After the hustle and bustle that started with counterpart conference, I am more than thrilled to say that this week was quite mundane and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Getting back into the language groove after site visits was fairly difficult for the group as a whole. At least one person in my class was “off” every day and we just felt defeated most of the time. Friday we had a practice LPI exam which we were told mimics very closely what we will see in our exams in a week. I felt I did alright but definitely not nearly up to my potential. I find it difficult that our language skill can be measured in a 20 minute conversation discussing and comparing our families and our cities and then having us ask some questions to the interviewer, but oh well. We find out tomorrow how we fared and that will help me gauge how much I need to study this upcoming week.
There isn’t really much to update all of you on. There was a music festival in town this weekend so my nights were spent in the center then followed by nachos at the Celt ( it’s the little piece of America that we all crave every weekend). My host family took me to the salt mines in Prahova County today and that was definitely a new experience. I didn’t really know what to expect but when we got down there, my business loving side was blown away. The county has created quite the money make with this salted underground cavern. On top of paying an entry of 14lei per person, there is a snack bar, gift shop area, a few scooter type rides, a section of twin beds that can be rented out, ping pong tables, and pool tables all that cost money. I would have never expected to see either of the latter 200 meters below ground but they are there and they seem to be cash cows.
The story behind this mine is that it was used between 1943-1970 before the “new” mine was built close by. The total excavated space occupies about 3 million meters cubed and has a depth of 208 meters which the dinky little elevator spans in 90 seconds. The mine temperature is a constant 12 degrees Celsius year around.