Wednesday, September 19, 2012

busy day and 5 modes of transport

Today has been a busy day with much walking involved, along with 4 other forms of transport.  My day began at 8:30 when Alina and I walked to catch the tram to Piata Obor, once the largest open air market in Bucharest, not much of it indoor.  The fruits and vegetables were very fresh and there were also meats, including some “wild, from the forest”, cheeses, and household goods.   I saw people buying milk from large containers that they put into 2 liter, plastic, Coca Cola bottles.  Vendors were often willing to provide a taste of the product prior to purchase.  I bought a kilo of fresh walnuts – the BEST walnuts I have ever tasted! (I think, simply because they were so very fresh.)  I also purchased a leather belt to hold my pants up – I have already lost a little more weight since leaving home.

We got back home at 10:30, which put me running late.  I woke Amanda, asked her to put away the foods I had purchased, and quickly changed clothes.  I walked to my university, SNSPA, a quickly as possible, arriving just in time for my 11:00 appointment with the Dean of the School.  Dr. Diana Cismaru, whom I met last year in the US, is head of the Communications Department and I will be working under her.  Dr. Alina B… is head of the 4 departments that make up this school.  I was welcomed and then given a brief tour of parts of the school, an old building with many stairs.  Diana showed me her office, which she shares with another departmental director, and took me to their bookstore, a very small space that carries books and journals published by faculty members.  I was given a handful of English language journals to read as a way of learning a little about the research interests of my new colleagues.  I walked back home, a little more leisurely this time – it is a 20 minute walk that way, which suggests to me that it is a distance of about 1 mile.

After thanking Amanda for what she had done and fussing at her for not completing the job J, I had lunch and took care of a few tasks around the house.  At about 2:30, Amanda and I left together, combining bus travel and walking to get to SAE Institute, where we met with the director.  Amanda had learned of this place while we were still back in the US – it offers both degree and certificate programs in several areas of digital film production.  The director was a young man, but pleasant and forthcoming with answers to questions.  I think Amanda may start a 6-week course in Film Production there in mid-October.

The original plan was to then take Ralph out for a nice walk, but Amanda was too tired from her one outing and I was too tired from my 3 to take her dog.  So we relaxed and took care of computer tasks instead, providing Ralph with a short outing in the garden.  At 7:00 pm we left again, this time by foot and by metro to connect with an “Eat-up Meet-up” at a Moroccan restaurant.  Again, Amanda had located this group - English-speaking folks in Bucharest who gather once or twice a month to go out to dinner - while we were in the US. It was a small group – only 6 others besides ourselves and so conversation was easy.  There were 2 folks from the Netherlands, one doing an internship at the Dutch Embassy and one who has relocated here for wider employment opportunities; one originally from Costa Rica who has been living in Bucharest for 3 years; and the other three are all Romanians who have travelled/lived in other parts of the world.  The food was good and the conversation stimulating.  Our departure time being close to the end of the running of the metro meant that we came home by taxi, the fourth and final mode of public transport for the day.

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