Thursday, July 06, 2006
Romanian Perils... or Being Blonde
So it's Thursday, which means I've been on my own in Bucharest for four days now, and I've already managed to do something I didn't do in ten years of mobile phone ownership. I left my phone in a taxi. The first taxi I've taken since arriving here. I tried calling the phone later and got no answer, and then tried again just before the world cup match last night and a man answered in English - "Hello?" I said, "Hi you have my phone." And then we continued in a very strange conversation wherein I learned this man's wife, who is Spanish, had found my phone in the taxi and taken it. The wife was not around and I was asked to call back later, and the man was not in Bucharest but in some unpronounceable (to me, anyway) place outside of town and wouldn't be back for two days. When I called at halftime, it went straight to voicemail, which leads me to believe they were on the other line with someone in Beijing just for the hell of it. So this morning I asked Bertrand to rescue me and call the phone company since he's still in Barcelona to have my service cancelled. Who knows how many calls to strange places that couple made in those 20 hours. I shudder to think...
So if you try to call me on my Spanish number in the next two months, you'll get no answer. It will be back in service when I'm back in Barcelona in September and, in the meantime, I will finally get that Romanian phone I'd been putting off getting for the past few days. Lesson learned.
Another interesting thing happened when I walked to the internet cafe on Monday night. A very tall dude pulled a wad of bills out of his pocket and flashed them at me before putting them away again. I'm not sure what that meant because he surely couldn't have mistaken me for a prostitute - I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and Converse sneakers. Not the usual woman-of-the-night-wear as far as I'm aware. But then again, maybe things are different here and I was wearing exactly the wrong clothing combination...
Other than that, it has been a pretty run-of-the-mill week so far. I watched both World Cup semifinal matches, one of which was far more exciting than the other. I've been at the office, wandered around town, researched possible weekend getaway destinations (Budapest is looking like the top choice for next weekend), and was invited to play on a mens' soccer team starting next week. Hopefully I won't disappoint them... or myself.
And it's almost the weekend! I have only been working for four days (ok, three and a half) and already doing the weekend warrior countdown. Well, it's only natural. Especially when you know you're going to the beach.