Normally when I hear stories about people not remembering going through customs or immigration it is because they took too many sleeping pills and went through them, but just don’t remember doing it. I slept the first part of my flight to Romania and figured that is when they would handout customs forms so I asked for them and was told they don’t hand them out. When I get to immigration there are 4 windows with no lines so I go up hand my passport and they scan it and stamp it (about 14 seconds) and that is it. I have never been to a country where they needed less information, including Canada. They have a fancy cab ordering machine to counteract people getting ripped of by taxis and I had 2 people try to convince me their cab was the one I ordered. During the middle of my 3 minutes waiting for a taxi another taxi driver came up and translated through a women that they were not the right cab and double checked that I got in the right one. My $9, 30 minute cab ride was probably the best cab ride conversation that I have had with topics including Asian carp, mountaineering (he was a guide for 20 years), open space/parks, 9/11, and changes since communism. He also told me I was staying in a Roma area that wasn’t super safe and to get a cab if I go out at night.
I took the train to Sinaia which holds a modern castle called Peles Castle that was finished around 1908 and was built with electricity. I bought my train ticket and somehow didn’t get a seat number, I think I bought it too late. I asked a women what car to get on via hand signs and she replied in English the second one and choose any seat. I sat down and signed to a guy sitting next to me if I could sit there which led to a 30 minute conversation in English.
I then took another train ride to Brasov, a town from around 1200. I was having a difficult time getting a cab that was willing to use their meter. One cabby then said 100lei (30usd) which I replied 300lei which led to a challenge to play backgammon for 100lei and he was stumped when I said I didn’t know how to play. Another cabby then came over and said I looked frustrated and told me where to get the cheap taxis 1.3 lei/km not 3.5 like some of them. I then talked with the cabbie for 15 minutes and he said that I didn’t want his cab because it was a premium car and expensive (maybe 6usd instead of 2usd). I then found a taxi following his advice and went to my hostel to take a nap and walk around town.
Wow! I can’t believe so many people speak english!! Great food photos!