Better late than never, here’s my video on Romania!
Despite the whirlwind nature of this trip, it was really nice. Any change of scenery does me good, due to the ambulant nature of my soul.
Like you saw on the video, the first day started out with me thinking that we had to get up WAAAAY earlier than we had to. Since we had to drive to Milan to catch the flight, I went to Beatrice’s house to spend the night, and we were going to leave in the wee hours of the morning. I went to bed earlier than everyone else, and in the meantime Beatrice double-checked the departure time and found that it was an hour later than she had initially thought, but since I was already asleep I didn’t know, woke up at 3 a.m., and panicked that no one else was up and ready to go. I ended up waking her, and she explained that we didn’t actually have to leave for another hour. So I lay in bed until everyone else woke up, and Radu drove the 3 of us to Milan.
The flight was uneventful and we arrived in Iasi and Beatrice’s uncle came to pick us up. As I explained in the video, Romania is very strict about children leaving the country, so even though Beatrice and Desiree both had their ITALIAN IDs, Beatrice was concerned they weren’t going to let Desiree out of the country. As we were driving along with her uncle, Beatrice spoke very loudly. I thought to myself, “Wow, she must be really upset about the entire situation.” At which point Desiree turned to me and said, “They’re talking about plants.” Turns out Beatrice’s uncle is a bit hard of hearing, and here I thought they were arguing!
We arrived at their house, turned on the water, then went to the center of town for lunch. There’s a large shopping center outside the Palace of Culture (above), and then we walked around town to see a bit. Beatrice did a year of conservatory in Iasi so she knew her way around all the nooks and crannies. After walking a while she took us to a hotel that has a rooftop restaurant that gives a panorama of the town, and as you can see in the video I counted all the churches.
My favorite church was the Church of the Three Hierarchs, which had this amazing detail all over the exterior.
Tell me this isn’t reminiscent of Main St. at Disneyland. But with more trees. And fewer giant mice.
We went to a grocery store to buy stuff for dinner, went back to the house, and were almost too tired to eat.
The next day was mostly spent in the front seat of a car. We had to drive to another town so Desiree could get her documents, then to find a notary, then back to the notary to try to beg her to sign the letter from Desiree’s dad, then all through the mountains searching for a cell signal to buy her dad a plane ticket, and we ultimately ended up at Beatrice’s family’s house. We had a lovely lunch, then made it over to her in-law’s house to say hi, then back to her family’s house, and then we brought her aunt along with us back to their house in Iasi. We got our stuff, ate a quick dinner, and then made it back to the airport to catch the plane to Bucharest (with her aunt).
Once we arrived in Bucharest Beatrice’s cousin came and picked us up and we went to his house to spend the night. Beatrice’s husband had made it safely and was also waiting for us. We slept like rocks, woke up early the next day, and took the family to the Adventist school for Desiree’s interview. Beatrice’s cousin, who speaks passable English and quite a bit of Spanish, ended up taking me on a quick driving tour of the area, then we went to the mall with the idea of getting breakfast, but nothing in the mall was open yet, so we had a seat and sat around talking until we had to pick up the family from the school.
We didn’t have a lot of time for sightseeing, but we did drive by the government building, which was built in the Communist era and is now used in part by the parliament. At that point, our time was up so we went back to the cousin’s house, had lunch, and made it to the airport, where Desiree was indeed told that if her dad hadn’t have made the trip she wouldn’t have been able to leave the country.
So yeah, VERY short, VERY fast, VERY exhausting… but it was VERY fun! It’s a different lifestyle, a different language (though after 2 days straight of it I was starting to understand quite a bit!), different food. Different is always exciting to me, so when I came back I had refreshed and could face the rest of the week with a new attitude.
As always, more adventures ahead!