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Published: August 28th 2007
We had heard acount couchsurfing from a few people but it was the German hicthhiker that really convinced us to give it a go. Basically its a website with people who have a couch or have some space to accomadate fellow travellers. A great resource for travellers as it gives the opporunity to meet local people and also have a free nights accomadation. Our couch surfing host in Timisoara was Rasvan, a Romanian who studied in Timis and is now working for an IT company there. Rasvan is true gent, he had some friends up from his home town that night and Shilpa made us all a curry which went down well with everybody. Rasvan took us into town with his mates for a few beers and we had a fantastic sleep on his very comfy couch.
For breakfast Rasvan made us a delicious omelette from his fathers recipe with a feta like Romanian cheese. That afternoon he took us out to a farm about 30km from town where a friend of his, Paul, has set up an NGO for volunteers and to bring some young people to the village. We spent a lovely afternoon relaxing and having a BBQ
On the road to Stanicova
Rasvan took us out to a village in the countryside where his friend lives and runs a volunteer farm.
with Rasvan, Paul and his family. Pauls wife made a lot of teas, jams and of course alcohol from the plants that grew in the area. As is the custom in a visit to any family house in Romanina to have a shot of the homemade Plum brandy we had to oblige. It was good!!
Interestingly, all the farmers in the village get their Plum brandy distilled by the priest at the church. After the revolution in Romania when a lot of things were been looted in the villages, the priest made sure to protect the distilling equipment and kept it in the church.
Pauls NGO has another farm in the Village were he said we could camp in the van. The project of renovating was being led by a french volunteer, Pascal. At that time there were two other french volunteers working there for a coulpe of weeks aswell. As soon as we had the van parked up in the farm yard we discovered we had a few language barries in the group, but we could also tell immediatly that the 3 french dudes were good guys and that we would get on well with them.
Curry with Rasvan and his mates
Rasvan, our couchsurfing host, with his mates who were visting for the weekend. Shilpa made a curry which went down well with all.
We dug out a few bottles of wine from the back of the van and the french lads carried the table out to the yard. After a few hours of great conversation on subjects from travel and food to religion and politics and everything inbetween, and after the wine was finished, Pascal suggested we head down to check out the local pub. It was after midnight at this time but Pascal stood on the wall, saw the light was still on in the pub so we made our way over. The 'pub' was a room in one corner of a building that was also the local school and church!! I like the way they keep all the important local services in one building!
Conversation in the pub was a crazy mix of languages. Me and Shilpa speaking english with the younger two french lads. The lads speaking French to each other, Me speaking German to Pascal(who didnt have much english), Pascal speaking Romanian to the locals, who were speaking mostly Serbian to each other, as this village has been mostly sellted by serbs. It would have been very confusing if not for the beers!!!
Needless to say we
The Village of Stanicova
The farm we stayed at is the house in the middle at the back.
woke up the next morning with a hangover. Shilpa us made us an indian brunch which everybody loved. During conversation with Pascal I discovered that he was learing how to make baskets from the local village basketmaker. I told him about my dad being a basketmaker and he was interested in the type of baskets from Ireland. So I did my best to remember what Dad had showed me and spent the afternoon making a basket with Pascal taking notes and frantically sketching diagrams. The village baskermaker even called over and made a few gestures that seemed to be positive. Leaving Romania
Later that afternoon we reluctantly left the farm and later that day left Romania. We had a very happy feeling had such a wonderfull time on the farm and in Romania as a whole, but we were also very sad to be leaving Romania, a truly fascinating country that we both loved. Shilpa shed a few tears as we drove out the dirt road from the farm and Im happy to have left my appendix to Romania 😊
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