("Iubesc" [ee-oo-besk, sort of like "yoo-besk," but not] means "love." Just an FYI.)
I mentioned this in one of my recent posts, but: I moved recently.
(Not forever, but I will be here for about five months.) Specifically, I went to Cluj-Napoca, which is in the northwest part of the country, better known as Transylvania.
Now, I am not generally someone in whom the spirit of adventure abides. I get nervous ordering food in my local Steak 'n Shake--in English. I didn't even study abroad in college, when I could have gone with a big group and had that whole safety in numbers thing going for me. So this is a bit of a shock to my system.
Sometimes, though, you stop wanting to box your own personality in with definitions like "I am not adventurous," or sometimes a person comes into your life who continually makes you braver than you were, or both of those things happen and you find yourself in Romania. There are a bunch of personal reasons why we came here, of all places, but it basically comes down to wanting to learn things, and finding that this might be the only place to learn them.
Anyway-- there are a few pretty scary things (for me, anyway). The biggest one: I don't speak Romanian. (I can say "hello," "thank you," "I am called Veronica," "I love you," and "have a good day." Which is better than yesterday, at least.) I hate making a fool of myself, so little things like forgetting to get produce weighed at the grocery store, and stumbling over drink orders at restaurants, bother me more than they should. I have no idea where to go when I step out of the apartment. Also, I can't currently find things like onion salt, or soft toilet paper. These are small obstacles, but troubling nonetheless.
Right now, to be honest, I'm feeling a little more scared than adventurous. But I'm hoping I can get by on a charming smile and some expert pantomiming until I am more familiar with the language.
What perks me up when I get freaked out, though, is the idea that this will be worth writing down.
And now, some pictures, because odds are none of you have been to Romania (if you have, please correct me in the comments! We can form a club or something):
^The big Catholic church in Cluj. (These pictures are kind of grainy because I took them with my phone.)
^Some random buildings
^Communist efficiency housing. (Back when Romania was still a Communist country, the government forced people from the countryside into the cities into these housing units, for the sake of development. It's pretty much universally regarded as a disastrous decision. But the housing is still here.)
Dacia! (Romanian car manufacturer. I love these things.)
So from now until the end of February, expect to learn more about Romania than you ever anticipated.