My first overall impression of Romania was that I was going to die. Let me elaborate.
I walk out of the Bucharest airport (OTP) to catch the 780 bus to Gara de Nord train station so I could walk to Hello Hotel Gara de Nord. The buses are directly outside the doors once you go downstairs. There are numbers on the pillars that tell you where the buses stop. Make sure you wait at the right one, since the 780, that was 6 minutes late, basically does a dine and dash. Opens its doors then closes them right away.
This is when I thought I would die from freezing to death.
My main destination is Timisoara, Romania and forecasts showed a balmy 15 degrees in November. I dressed accordingly. I didn’t even bother to check Bucharest. Turns out, very different temperatures. Minus 1 real feel. Minus. One.
I get to the Gara de Nord station after the 45 minute bus ride and naturally my data wasn’t working for Google maps so I tried to get maps.me up and running as I walk in the wrong direction. With the one hour time change, it’s nearing 18:00. My body was burning many a calorie trying to prevent my limbs from falling off. I hadn’t eaten since 3 hours prior and that was just a free sandwich snack on the plane. I knew I needed to grab something before I snuggled in my hotel room for the night. I haul ass down the sketchy street. Everything is always more sketchy at night, I will let you know if it is actually Disneyland during the day. (UPDATE: it’s not). As I neared my hotel, it’s as though some orange ray of light opened up the dark skies in front of me. There was a Chinese take out place on the corner with an orange banner that sprawled the name Blessings Chinese Food. After checked in to the hotel, I galloped back to eat a few servings of Blessings.
This is when I thought I would die from starvation.
I think my tears may have froze to my cheeks. The Times New Roman font reads: Monday- Saturday 12:00- 20:00. It’s 18:15 on a Friday AND IT IS CLOSED. Not even closed but basically abandoned. Dark, no food, no mess, no nothing.
Plan B was to check for a supermarket, there was one, four minutes away. The only thing separating me from dinner was a three lane highway road and an open parking lot next to a sketchy park. Naturally, I pick the open parking lot that was relatively well lit. I passed the barrier and a man comes out of his parking lot hut and starts yelling at me or speaking his native language calmly, I couldn’t tell. Basically, no. I wasn’t allowed that way. So sketchy park it is.
This is when I thought I would die from being jumped by a drunk homeless person.
Perhaps I am being dramatic, maybe it’s a delightful park but on my way from the train station I did see two intoxicated, not groomed men, whom I took to be homeless. Maybe I am judgey, maybe I have been listening to My Favourite Murder podcast too much and now think everyone is going to kill me. My sprint through the park was uneventful.
Since there is no kitchenette in my room, I needed to have one of my adult dinners which consists of a a glass of water, a full milka chocolate bar, a bretzel, and a bag of these corn puff snacks.
This is when I thought I would die from disgust.
I don’t know what rare kind of sicko invented these but puffed corn without fake cheese flavouring is unnatural. It tastes like I’m biting into soggy pieces of cardboard. What an absolute waste of .16 cents.
Cardboard Fluffs of Nothingness
Luckily if I was about to die, I keep hearing sirens while inside my hotel room so a police station must be close by or more likely, I picked a crap area of town and I am right in the middle of the action.