Published: June 25th 2010June 21st 2010
I tried to get my second bag from my friend's place early on Monday so I could get the transfer out of the way and not be burdened with it on my last night in town. She graciously allowed me to leave it there during my last two weeks so I could more easily travel away from the city. But this day I waited too long to call and she had plans for the day. She reasoned quite the opposite from me so that I should wait to get the bag to have my day free when in fact my day was set to be emptily boring and the night is what I wanted without encumbrances. Still, I had to be patient and take a few cabs rides back and forth to get the bag, drop it and then go out in the night. It seems that during our phone conversation I said to call me as soon as she got back home and then I ran out of minutes and my phone went dead and I missed her saying to come around her place at 10pm instead. grrr...
I repacked my bags, so as to distribute the weight and got to bed rather late. The next morning I got a cab for the short ride to the bus stop at Piata Romana. I noted a "wrong turn" and then I noticed a "missed turn." I asked "unde mergem?" and he said "Piata Romana." Being rather familiar with the area I could see I was being "taken for a ride." After a third questionable turn I reached for his partially covered taxi ID to write his name down. An honest driver would have no problem with that, as that's why the card is posted. He literally tore it in half when he grabbed it from my hand and kicked me out of his cab. Naturally I didn't move until he got out of the cab, as my luggage was in his trunk. I then grabbed another cab and when he presented me at my destination in proper form I gave him an extra tip.
Lufthansa was not accustomed to people with such unusual luggage and balked at letting me tie two small bags together to make one large one and made me pay to have them plasti-wrapped on top of my strapping. It was a big mash-up, as they demanded payment in euros or lei and I had converted all my lei to dollars moments before.
The flight was exceptionally taxing. The first half dragged out endlessly. The plane was freezing cold in my section, which didn't help the growing cold that Bucuresti gave me as a parting gift. The flight attendants said the Airbus is notorious for horrid air circulation problems and this plane wasn't nearly as bad as the bigger models. I had a blanket tightly wrapped around my shoulders like someone's Aunt Matilda. I scarfed a lot of OJ and tomato juice and tried to make the best of it.
Remarkably - and for the first time in history - my bag was one of the very first ones on the carousel. Customs was a breeze though I told my .5 liter of tuica was actually illegal.