Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 2 in Romania: how to buy a cell phone in Bucharest

Day 1 in Romania

I finally found a cell phone shop. When I told the woman that I wanted to buy a cell phone, she condescendingly said it would only work in Romania. That's the whole idea of buying a cell phone in Romania. If I wanted it to work somewhere else, I would have bought it somewhere else. I bought the cheapest one, it was about 40 euro.

Once I got my cell phone, I sent texts to the 3 friends that I had (one in Bucharest, Sibiu, and Cluj), to my mom's aunt who is the only family we have left in Romania, and my lawyer's wife.

I met up with my mom's aunt. Both she and her husband spoke English well. They're retired now. Her family left in the 70s, but she decided to stay because of her husband. I found out that my grandfather and his family were born up near Iasi, one of the cities that I plan on going to.

Transport is cheap in Bucharest though. It costs about 0.30 euro for a bus ride, so it's comparable to Peru. Though lots of people don't pay. There are 3 doors on the bus and people just get in without paying. My mom's aunt says that she thinks transport is expensive. They can ride for free since they're pensioners. The bus stops aren't nice at all. There are often just little plaques that say the bus numbers, no routes, timetables, nothing. And when there are little bus stations, they have glass roofs that don't keep off the sun and don't have seats. I've been told that there are lots of pickpockets on the bus, but I haven't seen any.

I spent the day walking along Calea Victoriei, which didn't really have much to look at. I guess because it's summer a lot of places are closed. I ended up going to the National Art Museum, which used to be a palace and saw the Japanese exhibition and then the European and Romanian exhibitions. My ISIC card was worth it as I can pay the student rate. The museums were ok, no places to sit and no AC and therefore not many people. I walked by the Military Club then went to Cimigiu Gardens to relax and saw Kretzulescu Church, which had graffit nearby. It's sad that people don't seem to take care of anything here.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.

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