We have arrived! After nine months in Virginia for Tom to learn the language, we are now launched on our new adventure in Bucharest, Romania. It is now Ann and Tom, v. 3.5.
Getting here was a pain in the bazooka, with even world-renowned Lufthansa dropping the ball on travel (for us and for Sydney), but we arrived intact if rumpled, and were immediately escorted to our lovely new apartment only two miles or so from the US Embassy.
Syd Vicious was a champion traveler, surviving transport as cargo, which I never want her to endure again. When we return to the US, I’m getting a pet charter. I won’t put her through that hell again. US domestic airlines won’t transport animals as cargo, and they’ve cracked down on emotional support animals (as we knew they would), and unless I can get her to lose 7 of her 21 pounds, she is too big for carry-on. So, pet charter it is. We flew Lufthansa this time, since they were one of two airlines that accept pets as cargo. Any of you who plan to fly an animal overseas as accompanied cargo, beware. Airlines are currently woefully understaffed, and animals are not their first concern, despite any claims they might make to the contrary. Had we not stayed on top of their promises, Syd might still be sitting in baggage in Frankfurt, rather than being immediately transferred to their “famous” animal lounge. I won’t go into it, but DO NOT trust airlines to care for your pet. Be their ADVOCATE.
We live in a lovely new apartment complex in the middle of a giant oak forest. Our landlord and co-resident is a former Romanian tennis player, coach, manager, and promoter. Each day, we look forward to seeing which of his 417 collector cars is parked outside our door. One benefit of having him in the penthouse of our building is the increased security.
Romania is a safe country, however, so we feel much safer here than we did in Brazil or even in New Orleans. Plus, we have Syd Vicious watching over us, so what more do we need?
This is a bit of a moon settlement, isolated between neighborhoods north of the city center, so until we get our car, we won’t see much. With Tom at work all day, it’s just Syd and me left to work and entertain ourselves. It’s odd being nine and ten hours ahead of family and friends…in the past, when I have been alone during the day, I’ve usually had friends and family with whom I could text for companionship. Now, that doesn’t happen until evening, unless I can reach them early in the morning my time. That is certainly taking some getting used to. Another level of moon settlement sensation.
Our American sponsors/friends took us to brunch yesterday and showed us the old city center, previously known at The Little Paris, which has seen better days and is still recovering from the Covid lockdown. As the restaurants begin to open and people return to socialize, I’m sure the vibe will change. And of course, we were there early on Sunday, which is likely a quiet time anyway.
People here are nice, though not nearly as embracing as Brazilians, but that is to be expected, given their recent history. But they certainly appreciate when we try to speak Romanian, and are pleased to hear that we are happy to be here.
We are looking forward to exploring the city and hitting the roads outside the city to explore smaller towns and villages and get a real taste of the country. Plus, most of Europe’s capitals are a short plane ride away!