The Romanian Register Issue 23
*** Monday, 09 June 2003
We did practice Romanian for a while and he flattered me: "You will speak Romanian soon; I will teach you."
As we finished our beer he said that he was hungry and suggested we go to Sheriffs which was not very far away because he liked the food there. We did and he ordered and mostly consumed about 9 USD of fried chicken, salad, and bread.
*** Wednesday, 11 June 2003 ***
*** Thursday, 12 June 2003 ***
I got settled in near a spot where several paths converged, ordered a cold beer and started enjoying the people walking by. Who should I meet but Sergiu. We talked and he agreed to go with me to Constanta for the weekend.
*** Saturday, 14 June 2002 ***
The crowd waiting for the bus wasn't a line but more like an incipient mob of about 100 people roughly forming a square. Sergiu moved up to the edge of the side that would face the side of the bus and said that we could push our way in from there. He led the way and was right even though I was cut off by a particularly fierce elderly woman who was clearly used to battling her way in such situations. I got on and found that Sergiu had saved a seat for me. There is a determination in his soul to get what he wants.
It was a sweaty four hour ride to Constanta. The guy sitting in front of us would not allow the side window to be open -- doubtlessly because, like many Romanians, he believed that "air that moves is air that kills".
Still we did get there but only after the bus driver tried to cheat us out of our change. At the one stop on the way I gave him a 500K note for two tickets at 170K each. As we reboarded the bus Sergiu asked for the change. The driver said something like "What change?" but Sergiu insisted and the driver ultimately relented. Sergiu wasn't about to let some driver get away with money that he intended to be spent on him.
We arrived at about 11:30 and tried to by return tickets but they were not for sale. We went to Mircea's apartment and changed for the beach. We took the bus to Mamaia and walked the short distance to the Black Sea. The beach at Mamaia is beautiful. The almost white sand stretches for kilometers along a shallow edge of the Sea. You have to wade over a hundred meters just to be in water up to your waste. The water temperature was delightful because it is still cool enough to be refreshing when you dip you body in it.
We rented two chairs, a table and an umbrella near a bar on the beach and lay down for some serious tanning. The sun was hot and delightful. Five hours and several beers later we dressed and walked through the amusement area and took the trolley back to Constanta.
We showered, relaxed and watched a worse than usual Jean-Claude van Damme movie and then Sergiu said he was hungry so we took a cab back to Mamaia to go to a restaurant there. The place was hopping with people who were strolling and dining. We had some mici and French fries of mediocre quality and walked around. I mentioned how much I had enjoyed the "dodge'em" cars when I was young and Sergiu insisted that I do it again. Finally I agreed because this was something like a brief vacation and this was the kind of thing you do on a vacation. Sergiu said he wanted to go on the ride where you stand with you back to a round wall and then the device spins in a circle and and finally tilts until you are facing straight down to the ground. It didn't amuse me much but he loved it.
As we walked we came on one of those strength contests. I thought at
first it was the classic mallet and bell version but this was a boxing
bag that you hit with your hand and a meter measured how strongly you
struck the bag. The guy in front of Sergiu was a big bruiser and in three
tries scored 180 out of 300. Sergiu's second attempt was an impressive
290 out of 300.
*** Sunday, 15 June 2003 ***
We walked back toward the apartment and since we were hungry, Sergiu asked some people for a good restaurant. They recommended one only a few blocks away so we went to there and had mici and French fries. Once again Sergiu ordered exactly the same food as I did except that he got a salad as well.
We had rather too many beers at lunch but we had little enough else to do so I didn't object when Sergiu kept ordering another round. Finally I looked at my watch and Sergiu noticed the time and said, "We go?" and we walked back towards the apartment.
I rushed around the apartment ordering things and cleaning up. I was so rushed that I just tossed the contents of the ash tray out the window. Sergiu seemed in no rush at all but there was so little to do that we were ready quite quickly. Once outside I felt a little better because a shower was underway and the cold rain really help me stay awake -- as did the fast pace of the walking. My tank top was soaked and I loved the chill feeling it gave me.
At the station we found that all the second class tickets had been sold I bought two first class tickets to Bucharest. The train was already in the station so we found our car and settled in. Sergiu asked if I wanted a beer but I said no but he bought two cans of beer anyway and gave me one. I just put it on the little table beside the window.
When we got to Bucharest I told him that I was going to have to work at my apartment to get ready for my job and and then get up early tomorrow to begin a very difficult week. I told him to call me Friday night and we would go to the swimming pool on Saturday and maybe Sunday.