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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fulbright Orientation - Bucharest

(Happy anniversary, Shirl.  Today makes 37, going for 70!)

It was a slow-starting day, because yesterday and last night were so exhausting.

I drove yesterday from Cluj to Sibiu with new Fulbright artist Aline C.  On the way, I put her in touch with Victoria M., as Aline needs an apartment for the year in Cluj, and "our" old apartment in Piata M. V. is still available.

In Sibiu we picked up Charles H., fellow 2008-09 Fulbright alumnus who is this month finally getting around to going home to Illinois, and Staci D., and the four of us ate lunch at a great place just off Sibiu's impressive Piata Mare.  At the restaurant Charles introduced me to native Clujian and Lucian Blaga University English professor Dr. Eugen (?). (Charles, please send me Eugen's family name, as I would love to get to know him better.) 

We proceded to Bucharest, making a final stop for mici at the famous truck stop/grill in the mountains above Pitesti.

By the time we got to Casa Victor it was pitch dark, and raining.  I was put in the "room across the street."  It is a large room on the ground floor of the house in which Casa Victor's owner, Mihai Ioncea, grew up.  Last night it was the wrong place for me.  I needed familiar, and I got cold and strange.  The light switches were strangely located, and I fumbled for five minutes in the dark trying to find them.  The bed had only a sheet and a thin cover, no blankets.  And it was both cold and wet outside, and no heat on in the room.  And I was brain-dead from the 11-hour drive with straining eyes.

To make matters worse, as I lay shivering and trying to sleep, nature called, and I discovered I had eaten the wrong food somewhere that day.  I made ten trips last night, if I made one.  And I was feverish, to boot.

So, I did not rise to the wake-up call this morning.  I slept until 11, and arrived at the orientation some three hours late.  Everyone was very understanding, and I was able to meet the new crew of U.S. Grantees.  I was both surprised and pleased to see that the senior Fulbrighters this year included at least three of over 60 years, and one who is over 70.  I do not know if that is normal, or whether I started a trend.

Anyway, it appears to be a very good bunch, and I have offered my chauffering services to a couple of Fulbright couples, for weekend tours later this fall of my beloved Maramures and Bucovina.


  1. Eugen Gergely, Ph.D.
    Head of Department
    Department of British and American Studies

  2. Eugen Gergely, Ph.D.
    Head of Department
    Department of British and American Studies
    Lucian Blaga University



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