At the Trianon Hotel, Bucharest, Romania and it is just as claimed. If you can get through that first exhausted collapse after 24 hours from home to hotel in a cheap, clean and comfortable room it bodes well for every move to come. The Trianon is an oddly pretty heap of a building, friendly staff and plain but good room for $63—my goal of $100 a day for everything could work.
Lonely Planet has a section for every country called “Getting There.” Here is my version.
Transportation: Flights to DC, Frankfurt, Bucharest—all United or Lufthansa—all uneventful. Bus from airport into city center, taxi to hotel.
Food: There’s a restaurant at the Frankfurt Airport that is a perfect spot to write, i.e. BLOG! My Sunday morning Muesli and yogurt was only $14 and included two tiny exquisite branches of lingonberries, three apples slices, four raspberries and five blueberries. Almost compensated for the fact that, on Saturday morning, in a weak and sleepy moment, I had succumbed and ordered breakfast at an Albuquerque airport restaurant (the one at the end of the B gates) which consisted of a puffy tasteless omelet covered in barely melted Kraft cheese, hash browns all sad and limp and desperate for catsup and watery orange juice—for $14. But then it is not all about food is it?
Nice People: I did a very bad thing (only second time ever) and left my billfold on the counter when I bought my bus ticket AND THE WONDERFUL TICKET SELLER CAME AND FOUND ME WITH IT! Otherwise some among you would have received a collect call…please tell me you would have accepted the charges! It is confirmed in my mind that honesty exists in at least two places in the world: Romania and Cote d’Ivoire.
TOYS: There are Mattel toys and sex toys and motorized boy toys that go vroom vroom. My toys are better but will take awhile to get under control. This computer is my old travel buddy; my camera is quite familiar—I even brought along the CD of instructions on the off chance that after a year I would actually listen to them and the Kindle is fine, not so exciting but lighter than 10 books. BUT THEN there’s the Droid. We have not totally bonded yet although I do get goose bumps when my gravely-voiced little travel companion speaks to me. I AM TRYING. YES I AM. In fact I have conquered phoning and texting.
A man at the Albuquerque airport asked me where I was going, “Bucharest.” “To see family? he asked.” “No, I’m a WRITER,” I said!