The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I’m Going to be Famous! [In Romania]

Day 276-278,283-285, August 30-31/September 6-8, 2011

I’m not sure what it was that caused my change of mood between Belgrade and Bucharest. All I know is that when I woke up on the train as it pulled into the Bucharest train station, I was suddenly excited about traveling again. I still had no plans beyond seeing the Romanian capital city, and yet I felt a renewed sense of joy in what I was doing.

In my time in Romania, Bucharest became one of the few cities on my trip that I’ve visited more than once. First when I came from Belgrade, and again when I came back from the Carpathian Mountains. And both times can be connected with a single connection: being interviewed by a Romanian news magazine. In fact, the biggest and most popular news magazine(both on and off line) in the entire country.

IMG_2342Why was I interviewed? Well, it wasn’t really about my travels although it played a small part in it. It was actually a complete accident that it occurred. I had arrived into Bucharest insanely early and managed to get to my hostel by 8am. I waited for a few hours before my bed was ready and promptly crashed for three hours(even with a bed on a train, you never really get a full sleep). When I awoke, I did my usual procedure when I’ve arrived at a new city: I download all the geocaches around the area. I scanned the list on my iPod map and noticed an icon for an Event. I clicked on it. It was for that very evening.

I made my way slowly along the small river that runs through the city, stopping briefIMG_2347ly to watch some elderly men attempting to catch the hypothetical fish that might be in the river. I eventually arrived at the coordinates of the meeting which turned out to be a small outdoor cafe. And, along with the meeting, there was a reporter with Romania Libera, the above mentioned news magazine, who was doing a story about Geocaching in Romania. When I showed up, it gave him an opportunity to expand the story to include geocaching around the world.

IMG_2348The night was amazing, with the interview and talking to the local geocachers. They all got quite excited, and began to list their favourite geocaches in Bucharest and in Romania that I *must* do while there. After the beers had been consumed and the reporter had left, I was invited to go along with a group of them to go find some that are notoriously difficult to find. I found two of the three(Nano-caches. One on a bench at a bus stop, another on a massive metal gate), and another guy found the third(a magnetic, hollow bolt on a traffic light pole in the middle of an intersection).

IMG_2397The next day, I amused myself by walking around the city, making my way slowly to the People’s Palace, Romania’s Parliament building. It is actually the second largest building in the world. Second after the Pentagon in the United States. Along the way to the palace, I also passed a huge roundabout in Piata Uninii which is dominated by massive fountains both in the center of the round-about, but also surrounding it on all sides but the few spaces for the road. I have never seen a fountain this big before, or spraying this much water.

IMG_2354When I came back to Bucharest after the time in the mountains, I only gave myself one full day before taking off to Turkey. I was pretty boring that day for the most part as I spent most of it running around doing errands. Running to the train station to buy my ticket to Istanbul, going to a bank to take US$60 out for the Turkish visa, and then running from bank to bank and change office to change office looking for one that would exchange the Serbian Dinars that I still had with me. No luck. Not even the National Bank of Romania would exchange them.

IMG_2609But wouldn’t you know it? The same geocachers were having a follow up interview with the reporter at the same cafe so I figured I’d show up unannounced. Once again, the reporter took me aside personally and began to ask more direct questions on the Saskatoon Geocachers Association, and how geocaching is maintained and run in Saskatchewan and Canada. I answered as best I could and directed him to important websites. Should’ve linked to mine as well(hindsight!!!).

And there we have it! I will be showcased, along with the local geocachers on Romania Libera in the next little while. Though I won’t be dubbed into Romanian. They’re just going to subtitle any parts of me they show.

1 comment: