September 14, 2008

CouchSurfing Lugoj
Lugoj, Romania

We've arrived in the hometown of famous Dracula actor Béla Lugosi (whose real family name was Blasko; the stagename Lugosi is the adjective form of Lugos, the town's Hungarian name). Just in case you were wondering, the city name is pronounced loo-gosh (with a long O, like in the Brit slang for toilet, 'loo').

Our departure from Biharkeresztes was a smooth one—Teri was more than amiable once she knew we were leaving. Josef insisted that they drive us to Oradea to catch our onward transport instead of having to grab the early morning train from town. This was something we were quite happy to hear, as the quick journey by rail cost a small fortune because it was an 'international' destination, in addition to leaving hours before our connecting train headed south.

Over the course of our nine nights together, Josef had seen fit to donate to us two boxes of organic baby cereal that he'd come into possessing, courtesy some nuns handing out baby supplies (and kept on hand at the house for a family member of his with a young child). Some 13 packets of Hipp's waldFrüchte mix (German for something like 'woodland berries', I believe) has really been a godsend. Not only is this stuff quite expensive and an integral part of Aidric's morning breakfasts, but it's a great brand that he likes the taste of to boot.

The aggregate volume of these powdered cereal bags is a tremendous amount to be carrying around with us (each at 250g), but at no less than US$5/bag in stores, this constitutes as significant cost savings for us. For sure we've got enough cereal now to last us a good three months or so.

Sadly, we also learned the fate of Aidric's first friend, little Loco, on the way out of town. Upon asking, Josef disclosed that Teri had taken him in the car a few days ago and dumped him off in a field, far, far from the home. Poor little guy—his only mistake was coming into the house to see his friend.

We've got nothin' but love for Josef, but Tatiana wonders how he could've married such a "cowardly, two-faced bitch."

Lugoj

From the first moment I met him, it felt like I'd already known our host for years. Martin's no local, but a Danish fellow (my age) sent down to open and manage a small industrial vacuum pump manufacturing outfit (by the company he works for up north). Like many companies, Martin's is no exception in the pursuit of lower worker wages inside the EU member state borders.

Martin

I knew I'd like this guy from the moment he greeted us at the train station tonight. Not only did he take the time to grab us at 9:00 in the evening, but his car was a choice piece of machinery—a cherry red Mazda RX-8 (which his tall frame seemed just barely able to get comfortable in). Naturally, there was space enough in the truck only for Tatiana's massive pack.

Our new host listened while Tatiana and I chatted some about how long it would take for a car like his to go missing or get intentionally damaged in a city like Lima. On the Romanian side of the coin, Martin described how people seem to have a great love and respect for vehicles and the autos of others here—not a single problem since he arrived a handful of months ago.

Our bedroom

Tatiana's simply relieved to be with Martin. "It felt like I was drowning, and now I've been rescued," she quietly told to me.

His place is inside a cluster of ugly communist bloc buildings, but the living space is actually quite enjoyable. We've been given our own room, and have access to Martin's wonderful kitchen, company, and Internet. A lover of music, red wine, and movies, and the Simpsons, the man has style to spare. We've got a lot in common, and he's surely going to be great guy to spend some time with.

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