Posted by: bkropf | April 23, 2008

Bran Castle

Andreea is from Couchsurfing. She was really nice of her to meet us, given she was working at the time. I think she has a great job, she just sits at a bar and makes sure things run smoothly and helps out once in a while. We chatted a while and then met up with some of her friends for dinner (it was one of her friends birthdays).

Dinner was great except for my salad didn’t come out until everyone else was done eating. Sometimes service over here irks me. Over dinner one of the friends, a French guy, started talking politics. I let him talk but then he started probing us for answers to questions. He said he doesn’t meet Americans much so he wanted our perspective. In the end I didn’t feel bad he didn’t like the US, he really didn’t like anyone I felt. I’m pretty sure France was the only good country in his opinion. He was really nice, none-the-less and I’m really glad we were able to talk. He was pretty funny and could make fun of himself.


After dinner we went back to Andreea’s bar and made sure it was still running well. The French guy saw about 6 of his French friends and we all huddled up to talk for a while. Eventually post of the people left and I was hoping to get out of there soon too when an older French guy came up and talked to me. He was living in Romania working for the family business and he seemed a little lonely. He said he loved America and wished France/US could be closer. That made me feel nice.


Leave that night it was a nice night and you could see the huge ‘BRASOV’ (Hollywood-like) sign lit up on the hill over the town.


The next morning we got up to travel by bus to Bran Castle. Bran Castle is often mistaken for Dracula’s castle. I think this is because it looks so creepy and cool but books say he probably stayed there only one night if at all. We traveled to the castle with the two Australian girls and met a guy from L.A. on the bus. The castle was nice to look at but really didn’t carry the same punch the Pele’s Palace had the previous day. There were some really nice markets at the bottom of the castle and I scoped out some traditional dresses for my niece Aleah. We also ate these huge amazing desert things that were cylindrical and bread-like.


Traveling back into Brasov the bus was packed so I had to stand. A Kiwi was next to me with his wife and we had a great chat. He and his wife were both Archaeologists. I don’t know what it is about this trip but that is the 2nd group of archaeologists I have met.


Getting back into town we took a cab ride from the bus station to the train station. The taxi driver was really crazy. He was an older Engineer that needed a second job so was driving taxi. He had just had his 30th wedding anniversary and said marriage was great but he wife might not agree. Then he told us some dirty jokes I couldn’t understand. I was surprised that in Romania life was tough enough that even if you were an engineer you would need a second income.


The Aussies had the same train as us going to Bucharest. From Bucharest we were going to catch night trains to our next destinations. At the train station waiting for our train to Moldova we ran into the weirdest American situation. There was a guy who was a stay at home husband, living in Romania with his Japanese wife who he met in S. Korea. He was from Philadelphia and was traveling with a pal through Romania. We thought they were gay and what confused us even more is that his friend’s nickname was ‘Love.’ They were just a really weird situation all around.


As you can probably tell (and I think I mentioned before) we have purchased the Economist and have been pouring over it with enthusiasm. I think it is funny how business magazines pump me up so much. I love reading and talking about business events and trying to think up new ways to start a good business. Yesterday I read an article about the nomadic society that is being formed in the world and I thought up some good businesses to try to capitalize on this trend (Chuck, be ready for a business plan). Not only that, but reading a good business magazine gives Tyler and myself lots of things to talk about. Unfortunately, we agree on most issues so I have to work to find controversial topics to haggle over.


The Gout flares from time to time. I have considered adding a Gout Pain Index (GPI) to the blog so everyone can know all the time exactly how much pain my foot is in. Then I figured that would be boring because no one really cares and my food really doesn’t hurt much.


What does hurt is shaving!!! I brought an electric beard trimmer from home and it doesn’t work. Cheryl sent over another from home and I think I broke it plugging it into a 220V outlet (maybe Ben or another electronic person can let me know if that is possible). So now I have this horrible straight edge in my bag I use to try to shave. But I hate shaving every day and I don’t have shaving cream so I find myself getting psyched up for my weekly painful shave. It is the worst: long hair, dull razor and no cream. Ouch! I guess I could buy some shaving cream and a new razor but I haven’t gotten around to it. I have also lost my towel so I need to buy another.



  1. your towel just couldn’t live without your cap.

  2. I hope they are both in better places

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