*** Monday, 13 Jan 2003 ***
This morning I got up an hour early and was out the door ten minutes before
I usually even get up. I was at work a little after 7:30.
A long day of pre-meetings to get ready for the work plan writing on the
last three days of the week. The lunch of Chinese food was very late and
I was almost crazed with hunger.
The afternoon was designed to bring to bring the new COP up-to-speed with
a review of what each unit proposed to do.
The older buildings in Bucharest often contain
lovely features that are not visible from the street. I tend to
wander into open areas and see what there is to see.
*** Tuesday, 14 Dec 2002 ***
Check my checking account balance! I did and my paycheck was finally deposited.
Again I left my apartment before 7 AM. Today was an easier day as groups
made presentations to us. The food was on time and I found some good salami
The FALR came to the afternoon portion. Afterwards I approached Mayor
Penduc and said that Judie Kesson had asked to be remembered to him. He
brightened like a freshly lit lamp and said that he would like to have
her email address (which I gave him).
The reception at the Crowne Plaza was pleasant and everyone was in a good
mood. Met Donna of FDLSP days from five years ago. I mentioned Judie to
her and she said that she would like to be in touch with her so I gave
her Judie's email address.
*** Wednesday, 15 Jan 2003 ***
Crowne Plaza day.
Another full day of training in preparation for writing the workplan.
Older buildings have design elements that would
be regarded as too expensive for "contemporary" structures
but good design is ignored at an aesthetic price.
Jane held a reception at her lovely apartment (about a block from our
office) that was quite pleasant -- that is when the construction next
door was silent. A sixteen story building is rising about a meter from
her north-facing windows and the noise is terrific. I guess she is going
to move shortly.
I found out that the mayor of Ploiesti was pushing a bill to create a
job of city manager/administrator with specified qualifications. Others
are unhappy as they feel that they can do the job but don't have the qualifications.
It's a pity that people don't realize who useful and effective it can
be to have someone devoted full-time to managing a complex organization.
I asked the hotel staff to call me a cab and they did. The cab appeared
rather quickly and took me home for a fee of 120,000 lei, much higher
than an average cab.
*** Thursday, 16 Jan 2003 ***
Crowne Plaza day.
As we waited for dinner, I offered to buy Mihai a drink and he counter-offered
to buy me a drink, so I accepted. I am such a pushover. Eventually Paul
(pronounced "powell") joined us and Mihai bought Paul a beer
as well. I regaled them with tales of computers from 40 years ago. They
were polite, even interested, a little.
There was a dinner/reception at the hotel which was quite nice. Everyone
went to the outdoor area where a bond fire was ablaze. It seemed like
a nice idea until I noticed that the sparks that floated up sometimes
floated down and I realized that burnt spots on my suit wouldn't improve
its appearance at all, so I took a boiled tswika and a mulled wine back
inside. Before very long I was joined by the others.
One of the dishes that the hotel served was a skinless sausage called
mititei (also called meech). These were excellent and I had two servings.
The mititei was only exceeded in quality by what I had in the Balada hotel
*** Friday, 17 Jan 2003 ***
Crowne Plaza day.
Michael chews his nicotine gum furiously. He quit smoking about a week
ago and chews like he is fleeing a three pack-a-day habit. I hope his
teeth don't wear out.
At the end of a long day, I asked the hotel staff to call me a cab and
they did. The cab appeared rather quickly and took me home for a fee of
120,000 lei but this time I noticed that the driver and the cab were the
same. This time I noticed that the window had a decal saying the the cab
charged 6,000 lei per kilometer. The fee he charged me would require a
20 Km trip when it was much more like 4 or 5 Km. The driver must have
been in cahoots with the bellman. I wondered if a kickback was involved.
*** Saturday, 18 Dec 2002 ***
The last week and particularly the last three days were challenging and
exhausting. I was so pleased to have a quiet night at home and a full
night's rest that I found it a distinct pleasure to get up this morning.
Foggy at dawn followed by hazy sunshine and eventually by clear skies.
The air was mild with little breeze. Everywhere the snow and ice were
melting. A welcome event.
Went shopping for a myriad of thing: deodorant, bacon, soap, beer, eggs
to name a few. I even found a few of them.
It was so nice I decided to go for a walk for the shear pleasure of it.
I walked up Balchescu to Magheru then across Eminescu to the Roma Trattoria
restaurant near where the office used to be. Then I had their very fine
fettuccini carbonara (fettuccini with bacon in a cream sauce). It was
as delicious as always.
*** Sunday, 19 Jan 2003 ***
Took a walk around the Dambovitsa river for a mile or so and then home.
It was gray but very mild.
*** Monday, 20 Jan 2003 ***
It rained yesterday afternoon and evening and the result was that major
stretches of sidewalk were bare of ice and snow. For once traction was
not a problem.
Had lunch with Paul Baran at the Italian pizza place near the office.
My tortellini and Parma ham was delicious but I couldn't eat all of it.
*** Tuesday, 21 Jan 2002 ***
A spotty rain of small drops but very mild; I am seeing asphalt I haven't
seen in 2 months.
I am still trying to hunt down the tailor that Allen had told me about.
I found the street but there were two shops, one advertising "croitorie"
(tailoring, as I found out) and one with "ricotaje confectii"
(knitting made/manufactured?). Now I have to find the tailor himself who
is reported to keep irregular hours. All this for some pants.
*** Thursday, 23 Jan 2003 ***
Allen had a house party for the project. Most everyone came and it was
a very pleasant time. I got to talk to people I don't see every day so
it was enjoyable.