Cluj, the closest big(ger) city to my site and the place where I find myself very often. I got talked into coming into town for the weekend to hang out with some fellow volunteers that I don’t get to see very often. After spending most of Friday night attempting to pack for a 10 day trip, I headed to bed around midnight only to be woken up far too early at 4:30 by my alarm. I set out to catch the direct bus to Cluj that leaves at 5:30 and ran into some of my students. This was a pleasant surprise being that I wouldn’t be bored during the 3.5 hour ride. Other than just hanging out in the old center and enjoying each other’s company, Saturday was spent visiting the Turda Salt Mines about 45 minutes outside of the city. I had already been to one salt mine in Ploiesti during PST with my host family and assumed this was going to be the same thing. Large, cavernous rooms filled with random signs explaining the history of the mine and some form of half-assed, overpriced amusement. Boy was I wrong. This mine not only had a put put course, bowling alley, and pool tables. It also had an amphitheater, lake, and full sized Merry-Go-Round! When we got back from Turda, our main goal was dinner and warming up. We found Chinese restaurant which was a pleasant surprise and then headed out for some cheesecake and vin fiert. Have I mentioned how much I love cities and the fact that you can find Chinese food and cheesecake in them!?!?!
Today(Sunday) was the designated “American Day”. We headed to the large mall where we ate at Pizza Hut, drank Mountain Dew, and watched an American movie. We walked around the city center a little bit and enjoyed the lights along with the holiday fairs that are going on and made it back to the hostel fairly early. Tomorrow Jeremy, Matt, and myself have an 8 hour train ride to Sinaia (The city where we will be attending our In-Service-Training conference for the next week) awaiting us that we are not looking forward to enduring.