Published: August 19th 2006July 28th 2006
I hoped to have a nice summer. I wanted to go abroad and have a unique experience. Things don’t always go as want them to. My plans changed and visiting France, England, Spain or Italy remained a dream for the winter period. However, I did have a “unique” experience as I visited Costinesti, a “village-town” on the shores of the Black Sea. I’ve visited this location before, but its appearance was a little bit different then.
Last year, strong storms and floods affected this place. I saw it on TV. Costinesti was devastated. The big Obelisc (or Obelix as some call it), which is the symbol of this resort, was hit by enormous waves and dragged on the beach. The local houses were underwater and many people died. They were afraid for their lives, but for the future as well as their source of income was no longer viable. Misfortune did not kneel them. A year later, they had fixed almost everything. Students and young families, the tourists of this region, came back to their favorite quiet resort hoping to have as much fun as they did the year before.
BIG MISTAKE! You would normally be inspired and feel
pity for these people, but it is not the case. I should have realized that even if effort would be made to bring back the tourists, this is still Romania. It is a beautiful country, but some people here are simply disappointing. As you can imagine, the trip was problematic socially speaking. This is how it started:
We reached our destination after the TRAIN was 50 minutes late (talk about wonderful services!) and started searching for the green villa. We had made reservations and the owner was expecting us. It’s needless to say that the direction in which he had told us to go was wrong. We finally found it, after asking around for help and walking through the awful midday heat for almost an hour. The building looked pretty well and we went in the yard to talk to the owner about paying and seeing the room. We waited some more and when he finally came he said that he had made a mistake regarding the price. It was of course a larger sum we had to pay. We chose an expensive villa this year because we decided to have better conditions.
There are all sorts of
options here for any pocket. You can try a room with no bathroom (meaning the bath is in the hall room and you have to share it with several other people), no TV and no refrigerator. Or you can have them all, at a bigger price of course. We chose a room with a bathroom, a TV and current warm water. The sheets were clean and everything looked new as the villa had just recently been built. I know it’s weird to talk about the sheets, but I have this phobia…I can’t stand other people’s sheets. I had my own with me anyway…
We paid a reasonable amount (we think)…100 RON (around 30$) each per day. Some of you (if you live abroad) may think that’s cheap, but if you consider that the minimum wage salary in Romania is about 100$ per month….it’s not cheap at all. We wanted to stay 10 days, but we decided to pay for 7 and, if we liked it there, to pay for an additional 3. We would let the owner know of our intentions a couple of days before, not to create any misunderstanding. Later, we kept our promises, but he did
not. His price changed again and we paid even more to stay there 3 more days. This is the famous Romania! They bargain for everything and, they even have a bad mouth….the owner told us while we were paying that we had ruined his weekend (when more tourists were coming from the close by capital Bucharest). He even mentioned wanting to rip off those people by asking for a way larger sum than what we were paying….You don’t tell that to your client….bad services….
The story with our villa did not stop here. The owner’s family insisted that we eat with them, even if their food was just as expensive as the one we served near the beach, in a restaurant. Their meal consisted in 2 common made dishes that had the same ingredients every day. At least, in a restaurant you can choose, but here we could not. They served chicken and soup. Of course, we only ate 3 times and I decided I wouldn’t anymore. Their chef (the granny) collected the money even before we finished eating, leaving us with a bad taste in our mouths….
There are more photos below