Tag Archives: Romania

Christ Church bloggy stuff

At some point reasonably soon, Mary is, God and Bishop-willing, going to be ordained as an OLM. I’m sure she’d appreciate prayers (and her loyal fans would appreciate a blog update 😉 ). [3rd attempt, hopefully the link will work now]

Intrepid Expat has finally arrived in Khartoum, and has started blogging – hooray! I’m sure she’d be happy to be prayed for too.

And Jane (blog pending, I hope) (*spot the subliminal subtle hint*) is off to vicar factory, today I think – definitely pray for her.

As for me – I fly to Romania a week today, and to the UK 2 weeks today! Will everything be done in time? Will I defeat the dastardly Man Flu before I leave? Will the Sibiu internet cafe staff remember me and greet me like a long-lost friend? Will I overcome my pathological phone phobia and speak to all the remaining scary people (who are fine and normal and lovely really)? Stay tuned ….

What it feels like in the thick of fieldwork

I have done another really excellent interview today (though I say so myself). At this rate I might even get a PhD.

I’m starting to feel that my Moldova data is going to be much better than my Romania data. Mostly because by the time I’d got to Moldova I had had 3 months practice and figured out what I was doing – some of my early Romania interviews are crap. My questions now are much better. Too bad I can’t go back to Romania and redo them all! I’m also thinking how, when I left Romania, I really felt like I had a handle on what was going on there with regard to my subject, and I felt really insecure when I first got to Moldova because it was a new place and I had to start again. Now I’m saturated with Moldova, and I tried (as an intellectual exercise at the bus stop this morning) to remember what I found in Romania. And I’ve forgotten lots of it! Fortunately the last week of my fieldwork is back in Sibiu, so hopefully I can refresh my memory (and have another dose of culture!).

I can’t believe I have such a short amount of time left. I leave Moldova in 19 days’ time! And leave Romania 7 days after that! Eek! There’s still tons to do (that’s why I’m in the internet cafe blogging, obviously).

Hooray for wifi!

For the first time since being in Romania I have found a wifi connection that actually works. Too bad I’m in the airport waiting to leave! Oh well.

I’ve been up since 4 this morning – had a very early flight to Bucharest (too far from Cluj to risk the bus or train) and then a 10+ hour wait before the flight to Chisinau this evening. I went into town to wander round for a bit, but it was so so so so hot I just came back to the airport to benefit from the aircon(and wifi). How sad is that?!

I’m a bit nervous about going to Moldova. I’ll be fine when I get there (not least because I’m being met by my best friend there), but right now, right this minute, I just want to go home and have a normal life for a bit. Not that 3 months of frantic wedding planning will be normal, but you know what I mean!

Once I get there though I’m going to be all excited and enthusiastic all over again. I hope.

Fieldwork realities

Today was a bit of a waste of time. I went to do an interview, and the woman I was supposed to be interviewing had the day off. Gah. So I went to see my friends instead, which wasn’t a waste of time, though sadly won’t be anything I can write up in my thesis! Hopefully tomorrow will be more successful.

Didn’t sleep too well last night – first night in a new bed (staying at the school), doing battle with an evil mozzie (it won, though I managed to squish it in the morning, blood everywhere, probably mine). So I spent much of this afternoon asleep to catch up, which means I’ll probably not sleep well tonight and then I have to get up stupidly early to catch the bus at 7am. Hopefully I’ll get back into a proper sleep pattern in Moldova, though as it’s as hot there as it is here I’m not going to hold my breath.

But – stop moaning! Life is good, I’ve seen friends, I’ve had an email from my parents which made me happy, and my supervisors have reassured me about my latest panic. So all is good. Now all I need is a snog, but will have to wait for that (less than a month, hopefully!).

Definitely no internetting tomorrow, maybe on Saturday if I can escape the airport for a few hours (I have a long wait between flights). Have fun without me!

Temporarily homeless

Well, I’ve left the flat and said goodbye to the (frankly utterly bonkers) dog for the last time. And as there’s still 3 hours before the bus to Cluj, where else could I go but the internet cafe? (I reckon I’ll have about an hour and a half left, which I’ll try to use in October when I briefly come back). I did, eventually, just about, get my life into my bags. But will have to do some creative repacking before Saturday. Sigh.

I’ve looked at everyone’s blogs, I’ve looked at facebook, I’ve looked at the ship, I’ve checked bloglines. I’m bored now.

Just wondering, like …

… how can one person accumulate so much Stuff in such a short period of time?

… how can said Stuff be packed in the available luggage space?

… what are TAROM’s excess baggage charges?

… how come people only really clean their house/flat properly when they’re about to leave?

… will I be able to use up over 9 hours’ worth of pre-paid internet cafe time before I leave tomorrow?


I should also say (I was going to add it to the last entry but got distracted by a HUGE moth, and then I was chatting with HD) that my thoughts and prayers are back home with all those affected by the floods in the UK. Unbelievable. Even while I’m moaning about the heat (and it’s not to be taken lightly – 15 people have now died in Romania because of the heatwave, and half the country’s counties are on “orange alert”) I’m feeling so powerless to do anything.

Stuck record

I know I sound like a stuck record, but it really is boiling here. Fortunately lower temperatures are forecast for later this week, though I’m not sure I like the sound of the (and I quote, translated obviously) “violent storms, gales and even hail” that are set to accompany the drop in temperature. It’s just one extreme or the other. I’m madly handwashing everything at the moment and hopefully it will all dry before the violent storms arrive.

The fireworks last night were a bit odd. I only caught the last 10 minutes of them, they were part of a stage show which featured dancers climbing ladders and men with no shirts posturing and looking anguished, to a soundtrack that was a cross between Jean Michel Jarre and expansive classical film music if you know what I mean. And then when it finished they started clearing the stage while playing excessively loud German heavy metal. Which made a bit of a change I suppose.

Tomorrow is my last full day here. I’ve finished all my Sibiu interviews, and have a couple at the end of the week once I’ve (temporarily) moved. I’ll be back in Cluj for a couple of days, staying at the school, and have one interview there and one in the town where I used to live years ago when I was an English teacher (in an office which is in the same street as where I lived, so that will be a real trip down memory lane, I’ve not been there for 11 years!). Then on Saturday I get up at stupid o’clock to fly to Bucharest, then have an all-day wait there before flying to Moldova in the evening. After tomorrow I’m not sure what internet access will be like – I doubt I’ll be lucky enough to have a good internet cafe like this 2 minutes from my flat any more, sadly. Depending on when the new people turn up to take over my little flat (they arrive the day I move out) I may have time to kill in the internet cafe on Wednesday before getting the bus, but I don’t know. I wonder if I’ll get twitchy if I can’t use the internet so much.

Groan. It’s *so* hot.


As it’s my last weekend in Sibiu, I thought I’d better do something a bit cultural. Fortunately the contemporary art gallery (part of the main Brukenthal Museum) is in my street, so I thought I’d call in there. It didn’t take long – one room with one exhibition (which was OK, but nothing amazing) and another room where they were installing something or other. The staircase was quite pretty though. I was a bit disappointed – I went to the main Brukenthal Museum, which is on Piata Mare, several weeks ago and thought it was a bit dull (lots of portraits of men with wigs), so was hoping this one would be better.

There are fireworks tonight. It’s the opening day of another festival here (now is it the Lyrical Art Festival, or the Free Theatre Festival? I forget, they’re both on and starting around about today). So I shall go to see them, though it’ll be my bedtime – I really like fireworks. And as I have been organised and have my two remaining Sibiu interviews scheduled for tomorrow (when museums are closed) I shall try to pop into the History Museum (which HD and I never did manage to go to) on Tuesday (my last full day here).

Anything to avoid packing. Argh.


I just find it very strange to think that if I wasn’t actually in Romania right now (where I’m wilting from the relentless heatwave) I’d be in Newport failing to go camping with the soon-to-be-outlaws because the Severn Bridge is closed, soon-to-be-sister-outlaw is cut off and soon-to-be-parents-outlaw spent last night on the motorway and are stranded who knows where. The world’s gone mad.

[Pants has already told me off on facebook for moaning about the heat. Sorry! I reckon I could spare 15 degrees to send over to Blighty, and will take half a day’s rain in return, then we’ll all be happy]

In other news, I think I’m the only person in the universe who has never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the films. It’s not that I think they’re evil, or anything daft like that, of course I don’t, I just have never ever got round to buying any of them. I do eventually, at some point in my life, intend to read them. Have you any idea what it’s like trying to avoid spoilers for seven books, not just one?! The new one was in the bookshop here (the English version too) and no queues at all – if I was an avid fan already it would have been a doddle to get hold of.