My plans for today have gone south. I was hoping to hang around the hostel all day and plan what happens after Bucharest until I get my night bus to Chisinau tonight. But alas today just happens to be their biannual ‘big clean’ day where they shut the entire hostel. That means I’m on the street (complete with my North Face Terra 60). Crivens.
I got up late anyway (not surprising after getting to sleep at about 5ish) so grub was needed pronto. I found a buffet cafe called Autoservice La Nae round the corner. It was a bit pricey (only relative to what I’d paid at other Romanian eateries) at 20 lei but I just pointed at stuff without knowing what it costs (it isn’t a swanky place so I thought it would be cheap) as the prices weren’t in English. It was very nice though, I had some sort of spicey thin Cumberland like sausage, a pork steak and nearly mashed potatoes. Lovely, that will be me for a good few hours.
As I’d already seen most of Brasov anyway and had my bag with me, I just sat on bench in the sun for a couple of hours while entertaining myself with phone related stuff, that killed a few hours until my battery started complaining.
After that I took a walk down Strada Sforli (Rope Street), which plenty of literature advertises as the narrowest street in Europe. Wikipedia reckons that Blighty takes that prize though, hurrah.
Now I wasn’t really that hungry by this time after my early afternoon meal but I thought I’m not going to get a chance to eat again for a fair while so I nipped in Bar Kowlun for a pizza that was massive and about the norm price, a bit too cheese heavy for my liking though (and no I didn’t order quattro formaggio). The Holsten Premium was most refreshing.
The mini-bus I was expecting was actually a full sized mudda and I got on and paid my 60 lei without a problem so that was a bit of a relief. There was even entertainment of the film variety, not that they entertained me as they were dubbed without subtitles. One of them was some awful cliche ridden and uninspiring (this was clear eve without the dialogue) western with Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, in fact it must have been this. Still, with them two on screen it was okay to glance at every now and again I suppose.
I wasn’t lying when I said the further east you go the more dogs you see, I counted 14 in the centre of a roundabout we went round in Bacau, 14! There was also loads at customs when we crossed the border, one of which looked very much like it had rabies as it was exhibiting some very unusual behaviour. I neglected to pat that particular one.
Speaking of customs, I had a bit of a scene around me here. I was very hot (they were over doing it somewhat with the bus heating) and uncomfortable and doing my best to find some position that I could contemplate getting some sleep in as it was about 1 in the morning now. Anyway, I finally found one that was working for me which involved my legs being draped a bit over the seat in front of me (there was only a handful of people on the bus). So when the lights came on as we were at the Romanian side of customs control, the driver went mental at me in Romanian about it and proceeded to go and fetch a Policeman/customs bloke to reprimand me. I couldn’t see the big deal myself as I’d taken off my trainers and wasn’t marking anything or disturbing anybody else. As much as I was angry with the jumped up little jobsworth throwing a paddy I just kept calm and obeyed what he said as there is only going to be one winner with something like that, the Policeman was okay about it and was just going through the motions really anyway. Still, talk about an over-reaction. Eventually I managed to get 2 consecutive hours even without the drape manoeuvre.
The Moldovan side of customs didn’t present any such craziness, though the official here did have a ridiculous and massive frisbee like hat that made me and the English couple a few rows behind me laugh.
The bus was supposed to get in about 07:00 am but it actually got in at about 04:30 am, go figure. This meant the public transportation I’d planned to use to get to the hostel wasn’t running and probably wouldn’t be for a good few hours. There were lots of shady looking taxi drivers gathering around but none of them spoke English. Luckily the English couple were in the same boat and happened to be staying at the same hostel as me, so we haggled a bit with a few drivers and eventually convinced one of them to take us for 20 Romanian lei (so 10 lei for me), that was probably a fair bit more than it should have been for the relatively short distance but at that time in the morning it was worth it.
The next problem was that when we arrived at the hostel it was as closed as it possibly could be. Again luckily, after milling about a bit in front and pushing the doorbell a few times a light appeared a couple of floors up and the girl who works here let us in. My bed in the dorm she ushered me into was most comfy, which was great after a couple of challenging night’s sleep. Though the cockerel in next door’s garden was busy doing what cockerels do which is quite annoying, even with earplugs in. But I managed to find the Land of Nod again in the end, phew.
I think I’m going to stay an extra night here as the hostel seems like a good place to relax and there is a PC in the bedroom which I can use for travel plans, this is the most complicated stage of my trip as I really need to work out the route for the next 8 or 9 countries to make it work. Plus it’s derby day tomorrow so that day is pretty much written off.
The usual story where a good picture opportunity hasn’t presented itself so here is the mititei I ate in Brasov the other night, umm um umm.
Tags: Autoservice La Nae, Bandidas, Bar Kowlun, Blogsherpa, Brasov, Chisinau, Chsinau Hostel, Europe, Holsten Premium, Land of Nod, mititei, Moldova, North Face Terra 60, Penelope Cruz, Romania, Salma Hayek, Strada Sforli