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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Brasov: Our Hostel, the Dictatorship & the Market

More from our Brasov stay. Our hostel room was in an apartment building across the alley from the Jugend Stube Hostel itself, up a dim, dingy and smoky staircase. But, on a positive note, we did have our own bathroom which was a great change.

There was nonexistent wifi in the building so every time I wanted to check emails or write on the blog, I had to make sure I remembered to carry everything with me each time I left the room to work in the hostel: my notes written on scraps of paper, the computer with its cord and adapter, and my omnipresent tea bag and mug of course. Ionut, the friendly and accommodating hostel receptionist, worked a full 48 hour shift while we stayed there. He thus looked a little bleary eyed to see me when I rang the buzzer about 6:30 or so in the mornings as he slept on the couch in the open area. He went right back to sleep though as I sat huddled in a corner with one light on sipping my tea and writing to you while Steven was still snug as a bug in bed. Thanks, Ionut, for your patience and understanding – I really appreciated it!

As I mentioned in the previous Brasov post, there was a big craft and food market going on in the big square last Sunday. It was enjoyable walking around the booths.

He was playing 'When the Saints Go Marching In!'

Yummy looking candy; the American man had just ordered a fairly large chunk and asked it to be cut into 5 pieces for him and his friends/family.
More beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies.
Then  walked over to view the wooden cross Memorial to the Victims of the 1989 Revolution located in Revolution Square just off the pedestrian street we walked up and down so much. Just across the square, is the marble slab, below, listing the 69 local victims and 30 of their graves in Heroes' Cemetery. Being such a rainy day made it perfect to reflect on the somber events that took place when almost exclusively young people were killed in street fights in December 1989 demonstrating against the Ceaucescu dictatorship.

We were amazed to discover that 40% of the Romanian language is based on the French language. It sure made it easier to read signs. Could not ever find out why though and obviously didn't google it to find out!

Another McDonald's .33 ice cream cone but this is before it's half eaten so you get a sense of how big or tiny, I should say, it is!
There was a small food market located just outside the large Billa grocery store. The market brought back fond memories of my going to the Byward Market in downtown Ottawa as a child and later as an adult. Billa must be a big supermarket chain as we've seen them in pretty well every city all over Europe. I bought 2 mushrooms and a small onion from the lady above for that night's omelet - the cost was all of a quarter.

Onward to Bucharest; see you next in Romania’s capital city.