Another rainy morning in Romania, and I’m scheduled to be off to Bucharest in 2 hours, but decided to pin some quick thoughts about Brasov and Bran, as well as a pic of the infamous castle– Castle Dracula.
To be honest, I didn’t see much of Brasov, but what I did see, I liked. It’s a nice city. It has been raining and gray for the majority of my time here and I am unprepared for it in the shoe department meaning that I stayed close to the hostel.
Thankfully yesterday wasn’t so bad weather wise and I made my way to see Bran Castle aka Dracula’s castle. Here it is:
I didn’t go inside the castle as it was simply too crowded and the queues were really long. It was starting to rain a bit even then so after taking several shots of the castle from outside I decided to go somewhere for lunch at a local restaurant. I chose a restaurant in a very touristy area that didn’t look too crowded. Big mistake.
I went inside, said “one for lunch” and the waitress looked at me like I was from another planet. Then she said “No!” Apparently she thought i was asking to use the toilet. Another customer had to explain to her what I wanted. Yet and still after they realized I actually was there to eat, I wasn’t seated, or even directed over to a table. The other customer sitting at a table next to me grabbed a menu for me! They have English written under the Romanian so apparently they must get a lot of tourists since this is right close to bran castle, the streets are packed with tourists, and you can’t understand “one for lunch?” Once seated, I asked for mayo and they gave me tartar sauce. I let that one go. Then I asked for salt and pepper and the waitress came and dumped it on my table in a huff Iike I had asked her to perform a Hercurian Labor. I try not to be an ugly American making unreasonable demands and I certainly don’t expect them to speak English with the oratory prowess of Barack Obama but seriously “one for lunch” and “mayonnaise” are pretty standard things people at a restaurant near BRAN CASTLE (arguably the biggest tourist spot IN ROMANIA) should actually know. Just sayin! The food was outstanding, though. But they didn’t get a tip though as they were extremely rude.
In Brasov as well I also had terrible service at an Irish pub. Deane’s it was called. I had a craving for fish and chips so I sauntered in and ordered, and waited, waited, and WAITED for over an HOUR for it. I waited so long that I actually asked to cancel it, and then the waiter said he would have to check with the kitchen in order to see if that was possible. I was about to storm right out of there, and then suddenly my food arrived… they put the plate in front of me, with no utensils to be seen. I had to ask for them myself! The F&C were ok, but the chips were soggy and not crispy at all, I have a feeling that my plate had been left in the kitchen getting cold. I ate it anyway since I was hungry. Thankfully they did give me a 10% discount but I still didn’t leave a tip as the service was very bad. I know many of you who believe in tipping, regardless, but I don’t. Tips for me are only given for good, or at least average service, but I received neither in this case. I don’t reward mediocrity.
Moral of the story about Bran and Brasov, go and see the city and the castle, but don’t expect the service to be stellar. I know Eastern Europe has a stereotype for having bad service, but I’ve never really seen it before I came here to Romania. Let’s hope Bucharest is better.
I’m off! Next stop, Bucharest!