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Hello from the land of Costanza where everything is the opposite of what you think, it’s called Constanta, Romania. Today, took a bus from Varna, Bulgaria to Constanta, Romania. Woke up and was going to go to Sozopol as I hear it’s “lovely this time of year” but met a guy who was cool and I could tell was an ex marine going to Romania, decided “screw it”. Showed up to the bus station and if there was room, Romania it was, if not, more of Bulgaria. Could have gotten stuck in Bulgaria, more on that later.
The bus will cost you 40l which is about 20 euros. It should take about 4 hours or so, expect to rot at the Romanian, Bulgarian border, took forever. So first thoughts on Romania!? Not what you thought, not what I thought, not what anyone thought.
Before we begin, check out the wikipedia on Romania. The average annual income is about $11k, so not a lot. The income distribution is quite poor. The cars on the road I have seen are decrepit or brand new imports, lots of imports, lots of flashy cars. Also it’s considered in the upper middle of countries around the world but still poor by European standards. That said, countless countries in the world are in really bad shape so if you’re from Western Europe, North America or Australia, yeah it’s developing, anywhere else and it’s prime time.
For starters, yes there are all sorts of dreary ex communist buildings, communism really was a buzz kill and lame social order, wasn’t it!? Yes, there are some shifty looking people but no more than in downtown Winnipeg. Apart from that, lots of nice looking people living their lives and incredible bargains when it comes to accommodation, food and drink. Just got back from the Irish Pub which is an Irish Pub on the inside and a classy patio in the back. Had a wonderful meal with a pint of beer for 7.5E. When I say lovely meal, I mean a starter, quality main and a pint in a respectable venue, not some run of the mill filth (have been known to frequent both, FYI). Also, bought a 2.5L of beer at the grocery store for 1.5 euro, say what!?
Sat next to a Romanian gent who works in Bulgaria. He explained a few things including you should watch your wallet. Ok, I asked him and he said “this isn’t the wild west but yes, be aware”. Then I asked, “do I look like a target” and he kinda laughed saying “not really, you look normal” aka I look like some random Joe with a beard, no watch or ANY signs of wealth. There are resorts here he said that attract people with flash and they are the main targets but anyone can get picked off really. Just so you know, this is the case throughout many cities in Europe.
Just got in, no real photos, most from the bus.
Yes, believe that is it for now.
P.S: Also eat tripe soup in Bulgaria today, not recommended, at all.