I was a bit nervous introducing Romania to my parents. Would they like it? Would they understand it? What would they think?
Unfortunately, our final moments on bus 780 from Otopeni -> Gara de Nord were interrupted by the almost-always-abrasive fare checker folk who ruefully/gleefully announced that I needed to pay them 100 lei – 50 lei per parent because I’d messed up the tourist-trap bus card scanning system and only payed for one person.
I couldn’t believe it, I had really tried my best to pay for three people, and even solicited help from some Romanians on the bus before leaving the airport.
One longish multi-language argument with three (good cop, bad cop, neutral cop) bus checkers later, my dad was already at the point of “Remind me never to come back to Romania.”
It didn’t get any better when I told him that they had to stop using their money belts so that they wouldn’t attract attention (and actually, maybe I should just handle the money because of the Romanian thing about needing correct change).
MANY better moments were to be had…
at the historic restaurant Caru cu Bere,
the beautiful Ateneul concert hall,
my dear Cismigu Park,
on a mother-daughter trip to Sinaia,
and just eating the awesome pastries from every shop in Bucharest (Dad... ;).
I loved showing them my every day life here, even if some of it is a little bit crazy.
My mom called my life-style “camping in an apartment” which is pretty accurate since I’m not here long term and haven’t bothered to buy some things. 😛
On Saturday they came with me to see my squirly class of little girls learning English at the Camin. We did Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes, my dad sang an Easter song (to which the girls replied in-kind with their own made-up, chaotic layers of repeating Hallelujahs), my mom read them an ESL version of Goldilocks, and we ate German gummy bears while we talked about the 5 senses. Eyes see! Ears hear! The usual adorable class hugs and hubbub.
The camin tutor who sat in on part of the class congratulated my parents on making it though the class “without needing a smoke break,” which was pretty funny.
Over all, I loved showing my parents “my” Romania and I think they ended their first trip together through Europe on a good note…I can only say that if they would make the express bus trips 780/783 a little easier on tourists, people will love Romania even more. 😉