It's a cool city, a beautiful city, an OLD city. It was an absolutely wonderful and relaxing weekend. Let's take it step by step...
I got to the hostel after a rather interesting train ride. 5:00 is early, and 6:00 on a train isn't too much better. I was able to sleep for about 3 hours or so. However, it was super hot, so I actually took a shower and nap for about 2 hours before heading back out again. The hostel was nice, located in the citadel itself, really accessible and friendly. What they DON'T tell you is that there are about 3 total ways to get into this citadel... located on a hill... and you might climb nearly 200 stairs to find that you can't actually get in. And then you might do that again. So the third time you do it, you are REALLY hoping that there is an actual gate there, and really wishing you hadn't actually packed a thing because you've carried it up nearly 600 stairs at this point. Combined with the train ride...
I met a really funny guy on the train, until he turned weird. We chatted for a long time in broken English (his, not mine ;) about Romania and stuff, and he asked me who punished me and made me teach here. It got weird when he talked about how Romania is "picante" (spicy) and how he likes some spicy food, but the thing he really likes to be spicy is sex. "Ummm... no, thank you, I have somewhere to stay. No really, I have a reservation. Yeah, it's in the citadel. No, I don't think I should tell you the name of the place."Anyway...
The rest of the weekend was filled with wandering and picture taking and reading at cafes and enjoying the sun and feeling like I was in a fairytale.
My final misaventure occured while leaving the city. On my way to the train station I stumbled a bit and skinned my knee, while carrying all of my things of course. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I was sad to be leaving... so I did what I sometimes do. I talked to myself.
So standing at a crossroads with a bloody knee and a backpack on my back and a daypack on my front and a canvas tote bag, I started speaking. "I don't want to leave. I don't want to get on this train and leave this place. I don't want the week to start. I want to stay here forever. You can't make me leave. You can't make me. You can't make me leave."
Well, I thought I was alone... until the man behind me cleared his throat. The...um... gorgeous man (as most Romanian men are)... just staring open-mouthed at me. I give a half-smile and a bit of a chuckle, and then he speaks. "Ma'am, would you like me to call you a doctor?"
Great. Not only did he hear me, he is one of the people in this city who speaks English. Really just... super.
What I was most struck by, however, was the juxtaposition of sensation I experienced. In one way, being in a place so incredibly old, with such a full and rich history, gives a feeling of inconsequence. How could I matter when I think about the thousands of people, across entire centuries, who touched that very stone I walked across? Their lives, just as full of joy and heartache, love and despair... and mine, clashing together in one place, at one moment. Who experienced what emotion in this church, at this corner, in this archway? I felt small and uninfluential.
And then the incredible connection hit me. I am small... but we all are. Because my emotions and experiences and opportunities aren't small to me, just in the grand scheme of the world. And maybe... all of our inconsequential emotions and little experiences and tiny opportunities are actually what allow us to be... people. And then to somehow make an impression on the face of this very old and very connected world.
It was a GREAT weekend :)