Fountains a plenty

Slump, seemingly standing on a bridge in a Japanese garden
Holland, or is it?
Bucharest has an open air museum which is nice; when the sun shines
Lonely church
Alternative transport
Strike a pose
Ah, ain't it picturesque?
Hey, I don't know what it is either
A real Romanian wedding
I went in to exchange some money for only a couple of minutes but when I came out, my car was wrecked!
After developing the photo, I noticed Slump was also in the picture
Stopping for a beer on a rowing trip
On the water
'Looook into my eeeeeyesss...'
No entry
'Jeez, is it that big!?'
The House of the People
The House of the People
The House of the People from afar
Ceaucescu had an enormous fountain built in the center of Bucharest
A, well, church
Slowly, everyone oozed out of his compartment
Paris, I mean, Bucharest
'But... what do we do with the body?'
The grass on the other side...
Built in honor of Ceaucescu's wife, and still not finished
Michael Jackson problem area
Some of the Beast's insides
Taas obviously enjoyed his night on the train
Very nice facade
On the water
'Hello Budapest'

Bucharest isn't the most beautiful city you'll ever encounter. It's mainly huge, gray and in bad shape. The House of the People being the only really interesting landmark.

The House of the People, built by Ceaucescu in honor of, well, himself is the second largest building in the world, coming in second only after the Pentagon!

The building is absurd. Not so much from the outside, where its just a big ugly building, as it is from the inside. Granite everywhere, unbelievably large chandeliers and carpets, rooms the size of soccer fields and so on.

The building was (somewhat) finished in 1984 as the centerpiece of 'Ceausima', Ceaucescu's civic center. To accommodate the monstrous building, twelve churches, three monasteries, two synagogues and 7000 homes were bulldozed. When the first post-communist parliament moved in, the building was renamed 'the Parliament Palace'. However, locals still call it 'it' or the 'thing'. At times, 25000 people were working on the palace at the same time. It's a Monster. However, it's also very impressive.
When, some years ago, Michael Jackson gave a concert in Bucharest, he stood on one of the building's balconies, saying 'hi' to the crowds that had gathered: 'Hello Budapest'. Needless to say, Michael isn't really popular in Bucharest.

We staid in the same hotel the group had staid in when coming in to Romania. Easy and affordable it was right in the center of town. Close to all the nightclubs we would undoubtedly visit in the evening.

Half the group decided to take a nap first, when arriving at the hotel. The other half, myself included, did some sight seeing around town. Not that there's really much to see besides following the trail of the 1989 revolution. The city's atmosphere isn't bad though, relaxing, and with the sun shining, you can find a terrace on most street corners. Another Ceaucescu legacy is the whole city being littered with water fountains.

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Our two groups met at the House of the People. We had agreed to meet at 1300hours, at the front entrance of the House of the People. After waiting for twenty minutes, we decided to try and find the main entrance, where only a few minutes later we were able to join on a tour of the building. Leaving the tour, we bumped into the second group. Zwan, being part of that group had had quite a hard time getting from one place to the next, his knee still being injured from the game of soccer. They had tried to be in time but Zwan just made it impossible. When we met up with them again when they exited the tour, Taas had arranged an evening date with the guide; a very quiet Romanian girl going by the name of Monica. Last I heard, they're still in contact with one another and planning to go to Spain together…

It's a girl thing

The evening was good. We had dinner at a place called 'Bistro Atheneau', serving good, Italian style food for very reasonable prices. We had something of a feast.

Already during dinner, Taas had to leave us for meeting Monica. After dinner, we took a cab to Disco Club Maxx. After Maxx, we went to the Flamenco. Maxx, way out on the outskirts of town, Flamenco in the city center, the two couldn't be much further apart, not just geographically.

Club Maxx is frequented by students, the music played includes a lot of Spanish rhythms, (very good) cocktails start at $1 and there's an atmosphere of people going wild.

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Flamenco is frequented by whores and pimps (and us apparently), the music played is mainly house, a beer is no cheaper than $3 and almost everyone is trying to make a living. However, it is easy to dance with a girl at the Flamenco. But only for one dance and one dance only. After one dance, the girls always ask if you would like a bit more besides dancing. One, two and sometimes three pimps standing behind them, making sure she's not ripping off anyone, them particularly.

When I walked home from the Flamenco, three separate youngsters, each one about 20 years old, asked me if I was looking for a girl. The next day I learned that Taas actually had a very, ehm, close evening with Monica. Enjoying the stars and each other on one of the city's many outdoor benches.

Romanian girls, possibly even more so than Hungarian girls, know how to dress. The two discos we visited being perfect examples. Sure, at the Flamenco, most girls were dressed in see-through body stockings (or variations thereof) with high heels, moving like eels on the dance floor. But at the Maxx it wasn't much different, and here most visitors were students. But also the streets deliver an astounding portrait of Romanian beauty.

Then again, Romanians are awkward. Most of the Romanian guys we spoke claim to have multiple girlfriends. Meaning that most girls must have multiple boyfriends too. And for these well dressed ladies, the only objective really seems to be to take home a man, ASAP.

Which brings me to another point; What does your SO do what you don't know about? When Amalia, back in Beius, mentioned that Art looked very nice, I first asked for her hand to check whether she was married. She wasn't wearing a ring, and when I looked in her eyes, they confirmed the electricity she radiated when I took her hand. That, in addition to an earlier remark by her that I should get a girl in Romania made me not want to go any further. However, when I called Art over, she first started blushing but immediately mentioned that she was already taken. Which didn't seem much of a problem when she met up with Art again the next evening.

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Similar stories seem to be valid for Kelly and Monica as well, although all non-single Veti on the trip seemed to act very chastely.