Bucharest - The Time I Was Mistaken for A Homeless Person
Everyone had the same reaction when I told them that I was going to Romania. Everyone would be slightly baffled to why I would go there. But in a kind of weird ignorant way - assuming that it was going to be a hell hole. I suppose, unfortunately, the perception of Romania could be based on the homeless situation in the UK & Ireland so I assume people thought it would be a hellhole.
Bucharest was almost the exact opposite to a hellhole. It is actually one of my favourite places that I have ever been. It was superb. We were not blessed with the weather when there but it did not matter. From loving Sofia (Bulgaria) - & not loving Sunny Beach, Bucharest topped them both.
We spent our days floating around the city, grabbing different coffees, the occasional beer and a lot of meat. Like, loads. They do these mixed grill things in Bucharest and they are absolutely sensational. So much meat. Meat sweats were very regular but very worth it.
The Bucharest nightlife was awesome. Because we are old and were full of meat, our nights were mostly spent with cigarettes in chilled bars. It was great. We would often get chatting to the locals - be it about Steau Bucharest, life in misunderstood Bucharest or mixed grills. We tried to discuss mixed grills a lot.
After many, many drinks, our night was coming to an end. As more alcoholic beverages entered our body, the satisfaction of the mixed grill became a thing of the past and it was time to get something to eat before we go to bed. After a debate about what to have, oysters, pheasant or lobster, we opted for the Golden Arches.
I got the classic nuggets and curry sauce meal. I was wearing flip flops - and it began lashing raining. But, you are on holiday, in a new and interesting place, and you are eating MacDonalds. So, I just enjoyed it for the moment it was. And I cannot control the weather. Yet.
My travel companion went back for seconds and left me sitting there munching away in the soaking rain. A middle aged lady approached me and started speaking Romanian. She looked concerned. I tried to explain that I cannot speak Romanian. She had no English. She smiled and handed me some Leu (Romanian currency), smiled and walked off.
I jumped up and tried to give her back the Leu, but she insisted on me keeping it and shot me a very warm smile.
And then it hit me, I was wearing flip flops, shorts in the rain, I was very unshaven and my hair was rather dishevelled from the rain. She clearly thought I was homeless.
What an interesting moment. People were confused about me going to a supposed poor and poverty stricken Romania. When it turned out to be a vibrant and exciting city, filled with very cool, intelligent and interesting people. And one of those people thought that I was homeless.
I sat there in the rain thinking of the irony of it all. Counted the Leu and realised it was enough for more nuggets.
So, I went for seconds.