Travel Journal Overview: I was finally on my own. Two countries behind I knew one person, now for the long road ahead I would know no one. I was also entering into one of those childhood wish list places. Transylvania.
My alarm sounded, we were approaching Brasov, and it was still pitch dark outside. I pulled my bags down and bid a sleepy farewell to all in the compartment, purposely forgetting about moving the red monolith down again I made my escape from the train.
I was in Brasov, and immediately my travel ideas of arriving in a small town were quashed my the throngs of people throughout the station. This was worse than Budapest station, only now I was seriously sleep deprived. I followed my travelers instinct and made my way out of the station in haste, but was confronted by even more people. What were so many people doing up at 6am??? A lone traveler in the dark makes for an easy target, so with my head down I kept walking until I could get to a clear space to make my bearings. By way of my compass I was able to take the opposite direction the LP said to take, and took the long road into town.
Street names were hard to come by, making life difficult (take not tourist boards around the globe). The LP map told of different street names, and I cursed them verbally for being idiots. Clear Directions from a train or bus stations are critical to travelers. Finally I saw a sign called Centro, so I followed. Stopping once to ask a man by his car if I was heading in the right direction, he confirmed and I continued. I walked for over and hour, youths following at one stage and the night still holding firm. Taking the number 4 bus might have helped, but the situation at the station, told me to just keep walking. I asked a few more people if I was headed in the right direction, one woman and child shaking their heads as if I big monster was approaching, though in hindsight I must have looked a bit rough at this stage. Finally I met a lady who, pointed me in the right direction for the town center. The TB still hadn’t listed a single street I was on.
I finally made it to the center and even located the house number for the hostel, only… no hostel. Bugger!! I would have to stay at one of the LP recommended hostels. I sat on a bench and ate my squashed subway as dawn broke. Early morning passersby looking on at me like I was some homeless derelict, well … I was homeless!!
I headed off again, cursing the TB map for not giving good directions to the only two hostels in Brasov. I made it to the Kismet Hostel, utterly exhausted. An older gent was in the garden having an early morning smoke, raising some hope that this was not a party hostel. All hopes were dashed inside. Beer cans, stale smoke and sheets littered the floors. I cringed.
A rough looking youngster said to give him 5 minutes, no beds were ready. I sat in the living room. The check out time was 12noon, this was going to be a long 5 minutes, me thinks. During my wait I flicked through the TB and wondered why I had never stopped by the guest houses they mentioned for only 10 euro a night. I began to think it would be a better idea. But as I was leaving a bed became available, for 11 euro. A bed on the top floor called the “Snorers Room”, could fate really be this cruel. According to a roommate, yes, there was a bloke with a loud snore living in there. Oh boy. I showered, and then as the cleaning ladies descended upon the room, realized there was no hope of getting an hour or twos sleep.
It was 11.30 by the time I was back in the center, my bearings a little better. My mind was in a daze still with the lack of sleep, so I followed the LP’s map and ended up going in the opposite direction again, but finally ended up at a restaurant called “Bistro D’lArte”. I soon found my hungry self dining on cream of pea soup, and from the blessings of carnivorous God’s a massive spit roasted pork leg, followed by plum dumplings, all for only 11Euro. During my meal I noted another solitary figure enter the food house, LP in hand. She sat alone at the other end of the restaurant, and I wonder why I never got up to say hello, can you believe the LP got it right about the food in this place?
I headed over to the tourist office and got a real city map, with important notes on it like what bus goes where and how much they cost and the fact you have to buy the bus ticket in an office and not on board (take note LP). I also took the time and 4 Lei to visit the local museum. Really not exactly the most exciting of places, but it gave me an idea about the 1400 established town. Also it hit me that there was also a bloke passing my the exhibits quickly, and upstairs that same bloke was talking to the same girl that was at the restaurant. Naturally enough he was putting across how great and cultured the place was… and just to add insult to injury I saw them team up at the rest of the towns little touristy offerings for the rest of the day. What’s more, the little problem between my legs was back with vengeance and I was walking like an overused prostitute again.
I located a pharmacy and bought some skin cream for a friction burn on the shoulder, well hey it was hard enough to explain friction burn on shoulder without mentioning groin friction burns!
Gut instinct told me to check out the guest houses on offering. The first was for 50lei, and housed a team of Romanian Gypsy drunks. The second was more promising, a Hungarian pensioner couple offering a single room for 10Euro. My mind was made up, if there was snoring in the “Snorers Room” that disturbed me tonight, I would move into the Hungarian single room tomorrow. I had two strong Romanian black beers and a 5Euro pizza before returning to the hostel that night. Strangely it was very quite there, most were around the kitchen table having beers. I snuck past and headed to the bathroom to cover my sore parts with lashings of yogurt smelling Romanian Friction burn cream! Then it was to bed in the empty dorm room, ear plugs at the ready.
I fell asleep fast, a deep sleep, after so many days without good sleep it was easy. Then at about 3am I woke up, snoring filled the room. I changed over to stage two of snoring protection and donned my mp3 player to drown out the noise with more noise. At 4am the mp3 player had finished and the snoring continued, I tossed and turned. For some reason I was awake and not able to get back to sleep, my mind was made up, tomorrow I would move to the little pension. The snoring continued filling the airways. Finally after about 30 mins I shuffled over to my back, turned the mp3 player on to repeat, I passed out again.
In a sleepy haze I woke up, someone was at the bottom of my bed, the mp3 player still blaring away. The girl was pulling at my toe as I removed my earphones.
In a Germanic accent she said “Your Snoring?!!”
What the bloody hell?!!!!!!!! I am in the fucking snorers room, being kept awake by bloody snorers and in desperation for sleep, earplug and headphones in tow fell asleep on my back and was now being accused of all the snoring??!! I turned over in mild shock. The situation was two ironic to be angry.