Sometimes traveling alone gets very lonely so on occasion I use google hangouts via couchsurfing to meet up with fellow travelers or locals in the same city I happen to be in for dinner, coffee, a show, etc. I like google hangouts because it allows you to meet random people and you never know who you may end up meeting. In America I would feel a little wary about meeting randoms, but in Europe where people generally do not have weapons and the crime rate is very low, I feel a bit more comfortable about meeting random people (in very popular public places, of course!), after all, strangers are just friends one hasn’t met yet, right?
So yesterday I met with this interesting Italian man named Stefano for dinner. It was a fun and interesting evening. He’s an auditor for an American company and is regularly sent to where they have branches. I am so jealous of his life as he is totally living my dream. He gets to go all over Europe, South America, the USA, South East Asia, the UAE, and South Africa as well doing his job. Every week he’s in a different place and his job covers everything. That would be my dream job, totally, getting paid to travel. I really admire him and what he does, and like me, he never really gets tired of traveling and always seems ready for the next adventure.
We had a lovely dinner and I truly feel I found a kindred spirit, as, like me, he feels comfortable anywhere in the world, and the thing he fears most is a cage, the prospect of being stuck or confined in one place forever. He loves being home however at the same time, we both love the challenge of living abroad and both of us explained how we feel alive meeting and interacting with people from different cultures. We talked for literally hours about our travel experiences as we ate traditional Romanian food and I got to practice my (very bad) Italian with him. He constantly told me I spoke the language well but I think it was just flattery. 🙂 It turns out we have the same star sign. I don’t really believe at all in zodiac signs, but I do think there is some truth that people who were born close to the same time of the year have similar personality traits and features, as it is crazy as I seem to get along like clockwork with people born in November, December, and around the middle of July. It’s uncanny that ALL of my best friends have birth dates that fall within this range and we all think rather similarly, and otherwise get along great, though I have no way of explaining exactly why we do. Either way, it was very refreshing to meet and get to know Stefano. He had to return to Italy today to get ready to go to his next destination but it was such a pleasure meeting him and I really hope to run into him again in future travels. It’s not too often on my journey through life that I really meet someone who I feel I have a great deal in common with, like I did him.
We went to a few places of note:
The amazing and traditional Romanian restaurant Caru cu Bere….
The name literally means “beer wagon” but in addition to beer they serve traditional Romanian food as well. Stefano and I shared a meat platter which included a variety of Romanian meats. Sorry there was no picture, we devoured the food too quickly; the food was amazing! This is one of the most traditional restaurants in Bucharest; there is usually a queue late in the evenings, so come early.
For dessert we went to this equally famous inn, Hanul Manuc:
This is a shot of the entrance of the inn during the day. It was completed in 1808 and has a rich history, but what I want to talk about the most is the Papanasi, the traditional Romanian dessert. You might gain a few pounds or kilos just looking at the next photo:
Papanași is a Romanian traditional fried or boiled pastry resembling a small sphere, usually filled with a soft cheese such as urdă and any kind of sour jam.
So like, deep friend donut balls with jam and sweet cheese. It really is heavenly. They are served in a large bowl with about 8 balls of pastry and they are heavy and very filling so it’s definitely best to share one portion with a friend. Stefano and I between us couldn’t quite finish one portion!
Great time, great food, great company. Angloville starts tomorrow. Ironically the resort where the venue is located is back in Bran, where Dracula’s castle is. Crazy, but the resort should be fun, it has foozeball, dartboards, pool, sauna… however I’m not really ready to be seen in a swimsuit, I ate way too much papanasi….. 😀
More to come! Leave me a comment!