We’ve spent almost 3 months in Romania so far, with the lion’s share of our time in Transylvania. Ever since I was a little kid watching monster shows, I’ve wanted to be in Transylvania. And we got to be here for Halloween! While it was completely a nonevent, it’s just fun to say we were here for that holiday.
Romania has been an unexpected surprise really. I figured I would like it, but I didn’t anticipate completely falling in love with the country. Even though it does need to get past that whole homophobia thing.
I think the biggest surprise was enjoying the food so much! In my mind, I expected lots of potatoes and bland dishes. Boy was I wrong! The food has been incredibly flavorful. The produce is the best I’ve had. Even Tigger fell in love with it all and has eaten things I couldn’t get him to before “because the food tastes so good here!”
When I asked Tigger what his favorite part of Romania has been, he didn’t pause an instant before replying, “The food!”
I had expected the people to be on the cold side. Sure, you’ll find some of them here, just like anywhere else, but for the most part I’ve found Romanians to be friendly, helpful, and kind.
I absolutely adore the blend of old and new, and how it’s like stepping into the past whenever you travel outside of the bigger cities. Sometimes even just by crossing the street in a city.
Grocery shopping has often been a bit of an adventure. There are about 50 different types of sugar in the store. Trying to find cream will go down as my #1 shopping memory in Brasov, though. I still laugh about standing in the dairy aisle staring at containers, my phone with the translation app in hand, trying to figure out which one was cream only to discover it is kept in the aisle with the boxed and unrefrigerated UHT milk.
I’ll also remember our joy at finding taco shells, even if the box did cost about $6 USD, and tortillas for burritos.
And it’s hard to be unhappy with stores consistently having 2 sides of an aisle loaded with different types of chocolate. Can we say dark chocolate with black salt? Oh. My. Gawd.
Although, I’m not sure why Romanians don’t seem to like peppermint or licorice.
There is so much culture and history in this country, and I love how mixed and varied the language is. Talk about a melting pot!
I will also miss stepping into Brasov’s historic town square to find something new, be it a surprise market, a 12-meter Christmas tree and lights, or some new festival.
Brasov has been the first place in a long time that has felt like home. It’s been a great place to just chill and enjoy the comforts of being “home.” And I can’t complain about the low prices for things either. Having a full kitchen and being in a place that sells whole turkeys made this year’s Thanksgiving even more enjoyable.
It’s hard to say goodbye to Romania, and especially Brasov, but at the same time we’re ready to hit the road again and experience new places, cultures, foods, and all that good stuff.
But don’t fret, Romania. It probably isn’t farewell, but more like until we meet again! No matter what, though, this place will always hold a special place in our heart.
Have you considered adding Romania to your list of places to see? If not, why?