Wednesday, March 22, 2017

One Last Day

My last full day in Romania has been a resounding success.  What a great day! 

This morning, Dawn and I went back to the children's center.  While she took some of the kids outside, I got to bring one kid at a time into one of the rooms and do little mini music therapy sessions with them.  It was so much fun!  I haven't taken a new music therapy client in a long time, and I haven't improvised Romanian songs...maybe ever :-)  I'd only known these kids for at most 24 hours...but there were some really meaningful moments and at least one important insight that I was able to pass along.  Then it was lunchtime, and I helped some of the kids eat lunch, and then we headed out. 

On the way back to Dawn's place, we stopped for my train ticket for tomorrow's trip to Budapest...only to find out that the trains are on strike!  I had this sort of exhilarating moment when I thought I might be stuck here...but Dawn is a tremendous resource and knows about a van that can take you directly from point A in Timisoara to point B in Budapest.  It's pricier than the train but won't go on strike (hopefully!) and will get me straight to where I need to be so I won't have to walk from the train station or figure out the subway right off the bat.

sign for the revolution museum.  Let's just say it wasn't fancy.
Dawn's friend Pam fixed another tasty lunch, and then while Dawn got some work done, Pam and I got to do some exploring.  We went to the museum of the Revolution, which was closed when I tried to go last year, and then back to the Garage coffee shop that we'd been to yesterday.

an exhibit in the museum, with a picture of a big
demonstration in Opera Square.  This is where we
hung out with the kids yesterday and ate dinner tonight. Crazy
to think of all that happened here not even 30 years ago.

a dramatic room in the museum filled with old Romanian flags with
their communist emblem ripped out of them

Stunning Piata Unirii.  I have so many pictures of this place from
last year but still felt the need to take more.

 Between the two, we took some shameless tourist pictures of the storefronts and beautiful old buildings.  It was a lot of fun.  Then we wandered back to one of the main squares and met Dawn for an insanely delicious dinner.  It was a beautiful restaurant right on the square, with linen tablecloths and fancy waiters, and I had dinner and wine and dessert...and paid about 10 dollars, including tip.  I love it here.

Our restaurant this evening. 

Pam and Dawn

Here's where I start to get all reflective and emotional.  I seriously love this city, and this country, and this language, and these people.  Where last year was an exciting but occasionally lonely journey all around the country, this year has been even more exhilarating, but in such a more wonderful way.  I've really connected with people - lots of people - in meaningful ways.  And I've spent time with sweet Romanian families, and with sweet Americans used to living in Romania, and I've gotten a better sense, I think, of what life is really like for both of these groups of people. 

Tonight, walking home from the restaurant to Dawn's place, I tried to take in every sight and sound.  I'm not sure how to explain how much I love simple things, like the Romanian words for "thank you" and "you're welcome" and "goodbye" that I think are so beautiful.  It will be hard to not hear them anymore, hard to once again be the only one who says "Noapte buna" (my sweet roommate probably grows weary of me saying goodnight this way, but she doesn't complain).   It seems highly likely that I will return again soon, but every departure from Romania always includes a certain sense of finality, in case it is my last, even if I hope it won't be.

Ok, enough of my rambling.  My van will come early in the morning, and I need to be ready!  Tomorrow...Budapest!

This dog chained up near the museum startled me so badly
today, but then turned out to be a total sweetheart.  I know you're not
supposed to touch the dogs...but we had an instant bond. :-) 
Also, I promise he isn't dead.  He just looks a little strange.

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