Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Romania was much different than the countries we had been to so far, although I noticed some similarities with Poland. On the train we made friends with an older Hungarian-Romanian couple who spoke a bit of broken english. The man a was big jolly guy, who seemed keen to communicate. After the train had been rolling for a bit he pulled out a bottle of vodka and took a swig. He swished it around in his mouth, then followed with a sip of water. He proceeded to pass it around the small cabin in which we were jammed. He took a keen liking to the boys, teaching them some Hungarian swear words and with them returning with english ones. It was commedic to say the least.
At one point of the trip to Brasov (it was an overnight train with no sleeper cars) there was much commotion outside, a group of Gypsy (Roma) women had been thrown off the train with no tickets. Jack witnessed then exit the train (all fifteen or so) and march down the track to the front of the train and enter another car. When I looked out the window they had bee thrown off again. I saw them outside, old women and little girls with dirty faces, crouched on the pavement. They stared longingly with dark eyes as the train left the station. I wondered where they had been going.
Romania was beautiful but very dilapidated. It is a country impeded by its history of communism and the even harsher realities that capitalism brings. Many beggars, gypsies and children looking desolate. It was strange being approached by little boys (maybe six or seven years old) with an outstretched palm looking for money and a chocolate bar in the other. It seemed the norm to see kids alone looking for anything anyone would give them. In some instances we saw the parents directing them where to beg.
We spent a few days in the town of Brasov, where we managed to visit Bran castle. It poured for two days straight so much of the time was spent indoors writing and reading. -Delilah