|Day 48 Tuesday 17 September
Romania - Mircesti
Hi - Im writing this from a very rustic setting. Im sitting on a cushion on the step at the front of a family house in their front garden. I can hear geese, the family dog is barking at me, someone is chopping wood round the back. Theres kids walking past just come out of school, the occasional horse carriage trots past with gypsys on the back, theres distant hens. Im sitting under some apple trees too and autumn has defiantely started cos theres leaves and squashed apples round my feet, lots of bird noises too, washing is hanging up & Ive just had to open the gate to let the Mum & Dad in - in their Dacia car, they are teachers. So Ive made it to another family house - today has had its stresses. Its only 5.30pm - so the story so far.
Up at 7 - John woke me up & called me a taxi - I filled my bag then put it on my back. Station stress #1 I got ripped off by taxi 50,000, yesterday I payed 30,00 & 40,000 for same distance. I was to meet mad Maria by the international ticket depot which opens at 8 - my bus leaves at 8.15 So I paniced until she turned up. Shed already reserved my ticket for Thursday night Bucharest - Sofia - someones going to meet me in Sofia (oh no!) Bus stress - Another tourist turned up, A girl from Mexico, Maria instantly started her spiel slagging off hotels - Ive got a hen approaching me - make that 3 - I paid Maria for my accommodation in monastery area & the bus 180,000 to Roman. Maria said check at every Autogara (bus station) that noone nicks my bag - so all journey I was awake & on my guard. I got out at every stop. I had a grotty woman next to me, really large - old , with grubby fingers, headscarf and bad breath. So every stop I loitered around the baggage area - stopped at Onesti - then Bacau - very grim town, finally Roman where I was to meet Yoseph. Station Stress #2 he wasnt there. I had 30 mintues of stuff rushing through my head. Where the hell am I, Do I do monasteries on my own. I cant leave Bucharest until Thursday night. Maria a bitch - etc etc, but then at last Yoseph came up to me - were you sent here from Brasov by Maria - yes - I was SO glad to see him. Drive to home We got in his Dacia & we were off to a little village nr Mircesti & tomorrow Im off to see all the monasteries. They are being so friendly here, the Mum & Dad speak French but the daughter Beatrice speaks good english so Ive been chatting with her. She has a sister too Greg! They did some food, Chicken, rice? Gherkins they love, raspberries from the garden & coffee then I had a shower. So Im now relaxing. Im miles away from any shop, ATM or fast food! Got a bit sad, dont know why Maybe have travel fatigue. wanting my own family & not knowing how to get back to the UK, Moving to Australia - I wanna have a good cry. I really dont know why. I think Im just stressed - theyre so good here - Ive just been given pancakes.
10pm - Im starting to like the place & Im winding down - its just getting back to england that worries me - This afternoon after pancakes I watched some of my video. Norway & stuff just to make me feel more secure. Then went out for a fag Village Walk I walked up & down the one street in the village at 7pm. It was dusk but I could still see. It is a wierd place, the road is full of horse shit. Kids / poor kids hanging out - after every 3 or 4 houses there is a well at the side of the road - still being used. More people have horse drawn carts than cars. I saw a couple of horses parked outside peoples houses. Theyre all bungalows with metal gates with fancy patterns on. Theres no streetlights, theres telegraph poles loads of chickens in peoples gardens & crops everywhere, potatoes being loaded onto trucks, corn on the cob in the back of one cart, plants? in the back of another. The horses look sweet standing there patiently waiting all harnessed up. Meal - I got back and more food at 8.30 soup & bread & chicken wings eeeer & chips. I had the soup & chips. I left lots, this prompted one of them to say was I vegetarian - I said I eat very little meat. I had coffee (full of stuff at the bottom of the cup) watched Romanian news, went out for a final fag, did teeth, now Im in here. Its like Spitsbergen - nothing to do. No pub crawl till the early hours, the others are in bed, the 2 daughters are sleeping together in the TV room where I had my food. Its only 10.20 - Tomorrow Im up at 10 - wey hey a lie in then a drive to all the monasteries from 10.30 onwards how cool is that - then Thursday to Bucharest in day - overnight sleeper to Sofia then in Sofia Im gonna find out about flights to the UK. Im thinking of even giving the overnight to Istanbul a miss, cos Im in Sofia all Friday & need to be in UK for Monday morning. Im looking forward to going home now. The weather has turned since day 43 when I got to Budapest. Its definately autumn now - Im a bit cold - they also dont bother to lock the front door here - Ive tried shutting it but cant - my window is open too cos Ive got my video lead coming in thru it - theres a front conservatory bit.