Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cluj Napoca: city of nothing

We arrived in Cluj Napoca around lunch time, we were starving! So our first mission was to find an ATM so we could get into town...This turned out to be rather more difficult than one would expect. I mean you'd expect an airport to have several ATMs and places to exchange. Eventually we succeeded in finding an ATM, but then we missed our bus into town by seconds. So we were like, screw this, let's just take a taxi.
Taxis are by far the most dangerous part of Eastern Europe travels, and not for the reason you would think. It's dangerous because there is probably like a 10% chance that you will die in some sort of fiery car crash because they are the most aggressive drivers ever and don't seem to have any fear of breaking laws.
We made it the hostel in one piece though. So then we had to check into our hostel, and the woman who was working there was the least friendly person ever. She more or less asked us what we were doing there... which was quite odd. So we were given the WORST MAP EVER. It was this sad blurry black and white print out, not very enlightening to say the least. 
After getting settled in, we went to a very traditional Romanian restaurant for lunch. Just kidding, we went to KFC. It was tasty. Then we walked around and saw probably 50% of what this city has to offer in like an hour.
There was this cathedral and statue
And not much else... So we went back and napped because we were sleepy. We said we would go out later, but by the time we woke up it was dark. Thus, sight seeing ended for the day. Then we went down to the common room for WiFi and such. When we got down there, the people that were down there looked at us like we were intruding on some sort of private event. The whole first few hours at the hostel involved us being made to feel like intruders... so that was awkward. 
For dinner we shared a fantastically delicious pizza and then we went to a little bar near it because apparently Cluj is thought to be cool because of it's night life? Unfortunately (or fortunately?), neither of us are big partyers, and that night we didn't even feel like sort of partying it up. We had one drink (I had this mixed drink that was their specialty called Kool Aid, but it didn't really taste like Kool Aid (I guess maybe it tasted like what Kool Aid would taste like if you put Vodka in it?) which was disappointing, but I guess it's probably a good thing because alcoholic drinks that taste like Kool Aid are probably a recipe for alcohol poisoning. 
Then we went to sleep at like 10:30, because we know how to party hard. And we wanted to get up fairly early so we could take some pictures before leaving on a noon train. 
But the best laid plans of mice and men are all for naught. At midnight we were awoken by our roommates who had decided to go down the party hard route. They were completely drunk, and speaking very loudly in terribly accented English. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than drunk strongly accented bad English. 
"It hurts, the tattoo, to make?" "Romania very poor. We make one joint for four people. We get very high. very high." 
Meanwhile, they are assembling joints.
Finally, they leave. Then they come back, then they leave again. We decide to try to get a different room. Tristan goes downstairs, but our lovely roommates are talking to the person on duty. But our troubles are not over, one of them comes back in. He lays on the floor by the window. Talking to himself (in English, strangely). We pray he doesn't throw up or something. He gets up to go back down, but he comes back quickly, this time managing to get in a bed. And then finally, the commotion stopped. 
The next morning, we learned one of these people got kicked out of the hostel, the guy who was laying on the floor's heart was racing and he thought he would die. Why would anyone do this to themselves? 
Needless to say, we were glad to leave that hostel.

Me outside the hostel. I guess it kind of had a cool location. Near to an old city wall. But can you really have a good location in a city where there is nothing to see?

Romanians try really hard to embrace their Roman heritage

We had delicious pastries on the way to the train station (I got a raspberry strudel, it was like toaster strudel, only better). And then we took a train to Brasov. 

Us, at the Cluj train station

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