The last three days have been absolutely exhausting but Jack and I are ready to go explore the city of Tel Aviv...After a much needed shower that is. We notice that flies were suspiciously hovering only around us at the airport in Bucharest...hmmm...hope our smell did not offend anyone.
Our last day in Bulgaria we loitered at the train station aka laid on the floor and devoured our books until our departure time at 22:00. Side note: currently Jack is reading 'What is the What' by Dave Eggers and I am infatuated with 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' by Azar Nafisi. Anyways our last super cheap meal in Bulgaria was pizza and peanuts and then, as I mentioned previously, our destroyed loaf of bread that was better suited to feeding birds.
The train was a soviet era 1950's contraption, which had windows that would not open, despite the ferocity we used to try and crank them. I slept fitfully in the heat but at least it was a bed not the ground or an uncomfortable bus seat. The toilet on the train, when you flush it your excrement and pee goes right onto the tracks!!!! I personally could not get over that part! But I guess it is better, au natural.
The comrades arrived in arms in Bucharest at 6 am, a city not known for its good reputation. We meandered, we weighed our options and slept in a park. One was on lookout duty with the other caught some much needed shut eye. We only saw a few questionable characters, including a raving old lady complete with a cigarette dangling in her mouth and a two-litre bottle of the cheapest beer money can buy in Eastern Europe. Luckily she chose to bypass us in her ramblings, likely because she thought we were in the same circumstance as herself...sleeping on a park bench and all, or so we joked.
Arrived at the Otopeni International Airport and killed time playing Rummy and chess with our new friend Clara... a nice Romanian woman who could speak Spanish, Italian, Romanian, English and Dutch! She fed us traditional Romanian pastries and a green pepper (who she curiously ate like an apple)! It was amazing! She had a soft spot for Canadians as her husband hailed from Vancouver.
Our flight did not board until 21:00. It was a small Romanian Airlines plane; 737 Boeing. Eager to take off, Jack and I sat and waited while the engines revved up. We held hands as the plane prepared for take off when, all of the sudden a muffled voice came over the speaker phone. We could not quite make out what th voice had informed us of as we exchanged hesitant glances with the Romanian gentlemen seated next to Jack. The plane returned to the hanger. People stretched their legs as the lights cam back on. After a half hour delay, Jack and I held hands, tighter than before as I had become quite nervous about the flight by this point. The plane shuddered to life, we approached the runway, the pilot tested the brakes one more time and we ascended into the dark, starless night... A blood red moon hanging low on the horizon was creeping towards us, visible from the right hand window. It leant an eeriness to the whole experience. Anyways, we arrived in one peice after almost three hours. And to our delight, they fed us! The food was terrific!
Israel. Customs was no problem. We spent the night sleeping in the airport as it was past midnight by the time we arrived and we (a) were too cheap to pay for accomodation for the night and (b) were hesitant to go wandering around a city we knew nothing about in the dead of night. The chairs were very uncomfortable but we made do. Ventured into the city and here we are!!!
Arranging to meet up with a friend of a friend to see the city and get a tutorial in Hebrew...so far our impressions/ observations of Israel:
- It's hot!
- There are palm trees everywhere
- The food looks delicious
- There are soldiers everywhere (military enrollment is a requirement for both men and women)
Too tired to think of anymore, will update soon....