Return to România 

Stories.  România and I have a lot of them.  Some I tell often and some I’ve never told anyone.  It, România, has a hold on my heart and it’s been 7 years since I’ve been within its borders; and this beautiful country welcomed me back with open arms.  It’s time for more STORIES to begin!

First, my seat mates on the plane from Doha, Qatar, that were Romanian but lived in Kuwait helped quiz me on vocabulary on the way.  The passport agent was surprised I spoke Romanian to him.  He smiled and said I did a good job and have a Transylvanian/American accent before stamping my passport.  Then, my amazingly kind taxi driver, Mihai, and I talked about life in Romanian, his 7th grade daughter that loves History, and laughed about all kinds of things on the way to my hotel from the airport.  BTW – look up Henri Coanda...he’s kind of a big deal for those of us that fly!  

I went on an early morning walk, before stuffing myself on zacusca at the hotel breakfast, to see Palaltul Parlamentului once again.  And I took the metro one stop back to Lipscani (Old Town) because I was lazy!      

Then I embarked on what I had forgotten was a 6 1/2 hour train ride to Medias.  As I sat in the train station, Gara de Nord, I said a prayer for the kids I know hang around that place and within the underground tunnels near it.  

My heart can’t handle going into that too much at the moment.  Anyway, I sat with three other people on the train to Brasov.  A young college-age couple, Alina and her boyfriend and another woman named Angela!  We became Facebook friends before they got off the train, we probably annoyed others with our constant conversation, and each of them reminded me of what I love about Romanian hospitality.  After they got off, my anxiety got the best of me…I’m not used to traveling alone anymore and I may have taken in some of the anxiety of my family and friends about my trip.  I texted my brother to prepare him to go Liam Neeson in case I disappeared…but of course all went well.

Now I’m in Tarnaveni, and I’m a mixture of goofy grinning and teary-eyed gazes.  My taxi driver from Medias saw that in his rear view mirror as we drove and he thanked me for loving his country and he asked me why I love România!  Tomorrow is Sunday, and I’m going to take an early morning prayer walk for this place I once called home.  Then, as was my regular Sunday afternoons 7 years ago, I’m having lunch with the Coros family.  

My heart is so full.  It is me that’s thankful for how this country loves!


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