Saturday, November 10, 2007


It's raining "cats and dogs" today in Bucharest.... so since it was nice out, Mikie and I hit the streets this morning. The van's at the mechanic again (don't ask) so we went public (transportation, that is). I needed a new warm sweater and decided Obor was the place to be. Piata Obor is a massive old collection of buildings that sell everything imaginable.

To get there, we took the Metro a few stops, changed trains and went a few more. Fortunately, the Metro spills out into the street in front of the place. Once inside, we wandered through the countless corridors of lamps, sweaters, mop buckets, shoes (my, how Romanians must love shoes by the numbers for sale), lingerie, carpet, watches, plastic stuff, linoleum, cigarettes, pastries.... you get the drift.

I did find a sweater I like and we got it. After all the hoopla, we stopped for a bite to eat at a little place there. Now, the real adventure was trying to find some "express bus tickets" to use to get to the airport tomorrow. Probably close to 3,000,000 people live in the city, but only ONE booth in ONE place from ONE window and ONE lady in the ENTIRE city can these tickets be found. As you can guess, it was NOT where we were.

The lady at the RATB booth (that's the public transportation people) told me to go to Piata Universitatii - so we took the subway there. Once there, and after a torrential rainfall that broke our one umbrella, we were told by another RATB lady, go to Piata Romana. So we go back underground to go there. Finally came up and out again and there it was.... the right ticket lady. Like hunting and gathering! If you look at the post a few below about the Coca-Cola bottle, that's where we got the tickets ....on the sidewalk, just to right of the Coke bottle and out of the photo is the ONE booth for all 3,000,000 of us!

Tomorrow, Karla from NewSpring and her brother Andrew (not to be confused with Brother Andrew) are arriving "cu avion" (by plane) at Otopeni and (since said van is at said mechanic) I must get there by public. The airport is a good hour away that route. But, I have the tickets to get me there and get us all back!

Mikie, by the way, was a REAL TROOPER all soaking wet!


Amy said...

I laughed and cried a little on the inside for you guys. I had a similar encounter with RATB over where I could my transit card recharged. Oh the joys of Eastern European bureaucracy!

becky said...

FYI - I got my ticket for the express bus at Piata Victoriei, right next to the bus stop where I wanted to get on the bus. Glad you were able to find them!

The Book Guy said...

I mentally followed your path and smiled several times.