Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

9/29/09

Romania Series: Getting There

At the train station in Bucharest headed to Ploisti

Well... it was a rocky start to a fantastic vacation.

My original itinerary had me leaving Reno at 1:20 pm on September 14th flying to Salt Lake City with a 2 hour layover then on to Paris where I was to have a 4 hour layover then on to Bucharest, Romania where I was supposed to land at 7:50 pm on September 15th. What actually happened was that my plane leaving Reno had a broken backup compass and could not take off unless it was working properly. The Airline let us know that they were flying in the part from somewhere else, but that we would be delayed 4 hours. So nonetheless my original itinerary was blown to shreds, before I even left Reno.

I ended up leaving Reno and flying to Salt Lake on the evening of September 14th. In Salt Lake the airline set me up in a hotel for the night. The hotel was okay, but I was really nervous about getting a hold of my sister, Erin, in Romania and letting her know I would not be there when she expected. In Reno, I used the free airport telephone to leave a couple of messages with my mom and with Dan, but I hadn't been able to talk with them directly and was nervous that they wouldn't get the messages in a timely manner. Luckily the hotel had a guest computer and I sent Erin an email and CCed it to mom and Dan. I was still a little nervous that Erin might not check her email before she left her city (Sfantu Gheorghe) to head to Bucharest. So, later that night I was able to get a hold of Dan and he and mom were able to use skype to call Erin's phone. She answered and we were able to work everything out, which put my mind at ease. I couldn't believe that I was supposed to be half way around the world and I was not even half way across the country, in fact I had only made it to the neighboring state.

The next morning, September 15th, I caught a plane to New York. I then flew on to Rome and finally onto Bucharest where I landed at 1:50 pm September 16th. So with all of that, I ended up getting to Bucharest about 18 hours later than I was supposed to. However... that was not all. When I got to Bucharest I found out that my baggage hadn't exactly followed me. My belongings were still in New York for a reason unbeknownst to me. They told me that they would deliver my stuff anywhere, however since Erin's town is fairly far from Bucharest and we were planning on traveling we thought it wise not to travel too far from the airport.

In Pliosti without my stuff

A good Peace Corps friend of Erin's lives in Ploisti, just north of Bucharest. She was wonderful and let us stay at her place until we figured out my baggage situation. On the evening of the 16th Erin and I walked around Ploisti. We went to the piata - a huge fruit and vegetable market that I am soooooo jealous of. Later we tried calling the airport to see if they had any info on my stuff. They wanted to talk to someone who spoke Romanian, Erin tried to speak to them, but they had trouble communicating, so they simply told us to wait for their call. Suzie, Erin's friend, thought that if we hadn't heard from the airport by tomorrow morning we should have her counter part call and talk to them.

The Piata - yummy!

The next morning we still hadn't heard from the folks at the airport so we had Suzie's friend call them, which worked out great. My baggage had arrived and she was able to set up a meeting place and found out that they would call my sister's phone once they arrived in Ploisti. So, around 2:30 pm on the 17th I finally had my luggage and was able to start my vacation - about 2 days after it was originally supposed to start.

All in all it wasn't too bad, just a bit frustrating.

2 comments:

danwinnemucca said...

ugh! i can't believe you spent the night in SLC, but at least it worked out! : )

Erin said...

i knew something was amiss the moment you walked out of the airport gates with only your little camel back...you're a light packer, but not that light! ploiesti is definitely an "industrial" city that almost entirely gets skipped by the tourist radar, but, being our training site, it'll always be a special place for me. i'm glad you got to see it and meet suz and luckily it all worked out quite well :)