Tag Archives: Salina Turda

My Birthday, Moj Rodjendan, Ziua Mea

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So this post is a TAD late, considering my birthday was two weeks ago but I have been fairly busy so blame it on that if you like. My birthday tale starts on the eve of said day, November 4th. I had quite the PCRO moment when my mom and I were in the middle of baking what ended up being over 100 brownies, 50 cookies, and 50 other random food…things, my propane tank went out. It was around 1pm on a Sunday so all the normal places I would have gone to to get a new tank were closed. After about half an hour of calling around, I finally found a place that was open and a friend of mine to drive me to said place since a full tank weighs about 50lbs.

The actual day of was fun. I received lots of kisses, flowers, chocolates, and “la multi ani”s from my students and I treated them to the plethora of cookies that I had made the day prior. That night my mom, Mary, and I went out for a birthday dinner at one of the restaurants in town.

That week didn’t really entail anything else that exciting. My mom and I hung out in town and in school until Friday. Friday morning we caught the 5:30 am bus to Cluj to meet up with Meg, Megan, Nick, and Kevin to see my mom off and celebrate my birthday with my friends. The weather was pretty dreary and rainy so we didn’t get to do everything we had wanted. I had an interview with the International School in Cluj which went pretty well and that will hopefully be an option after Peace Corps. We spent the day hanging around the city center, going to the craft market and relaxing in a cafe over some vin fiert, hot chocolate and cheese plates. After the entire gang had arrived, we headed to dinner where my mom got to know some of my favorite volunteers.

Saturday morning, after seeing my mom off at the airport, the 5 of us headed out to the salt mine in Turda. If you recall from a post around this time last year, the cit of Turda, which is about 20km outside of Cluj, houses an enormous old salt mine that has been resurrected as a tourist attraction. We spent a few hours there walking around, riding the Ferris Wheel, and rowing the boats.

After getting back to Cluj, Nick told us of a microbrewery in the center that serves liter sized beers so naturally we headed there. The beer was great but what we didn’t know is that they make an amazing burger as well. As mentioned in many previous posts, beef is very hard to come by in this country, especially good quality beef, so when we bit into those burgers it was like heaven! We spent quite a time there enjoying each others’ company and finishing up our gigantic but very delicious beers.

After heading back to the hostel, we got ready, and headed to one of the many college bars in the center. To say the night was fun is an understatement. I even ended up getting to see Ioana, one of my very good friends and ex- students that is now at university in Cluj.

I’m so happy that I got to celebrate my birthday weekend with such an amazing group of people and I could not have asked for a better time. Oh, I forgot to mention, I was talked into wearing a hot pink tutu the night we went out since I was the birthday girl. It was absolutely ridiculous and all thanks to the one and only Megan.

P.S. I ended up getting ICED 4 times that weekend. For those of you who don’t know what that is, you did not attend a college in the states in the recent past. For those of you that do, this is how it happened.

1. Nick saying “LOOK! Some one shit in the plant!”…..ice

2. Found it in my purse at 10am after a shower…ice

3. Found it in Megan’s boot…ice

4. It was in the back pocket of a random traveler that was staying in our hostel…ice

Enjoy the pictures:

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So We Meet Again…

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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.