In addition to no signs - in any language on any subject- on the trams, trains, and busses (so there is no way to know - as a first time tourist what the next stop is), not even ads; and in addition to a high unemployment rate while public parks aren't mowed and packs of dogs run wild; another disconcerting aspect of Bucharest is "sincudashia". I have no idea how it's spelled - that's phonetic. Getting on the metro, there is a recording played inside the train and not outside the train: "attencia sincudashia" BANG. The "BANG" are the doors slamming shut as - not after - "...shia" is pronounced. If you hear ...shia as you are getting on the train - you are caught in the doors! As happened to us twice.
We've enjoyed our trip here, more because it's interesting than anything else. It needs lots of basic maintenance - but the city is filled with ongoing construction and re-modeling. But it's time to go.
There is a time in each of our trips, usually 3/4ths of the way through or so, when we miss our kids and our home and our friends more than the excitement of the next day. We planned for that this time: we move on to another city. We are nearing the end of our time in Bucharest and again we are there. The good news for me is the highlight place is later today: Ephesus! Paul wrote to the Ephesians: "For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His Will". I know that to be true. Today I asked Donna if she has a magic wand and could go back in her life and change things, what would she change? She asked me. I said "nothing. The battles I fought brought me here. God carried me through. I can't imagine better than now."
So, my longing for our kids and our house and friends is shoved aside. I'm going to see where Paul and John lived. Where John was when he wrote his most beautiful gospel.
Bucharest has been interesting. Not "interesting" as in "I'd like to spend more time here" kind of interesting. More like a composted pile of old leaves and cut grass from years ago with new life emerging from the corruption of death. Cecescu - the communist dictator until 1989 - tore down most of the 200+ year old buildings and replaced them with big, grey, standard concrete tombs. I saw some of these in Sofia and Belgrade and Budapest in 1973 but we didn't bother to go to Romania which was both a police state and Europe's poorest country. But in those other cities, the old and the concrete tombs stood together. Here, death won out and only now is life returning.
There are so many beautiful places in the world - more beautiful with equally friendly people.