Monday, 20 August 2007

Another try for Romania!

Oh, Romania, what a strange place you are. I'm back in this country again and again my feelings about the place are a little mixed. The purpose of this trip was to attend a friend's wedding, but to get to it, I had to fly through Bucharest, spend a sleepless night because of the heat and gangs of dogs going about their nightly business, get in a car the following morning and spend 8 hours listening to the Romanian world chart hits. I guess the cracks in the roads and the on and off traffic did provide variety, but not so much entertainment. Sibiu, which is where the wedding was taking place, was a cute place, but god do I not understand how all its tourist commit to taking the hike out there.

The wedding turned out to be a blast, though in a pretty extreme manner. I thought Polish weddings were hardcore, but this one with its streams of paulinka, fire torches, and a whole wild boar on fire kind of blew it all away. I have plenty more stories to tell about the time there, but I'll have to save that for another time.

To hit it from the good old EU point, I sometimes really can't believe this country is where it is. The worrying thing is that I hear it's gotten a lot better. It feels a lot like some places in Russia, which should be fine, but this is now considered as a part of the EU. Walking or driving though Bucharest is like a long sail though an ocean of ugly grey blocks, row after row, covering the horizon. Stray dogs are ubiquitous, whether you're looking at the center or the suburbs. The traffic is fast-paced and reminds me of the rivers of cars I used to see in Moscow. I still find places in Transylvania charming, but the towns between and even the capital for the most part - not so pretty after all. Bucharest is a peculiar place though. I think my favorite thing about it are the electricity lines hanging everywhere, which draw great lines across the city and remind me of the fire escapes in NYC - not pretty, but with personality. The bubble in the middle of it really is very interesting both architecturally and otherwise. It definitely has kept its character, which is somewhere in-between being gritty, fast, and majestic. A country and city of great contrasts for sure.


Anonymous said...

Ha-ha! Cool!!!
It should be the reason for that electricity lines and despite of huge troubles with fixing the problems it's very... lovely indeed. ))

Kate said...

Sounds epic. Can't wait to hear all about it. Skype date?

Paulina said...

Always up for a date, Katie:) Hope all is going well with your move. I'll try to get online this weekend. What's a good time and day for you?