My first female Couchsurfing host in Romania
“Gypsies”, they said, “Pure kindness”, I answer!
Eastern Europe is convinced that they are thieves and gypsies, Western Europe doesn’t talk about them. The Western world doesn’t even know about their existence. We came up with an idea to travel there to explore that country, to get to know people, to escape from Polish university reality at the lowest costs. Maja and I bought tickets for 4,99€ (HolyRyanair!) and landed in Timisoara on Sunday evening. Our bus has just gone away and we were standing in the middle of the night with the only thoughts that we had to wait one hour for the next one. As you can guess, we hitchhiked and 5 mins later a car stopped. Three boys, who were getting their medical degree in Romania, agreed to help us. From the very first minutes, our conversation was live, full of jokes and flirting looks from the boys’ side. Later on, it turned out they had moved to the Eastern unknown country from Israel three years ago hoping to build a career in the Central or Western part of this continent.
– Give the address of your friend, we will bring you there! – without any fear we gave them the address, phone number of our host girl from CS. We were experiencing some troubles with finding it. Our driver stopped, ran to the nearest market, then to the bar and finally to a pizza house just to find the exact building with that number. In meanwhile I was texting our new friend that we were just a couple of minutes from the distinction. We exchanged FB with our rescuers and headed to Carmen.
She welcomed us with big hugs, showed the apartment, made incredible good green tea with extract of something similar to mint and added homemade Romanian honey. We were talking and talking and talking about Romania, Poland, Ukraine, other countries, national food (they have so many meals as we do stuffed cabbage leaves, lasagne and so on!), journalism, her work, and psychology.
The next day we met her flatmate – a young boy from Moldavia who spoke perfectly Russian and the first thing he asked:
“How is the situation with the war in Ukraine? How are doing guys?”
People, I have been traveling a bit and nobody anywhere ever asked me about our troubles right away. Most of the people think it has already been finished, others are surprised that such a thing as a war takes place in Europe. At that moment I felt that Ukraine has to look for the allies, not in the West!
Then we went for the walk in Timisoara that is a small, pretty city full of students and parks. To my mind, Romania doesn’t differ from Ukrainian towns. The appearance of parks is rather similar to forests with trees and grass growing everywhere – non-European style, I would say.
We couldn’t spend more time in Romania, however first impression got even stronger after our hitchhiking experience to Serbia. We were coming to out hitch point when a man sitting next to us in the bus started asking us about our plans and said that he would show us the stop where we could hitchhike easily and added that if something happened, he would drive us to Serbia right away, so no worries. The car catching in Timisoara was going slowly as we had a lot of competitors – most people in Romania move from city to city using thumbs. Professional travelers!
After waiting half an hour a man approached us and gave us two bottles of water, smiled and went away. Pure kindness!
One hour later a car stopped…