*** Tuesday, 07 Jan 2002 ***
I went to the Eminescu office and this time my commute was perfect. I
got on the right bus and off it at the right stop. I found the right trolley
and got to the office without slipping once.
The word went around that the movers would be there at 10 AM and they
were. The conference room was the first to be moved so I was immediately
without a home. I asked what should be done but no one had any suggestions
so I decided that I would simplify the move by getting out of the way
and told Allen that I would walk to the new office.
I did and if possible the situation was worse there. The reconstruction
was barely complete (sacks of broken brick were piled in the entrance
and workers were painting some walls as other workers were installing
the phone/computer network). Others arrived and we talked about what we
could do. The cleaning company was hours late and there weren't any desks
or chairs. I proposed to Allen that we go out to lunch and we did. On
returning things were not much better so Allen and I went to his place
and he gave me all the things he (and his wife) had bought at my request.
I was so pleased to get the pepperoni and cheddar cheese that I was delighted
to pay on the spot.
*** Wednesday, 08 Jan 2003 ***
It rained last night and everywhere there was ice. New ice in the chilly
morning. Slick ice, smooth ice, treacherous ice. I managed not to fall
but I did slide a number of times.
I went out for lunch and met Dennis on the street slipping and sliding
along the ice in search of Coke Light (Diet Coke in Europe). He is an
addict and readily admits it, saying that he has no other vices. We went
to the Uptown which is two blocks from the office and a very good lunch.
After work, I went to Cafe Deko in search of Cafea Nawa Actorilor. It's
on the eighth floor of the National Theater. The room is at least ten
times as long as it is wide and you enter on one end and you see the room
disappear as it curves out of sight. The bar is near the entrance and
there are tables and benches lining the walls. Beyond the bar is a platform
with a piano, drums, etc. for a band. The crowd is college/university
age and a mixture of couples and larger groups. This is a place for conversation
and the sound of it rumbles along the room through the smoky air.
The decor is eclectic, buffed steel benches, pictures and photographs
and framed art installations (such as bathroom fixtures) were on the wall,
glass cases with brass tools, etc. It was hard to find an empty seat and
each time a table emptied it was quickly filled again.
On the way out I took the elevator down and a lady was sitting in it
near the buttons. She pressed the street level button and continued here
*** Friday, 10 Jan 2003 ***
The day dawned shrouded in an icy fog. I don't know if it rained last
night or if the heavy fog mist condensed water but everything was coated
in ice and all surfaces were wet and slippery.
I fell today. Whoosh, my feet went out from underneath me and wham I hit
the icy street on my back. The plastic bag I was carrying shot out of
my hand to land ten meters away and my cap flew off my head but by luck
I kept my neck bent forward (which rapidly became up) so my head didn't
hit the icy pavement. My neck made sounds akin to that of cracking 18
knuckles simultaneously. The good news is that I survived to fall another
day. (Someone told me that during Ceausescu's day everyone shoveled their
sidewalk as a civic duty, proving that not everything a madman decides
is crazy. If there were shoveled sidewalks, I may not have fallen.)
Later, rain provided lubrication for the ice. It was as treacherous as
I have ever seen it. I even decided to skip lunch so I wouldn't have to
face the streets in their icy clothing.
Diana helped me by bringing me some Harghita cheddar cheese. Actual Romanian
cheddar cheese. I opened it to taste it and it was a real cheddar but
a mild one. I prefer sharp or extra-sharp cheddar but this will do in
a pinch -- just as it made it unnecessary for me to go out to lunch.
*** Saturday, 11 Dec 2002 ***
Looking for a Nic (a high-end supermarket) to buy a phone card, I saw
a pack of five dogs attack a young pet dog. The young dog was curious
about everything and went to examine another dog across a small field.
That dog suddenly became a pack of five snarling beasts and the pet dog
had the difficult job of running away while turning back with a bark nasty
enough to make sure that none of the pack dogs bit him in his kiester.
He actually got away with it: once he was beyond the pack's territory
they lost all interest in him.
I stopped into the office and found Allen and Dennis there. Dennis was
writing on yellow pads, no computer in sight. Allen said that most of
the team would probably be in the office on Sunday so I will go too.
I tried to find the Crowne Plaza and had to ask at the Sofitel desk. Using
their directions I found it easily enough but I will take a cab to get
there on Wednesday because there is no public transportation to its entrance.
*** Sunday, 12 Jan 2003 ***
The snow in Titan Park is
everywhere and looks great. On the streets it makes a sloppy, dangerous
I awoke to about 6 inches of the seasonal white stuff. It was pretty
but I dreaded what it would be like in 48 hours after it had been pressed
into ice by an army of footsteps.
I went to the office to catalog the tiny library and spent the day doing
this and that. I also brought along my electronics. I feel more comfortable
with them there than in my apartment.
Lunch with Rob and Christine. A pleasant meal at the
Uptown. I had the cheeseburger which was the first non-McDonalds burger
that I have had in Romania and it was very good.
Went to Club Deko after work. Four TVs show eye candy (usually MTV) while
the sound system plays something else. The place was nearly full although
it was early in the evening. It must be a real cash cow.
I discovered a bar, the Red Lion, that is on the east side of my block
and delivers pizza. It is just around the corner from the Pizza Hut but
the three or four buildings are so big that that statement is a little
deceptive. I will have to check it out to see if the pizza is any good.
The bar is certainly convenient and might be a fun place to frequent.
Maybe they have pepperoni pizza -- the sausage variety.
I guess it is time to admit that I don't like the Pizza Hut here. The
crust lacks something and the pepperoni lacks something also but just
what is missing is hard to put into words. I guess I am in the market
for a better pizza.
I gave Adrian the book of Frost poems that Allen brought back for me.
He hasn't commented on it yet and I am curious what he is thinks of it.