Brasov to Sibiui

We do not take a trip; A TRIP TAKES US

September 14, 2005

Today was suppose to be a simple day. A four hour train ride from Brasov to Sibiu, find a place to stay, get some food and maybe look around the town a bit. Not the case.

After checking out of our hostel at 11:00 am we jumped on the bus to the train station, we purchased our tickets and jumped on board. The hallway to the wagon was busy, so we decided to turn around and grab the first cabin which two other ladies already occupied. As we turned around a man asked something in Romanian. I said, "Englez." He replied with, "Oh you speak English. I was wondering if you had a knife I can borrow really quick." I said, "I think so." Tina and I began to look for a knife. Tina found our swiss army and handed it to him. He picked up a bottle of lemon juice and used the knife to cut off the top and gave us the knife right back. He took lemon juice, poured into his beer and said something to the effect of, "I miss my Budweiser. This lemon juice is the only way I can drink this local beer." He offered us a beer. We declined, but noticed he had a 6 pack of tall boys in his backpack. After chatting away we found out his name was Mike and he currently lives in Connecticut. He was born in Romania, but has lived in the US for the last 23 years. He has dual citizenship with both countries. We told him we were going to Sibiu and he said he was too. This was a four hour train ride so we talked quite a bit, well Mike did most of the talking. We told him were 7 months into an around the world trip. We explained to him how we had to live cheap to be able to travel this long and showed him our food bag with our bread, jelly and peanut butter. As soon as he saw our food supply he said, "You guys are coming over to my house tonight. I have a room I can make up for you. We'll grill out and have some beers." We were very reluctant but said yes. Maybe we'll just tell him we don't think so once we get to Sibiu.

Once we get to Sibiu the trains stops and Mike ask if he can carry some of our bags. I handed the food bag and he said, "Come with me." We followed him off the train and right to a taxi. We both stood looking at each other with this should really do this look on our faces. Mike could see this look and said, "Come on, everything we'll be alright." We decided what the heck and jumped in the taxi with him. On the way to his house we were wondering if this was such a good idea, but we felt relieved once we arrived at his house, saw his dog and his wife. Mike jumped out of the taxi and went into his patio area where his dog started barking. I heard him yelling, "Tina, Tina." We both looked at each other and thought what's the problem. There was no problem at all. His dogs name is Tina and he was yelling at the dog to shut up. We had a chuckle, set our bags down and Mike introduced us to his wife Maria, who probable wasn't the happiest camper since her husband just brought home two strangers from America. The night was great. Mike brought out his local moonshine, made from apples or something. I just referred to it as fire water. We grilled out having sausages, tomato salad and macaroni and cheese while drinking fire water and washing it down with beer packaged in 3 liter plastic bottles. Before we went to bed we both took a shower and Mike told us he would find a car and give us a personal tour of Sibiui tomorrow. He also suggested we stay one more night and have grill up again tomorrow night. We agreed and went to sleep.

"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; A TRIP TAKES US. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this, a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it."

This quote from Steinbeck's novel, Travels with Charlie.

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