Posted by: bkropf | April 16, 2008

My Bodies Breaks Down

We left Sofia on a night train. The outside of our train car looked like it was on its last leg (we found out later it was).  We settled down into our bunks and it was really nice because the car was really empty and we had our own cabin to ourselves.  I was trying to decide if I should fly to Spain for a week and skip Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.  We both fell asleep quickly and opened the window because it was really hot.  The smell of burning hair overpowered us so I closed the window and continued to sleep. About 1am we were woken and told our car was not going to be allowed into Romania because it was broken (hence the bad smell I am guessing).  We quickly had to pack all our stuff and move to a different train car for the remainder of the journey. 

We woke in Bucharest, Romania and jumped off the train at 6am.  I had been hearing how Romania was really cheap, old-world and poor.  Judging by the train station it didn’t look bad.  We got some food for the next leg of our journey to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and I noticed I didn’t have my hat.  I was a little miffed that I was going to have to start doing my hair instead of just throwing on a hat.  I am also sad that other people I run into won’t be able to recognize me as a fan of the Ducks and use that as a reason to start conversations with me. I must have left the hat in our cabin when we had to switch cars, I was half asleep and really confused on why we had to switch cars.  I agree with Leo though, this could be a good opportunity to spread some good Duck tidings and maybe we will convert a Duck fan in Romania. 

We almost missed our train for Cluj.  Seems to be a pattern lately.  When we finally got on and it was frustrating because the conductor made everyone sit in their assigned seats. This means that 6 people had to cram in one train compartment when the rest of the train was empty.  It started to smell pretty bad again and I really wanted to spread out to other compartments.

We traveled north through Romania passing many green hills and flocks of sheep.  Arriving at Cluj we jumped on a tram for the hostel we were staying at.  The directions were horrible and we ended up walking forever.  We decided to get a cab eventually and gave up walking. 

Our hostel was the Retro Hostel and was really nice.  I was happy to be there, everyone else in the hostel ended up being Australians. Every where we go it seems as either everyone is British, Aussie, or Kiwi.  We walked around checking out the city and ate at a traditional Romanian restaurant in the basement of a mall (which did not seem traditional Romanian).  My food was really good but Tyler hated his soup.  He says it tasted like they made it out of chicken fat.  I had been hearing all trip how good the crepes with ice-cream were in Romania so I was really happy to see them on the menu.  We ordered some and they were horrible!!! I mean totally inedible.   The whole thing tasted like it was made a couple weeks ago and thrown in the freezer until we ordered it.

Went back to the hostel and went to bed.

In the middle of the night my foot started killing me!!! I got up and couldn’t walk the pain was so bad.  I started having fears of having to fly home early or even worse having to sample the Romanian health care system.  I woke up in the morning feeling worse than I could have imagined.  I couldn’t figure out how I could go to bed with my foot feeling 100% and wake in the morning with it not functioning at all.  Tyler and I researched stress fractures and that looked like the most likely cause.  The other option we were considering was maybe the multiple bug bites on my foot had somehow effected the area causing pain.  I was hoping it was some sort of tendon stress and would pass soon. I am a firm believer that our human bodies are amazing and can heal themselves brilliantly!

Thinking about my food intake I started to worry I hadn’t enjoyed enough milk lately and maybe my bones were getting weaker.  I hobbled to the store and bought a bunch of milk and drank it all in an attempt to give my body some good building blocks to start the healing.  It was a beautiful day, so we taxied up to the botanical gardens and I sat by the entrance while Tyler explored and looked around.  I watched lots of people in love walk around.  The place was surprisingly popular and was ripe for people watching.  Tyler got lost and was gone much longer than expected but I had no mobility so I was happy to sit in the sun.  He finally got back and refused to carry me back to the hostel.  I thought it was a little selfish of him.

Being disabled really gives you a different take on life.  Suddenly I really felt a connection with other cripples around me.  Now when I pass cripples we nod to each other as we passed recognizing our mutual pain.  I wanted to talk to anyone with a cane (to try to figure out how to get one of course).  I decided I am going to champion the cause of disability rights.  Once again the eerie and prophetic quote from Tyler rung in my ears, “Europe would be a horrible place to live if you were disabled.”  Oh, how true he was!



  1. I’m GLAD I knew your foot was better before I read the above….sounds pretty sad, but I did have to laugh at you and other cripples nodding to each other! (That picture is in my head and for some reason it makes me smile!) Read dad’s e-mail for some helpful ideas! Take care!
    Love, MOM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: