Tag Archives: Bucharest

Europe trip–part 3

29 Sep

I guess one can say I took my sweet time in between the posts about my trip, but to be honest, a lot of those memories are still a blur. So I decided to write about the trip when something comes to mind, like right now about how we lost our connection in Munich.

The flight from Bucharest to Munich went better than I expected. Although the flight was only a little over an hour, we spent it talking to a funny group of Texan young adults (in Romania to teach English to Romanian students). I know, right? What are the odds to find yourself halfway across the world, in a plane from Bucharest to Munich and be surrounded by fellow Americans. Comes to show how little our world really is.

Once arrived in Munich, we said goodbye to our newfound friends and off we went to find our gate. We were told by several airport employees to go to terminal 1, not knowing that there’s where our troubles began. After the shuttle buss dropped us, we went through a maze –I’m not kidding–maze of corridors, gates and check points, making our way to gate 17. We still had time for breakfast, stroll through duty free stores until boarding was announced. 

As we waited to be boarded, my eyes fell on the display flickering our flight and I found odd that instead of Lufthansa there was EasyJet airline. Then looked at my boarding ticket and saw that the flight number didn’t match the one on the display, only the departure time and destination.

I’ve rarely felt as if the rug was pulled from underneath my feet, but that’s the best way to describe how I felt.  Never lost a connection in my life. Never thought not one, but several airport employees can be that… well, I really don’t have a name for it, unless I’m willing to call them something bad. For crying out loud: I show you a boarding pass and you send me to a wrong terminal???

We made our way back to terminal 2 as our Lufthansa flight took off. At that time I was livid and sick to my stomach worrying about having to buy new tickets, and losing our train connection from Rome to Verona. Pat kept telling me to breathe deeply and accept the fact that was nothing I could do to change what just happened. Trust me, breathing exercises never helped that much as then. I managed to calm somewhat until, explaining to the Lufthansa rep how we lost our connection she said in an arrogant and dismissive tone, word for word: “That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard in thirteen years working on this airport. Who here would direct you wrongly?”

With my minds eyes I saw myself reaching over the counter and grabbing a handful of her shirt, saying, “You call me a liar and stupid???”, but instead I said, “Ma’am, as much as your airport is a nice venue, I would rather travel to my destination. Hanging out on an airport is not my kind of fun time.”

Pat stepping on my foot made me pause and take my eyes off the Lufthansa rep, long enough to take yet another deep breath. I should’ve inhaled enough oxygen by now, enough to transform it in smoke puffing out of my ears but boy, I was aching to wrinkle that woman’s starched collar. 

Somehow I managed to be civil. Fifteen minutes and two phone calls later we had brand new tickets that costed us only $105.00 each. If all worked out well, we’d make it to our train connection on time.

Eventually anger and frustration drained out of me, leaving me exhausted. The entire time we waited Pat and I talked and, the more we talked, the deeper in conversation we went. Like to survivors on an island we shared plans, dreams, memories–we talked so much and I have to say, there was nothing that could make me happier than my kid sharing so much of him. There’s a glow in Pat’s eyes when he talks about himself, a glow that makes the blue in his eyes so intense and so alive. 

In looking back I do wonder if all of that happened because he and I had to talk. Not just any talk, but deep talk, the kind of talk that makes one vulnerable but also so, so human. The kind of talk where all masks fall and one’s heart and soul are out there in plain light, without holding back. 

I always considered myself incredibly lucky to have a great relationship with my kid, but for some reason that talk we had waiting for our flight taking us from Munich to Rome, made me realized, my kid is not a kid anymore, but a young man making his way into adulthood, having incredible plans for the future. It also made me realized how much more mature he is now compared to myself at his age, but most importantly that, if I were to go tomorrow, I’m leaving behind a great legacy, a man who I have no doubt will make his way through life in a healthy, solid, clear, strong manner; that whenever life will throw curves and hurdles his way, he has the tools he needs to go through them all. 

When time came to leave, I remember finally buckling my belt on the plane taking us to a brand new adventure. Pat reached over and kissed the top of my head, then interlaced his finger with mine. “Thanks, mom,” he said. “What for?,” I replied. He smiled and pushed his side onto mine. “For listening.”

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Europe trip–part 2

4 Sep

As promised on my last post I’m continuing sharing my experience while on my trip to Europe.

I first flew to Bucharest where my parents live and I was beyond ecstatic to see them after so long (mom after a year and a half, and dad after 2 and a half years). Granted we use Skype all the time but it’s not the same.

I’m a hugger and, if I were to pick what I miss the most about my parents is hugging them. Of course the first thing I did seeing my mom (dad was too weak after his complicated surgery from which he’s recovering very slowly) among the people waiting at the airport was to drop my bags and pull her into a long, long hug. I tried not to cry but silly tears just kept rolling down my cheek. A feeling of I’m-safe along with peace and happiness blanketed over my soul and I’m sure for those of you still having your moms around you can understand my emotions. There’s nothing like a mom’s hug: tight, warm, loving, heart-to heart beat.

As we drove through the city, the first thing that caught my attention was the change in colors. A lot of the 10+ story buildings lining the roads have been renovated, transforming the city from a blah-boring gray into a lively one. Others just remain the same ugly buildings. On some of the roads the trees are so tall and rich that they bridge over the street creating shade and coolness so much needed from the hot sun.

I stayed in town only three days before my trip to Italy (crazy itinerary, I know). When I returned from Italy I had the chance to visit downtown Bucharest at night, a nightclub (don’t remember its name, but I do remember the cigarette smoke, loud music and super packed room), a restaurant where we had papanasi (a Romanian pastry that I crave all the time), walked down I. C. Bratianu Blvd at  two in the morning all the way to the Fountains taking you to Palatul Parlamentului and most importantly: I did that tagging along two of my cousins, two nephews and of course with Patrick. The rest of the time I was in Bucharest I haven’t really gone anywhere worth mentioning, but spent it with my parents, relatives and friends. Unlike other trips back to Romania, this time it was more important to me to spend it face to face with loved ones than visit places…

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Until next time, here a few photos… enjoy!

Random Act of Kindness ~ 1,000 Loaves Of Bread

16 Feb

As always I begin by thanking Kathy @ I’m A Reader Not A Writer for organizing fabulous giveaway hops among the readers’ community. The Random Act Of Kindness Giveaway Hop is co-hosted with Lora at Read for Your Future. Thank you, Lora!

For my Random Act Of Kindness I decided to bring awareness to the devastating weather hitting Europe, and most important to me–Romania, my native country. I’m also giving away one e-copy of my debut novel Hidden Heart and one e-copy of my second novel A World Apart. Please fill out the form at the end of this post.

Although it’s been more than 8 years since I moved to the U.S. there will always be an invisible cord pulling me to my roots, to my people. And right now my people suffer, buried under meters of snow, their homes, their farms, their animals. EVERYTHING is under snow.

I feel helpless wanting to help EVERYONE. I’m in constant contact with my parents who luckily live in Bucharest which (although it had been hit by snow) is doing better than the rest of the country (I guess it pays off to live in the same city as the president and government…). Bucharest has electricity, somewhat snow-free streets, running water and food supplies. The rest of the country doesn’t.

Since I can’t help everyone, no matter how much I wish I could, I decided to help this little village called Rasvani. It’s a village located about 70km East of Bucharest where, as a kid, I spent many, many hot summers with Mama’s relatives. Lots of dear memories come to mind: Mama’s aunt Floarea (in English meaning Flower) milking the cow while the 6 of us (my sisters and I and her 3 children) waited in line for a mug of steamy milk. A piece of homemade bread (or polenta bread if flour was sparse) in the other hand, crouching on the thick grass made for a good dinner. Or holding our breath while she finished another dress or skirt for someone in the village. One of us was lucky enough to get the leftover fabric which we then turned into dresses for our dolls. Oh yeah, dolls made out of corn husk–the most beautiful dolls we could possibly create.

I just can’t stand by seeing people’s lives being completely destroyed by a capricious weather. My shout for help didn’t remain unanswered. My dear friend (and incredible author) Jeffery Moore decided to contribute to the cause. I sent Mama $210. She can buy close to 1000 loaves of bread and send them to the village. My cousin will deliver the bread by truck. I just pray he doesn’t get stuck in the snow… I wish I could do more, but that’s about all I can spare.

What is your Random Act of Kindness?