was because it was entering the EU from a non EU country. But when I got to the front of the line with my car, they looked at my passport asked me where I was going in Serbian and the said good day! Like EVERY SINGLE other car they were checking for bombs and looking under the car/taking the car apart, but me the American, oh you can just go! It was a beautiful countryside and very pleasant to drive through. I enjoyed the drive and the scenery. When I got into Romania I was amazed by the amount of driving laws. Then I saw that no one followed them. Like ever. And the roads were bad that you often weren’t even able to drive on your own side of the road. We weaved in and out and through the pot holes. I later found out that there is a Romanian saying that you can tell if someone is driving drunk if they are driving straight!
I arrived to a lovey sandwich dinner, and company of other Americans and one German! I even got to see Bill from Thessaloniki! I wish I could catalog all of the days that I was there. From the lovely seminar to playing in the park with local children, to my utter confusion with Romanian (which I think was just my brain’s overload of languages this trip. And since this one wasn’t Slavic based, my head shut down.), to visiting some Really cool NGOs that work with local children!
The NGOs were nice and very helpful to see other countries and how they work. I had tons of questions that they were willing to answer. It was also good to talk with other Americans who were in the same position as me, but in a different country and be able to compare our experiences. I felt like the German girl might think we complain a lot, but we were really only sharing things that appeared crazy to us, but normal to locals. But not saying that it was horrible! But impressions might have been different.
At the very last day, I went with Bill and a Peace Corps Volunteer from Moldova (Zach) to Castle Corvinilor! IT was a really cool Romanian castle that had lots of empty rooms and a MAsconic meeting going on! With inductees! But the castle was built a really long time ago. There was a bear pit where they feed the prisoners to the bear, and a water trap that had been built by Turkish Prisoners who were promised their freedom and then killed after working for 10 years! There were nooks and crannies that we explored, even one that we weren’t supposed to! They are awesome to explore with because they like to take funny pictures! J
Then I decided to go to Budapest for the next night to take Zach and Bill there and see more of Romania, and then head on to Sofia the next day- letting me see new and different parts of the world! I spent the night in a friend of a friends apartment and explore for about an hour before giving up and going back to relax and de compress. But I did, of course, get a lot of pictures. And I want to go back, of course!