Monday, September 18, 2006


Trip dist: 93 kms. Trip time: 5hrs, 19 min. Tot dist:6,220 kms.

Well, if you thought Czech city names where hard to pronounce....

What a difference crossing into Romania! As soon as I crossed the border I was greeted with a very dusty, pot-holed highway, and trucks that drive like bus drivers in Mexico City (for those of you not "in the know", it means that they pass grazingly close to you). Everybody jaywalks here, cars don't stop at zebra crossings, and even proudly invade them to park on them, there are no qualms about taking the lane in the other direction if the current one is moving too slow, making U-turns in the middle of avenues is normal, and pedestrians unabashedly block the bike lanes (and in Oradea there was only one: it lasted 200 meters).

I can tell immediately I'm no longer in a "Germanic" country (Hungary, though poor, still operated with a very orderly, polite civic culture). It is chaotic, dirty, dusty, fast-paced, and with a certain "latinness" to it. The cars move faster, screech the brakes, there is lots of honking, giving it a...somewhat....familiar feel. I would even call it, dare I say it?....comforting, maybe.


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