This blog post is from the Carmich Travel Journal we’ve started and it’s from my husband’s point of view. I think you’ll really like his story telling, he’s really funny – you must have heard about the Irish charm… so, enjoy!
To be honest with you, I didn’t know too many things about Romania, apart from hearing about Dracula, Ceauşescu and Hagi. There are also other things like when Ireland beat Romania in the penalties, 25 years ago, but I’m really not going to talk about that. 🙂
What I will tell you today is about my first day in Romania, meeting my wife’s family. We flew from Dublin to Budapest (in Hungary) and then drove to Romania, through Turnu (Arad County). There, in that little village I met her grandparents.
The most shocking thing was that everyone was speaking a language I wasn’t familiar with AT ALL. It sounded Italian, Spanish and Chinese at the same time… don’t ask me how I’ve figured that out! The good part was that her grandfather noticed that I was confused so he handed me a tinny glass with a transparent-ish liquid that had a very powerful smell.
Obviously, I drank it without thinking, because I honestly thought it was tequila or something like that. I literally felt it go down my throat, intestines and end in my stomach. I’m not kidding, this thing is LETHAL. I found out eventually that it’s called “ţuică” (tsuica) and that it is a traditional Romanian drink, served before lunch. It’s made out of plums and it has about 60% alcohol. That’s why it burned so bad!
Otilia’s dad saw that I was still confused and he handed me another one, just to get used to it. By the end of the night I really think my Romanian was getting better because I believe I was talking that language and not English anymore!
But wait, there’s more. The best part of Romanian food is actually my favourite dish now… It is called “şniţel” (schnitzel) and what Otilia’s grandmother makes is called pure awesomeness. She makes the best şniţel in the world. She makes it with pork, or chicken and its basically a boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is tasty!
We arrived there pretty late, so we couldn’t visit anything, but I really enjoyed my very first night on Romanian land. Everyone was extremely nice to me and although we had the language barrier, we actually felt like we’ve known each other for a very long time. I felt like I had another home and I felt welcomed!
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