The Best Laid Plans of Me and Friends

First of all, I was told to announce numerous errors in my last entry. Hannah’s name is Hanna, not Hannah. I think I found and corrected all of the mistakes.

So last night a few of us met up at a bar by the square for several drinks. It was Hanna, her couchsurfing host, two of his friends and myself. We drank until about 0100, then Hanna and I left to find some oranges, which will be explained later. Apparently there are no markets open that late, so I headed back to the hostel for sleep.

But sleep would have to wait. Radu (one of the hostel hosts), and one of the owners had a few friends over. They were all hanging out on the patio drinking beer. They offered, and I couldn’t be impolite and turns down a few drinks. One of the friends was a big Romanian guy – very nice, but a bit intimiating. Everytime my cup was empty he would say “AMERICAN! GIVE ME YOUR GLASS!” We stayed up until about 0300 talking about Romanian and Hungarian culture.

For those of you who may recall, I was still confused about the bread festival in Cluj. Well, through much independent research I think I’ve solved the puzzle. St. Stephen’s Day is on August 20th. Apparently they bake the first bread from the new harvest and bless it. I had difficulty figuring it out at first because it is a Hunarian tradition, and Cluj is in Romania. That is the best guess I can produce, and until someone informs me otherwise, that’s what I’m believing.

After showering this morning I met up with Hanna in the town square, sure to bring the orange from the hostel that I had bought a few days ago. First, though, we needed to eat. We ran across Radu near the square and he joined us for lunch. I had goulash and we spent the better part of an hour scheming. I would like to be able to say more about our diabolical plans, but since they ultimately fell through I won’t go into it. I did spend about an hour in a Romanian hospital in order to, among other things, have my knee X-Rayed. But again, in the end I don’t feel like it was worth it. I’ll never know if I made a wise decision or missed an amazing opportunity.

So…the oranges! This was one of the top highlights of my entire trip thus far. Hanna and I noticed a few days ago that the sidewalk barriers – little metal posts that keep cars from driving in the square – look a lot like fruit juicers. You know, the manual ones where you have to push the fruit and turn it. Well, we found one in front of a KFC that was slanted by about 25 degrees or so, and thought it would be hilarious to use it as an actual juicer. First I held the cup and she squeezed half an orange, then we switched roles. We only got a tiny bit of juice in the cup, and of course had no intentions of drinking it, but the looks we received from people walking by were priceless. It’s the little things in life that make me laugh the most, and I’m glad I met someone that is as random and comical as myself. I guess I’ll have to add Germany on my list of places to visit soon. Ya know, since our Ocean’s Eleven-type stratagem fell apart during step one.

My rideshare to Iasi (Yash apparently, not Yashi) didn’t contact me until 1530, and was supposed to pick me up at 1600. Well, I assumed he was a no-show and instead got a night-train for 0130 this morning. So a little behind schedule, but a lot happier I spend an extra day or two in Cluj. I don’t think I’ll stay in Iasi long. I plan to catch a bus to Chisinau as soon as I can. I may stay a day or two there before heading to Kiev. I wish I had more time!!!

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