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Friday, January 21, 2011

Departure Day -1

Sweaty day.

When I awoke today, seven shirts on hangers, a rack full of clean underwear and socks, and assorted toiletries stared across the room at me.  Around the corner in the foyer were two full bags, a large cooler, and an empty microwave box, the latter awaiting my finishing breakfast, and all awaiting carriage down to Klaus for their trip into Clujian storage.  My office was still littered with the case files and books I had brought from Plymouth to use in my teaching.  But also there in the office was the beat-up but still sound box they had arrived in (thanks to Fulbright and to Aline Cautis).  I had a packed my sportcoat and slacks, brown sweater, blue corduroy jack-shirt, and many other items in my black duffel on Thursday night, and it, too, awaited being hauled down to Klaus.

Daunting, to say the least.

Then, as my bleary eyes cleared, so did my foggy brain.  I remembered that Good Friend Gig in Fellbach would probably be willing once again to have nico-Schmid ship my book box to Rochester Shoe Tree Company in Ashland, as he had in 2009.  That took one problem off my to do list: finding a reasonably priced shipping company (Postal Romana asks $200 to ship a box filled with books, and only God knows if and when they might arrive).  As is so often the case, my spirit responded to the epiphany, and I got to work.

My only scheduled meeting today was at 11:00 with Mihaela Lutas, my vice dean at FSEGA.  Before that meeting, I had:
  • eaten breakfast, 
  • packed up the microwave, 
  • carried two heavy bags down to the lot and loaded them into Klaus' back and front seats, along with the tires that were already taking up much space,
  • recovered from his trunk my wheeled luggage carrier, as it would make transporting the Microwave and cooler far easier, 
  • gone back upstairs, loaded the last two items for storage on the wheeled carrier,
  • gone back down and completed loading Klaus for a later trip to Horaţiu's shop, where our "stays-in-Cluj-stuff" would be stored (Thank you, Horaţiu), 
  • showered, and dressed half-decently to appear civilized at The Faculty.
My meeting with Mihaela was to say "goodbye," but also to collect a business document from UBB that needed to be taken home to Plymouth State, but as it had not yet arrived from the headquarters of the University, we agreed to have a bite and a coffee in about fifteen minutes at the Panorama, a snack bar on the 6th floor.  It turned out to be more like thirty minutes, which allowed me to clean my office, and pack my book box.  amazingly, I had remembered to take my carrier with me to the fourth-floor office, so I loaded it, and wheeled it with me to the Panorama.  Mihaela and I had a delightful chat over toasted sandwiches and apple-carrot smoothies, called a "fresh" in Romania, which were fantastically good.  I had not tried that mix before, but I surely will again.  From there, we went down to Mihaela's assistant's office to see if Aniko had packing tape for the book box.  She did, and was most kind in bidding me farewell and a safe trip home.  Then, Mihaela invited me in to see Dean Dumitru Matiş, FSEGA's distinguished leader. The dean and I shook hands and bid one another goodbye, and then he handed me a book on the history of the University, and a medal commemorating the 90th Anniversary celebration of a Romanian Language University in Cluj.  (Prior to 1920, all university studies in Cluj had been in either Latin or Hungarian.)  These gifts came as a complete surprise, and are deeply appreciated.

So, still without the VIP (very important paper), but assured that there would be a call from Mihaela when it arrived, I drove a awkwardly-loaded Klaus out to Piata Unu de Mai, and found Starmax in its new offices.  It is a much-improved location, and features an elegant aquarium, as well as fresh paint, good lighting, and working heat.  Horaţiu helped me haul the items into his store room, and we tucked them into an out-of-the-way corner, stacked so as to minimize the floor space occupied.

For the record, Shirl, on our next stay in a Cluj apartment, we need not buy much kitchen stuff, nor pillows, only one towel (I kept one here for tonight), sleeping bags to use as comforters, desk lamps, a keyboard, a microwave, etc., etc.  I have not yet figured out what to do about the water pitcher, because I want it in my travels for the next five days.  So it will likely stay in Fellbach.

After we stowed the stuff, Horaţiu and I went to his local lunch-spot, where I had ciorba de burta and a couple slices of bread to round out my lunch.  Then the efficiency of the morning started to fade.  I said goofd bye to Horaţiu and beat my way back through Friday afternoon traffic to Economica II, only to discover at the gate to the lot that I was using Klaus' spare key, that I had put in my pocket to ensure its getting to Germany with us.  It had no clicker attached.  I couldn't get into the lot.  I called Horaţiu,  "Did I leave my leather jacket there, or in the restaurant?"  Horaţiu searched.  "It isn't here, give me a minute, I'll run to the restaurant."  Youth is beautiful, and Horaţiu is still young.  Shortly, he called back to say he'd found it at the restaurant, and my PSU hat, too.  "I'll be bacj in ten or fifteen minutes," I told him.

It took half an hour.  I tried a new route, and lost my way.  When I got there, my keys and jacket were intact, but only one glove was in the pocket.  I had expected to find both.  We walked back to the restautant.  No glove.  "No big deal," I told Horaţiu,"they are only $10.00 gloves from a catalog."  But they are new, and soft, and warm, and I was a bit bummed.

On my way home again, Mihaela called to report that the document had arrived.  I accepted her offer to have it brought across the street to the dorm.  I was wearing out.  Back at the dorm, I paid four months' rent ($267.00, total), and went up to my room.  There was the missing glove, lying on top of my sandals, where it had fallen when I put on the jacket.

I have finished packing, but for refrigerated meds.  I have downed a bottle of vin rosu sec in the company of a floormate, and together we have eaten my last foodstuffs.  I have chatted with Shirl, watched an episode of Foyle's War, chatted with Shirl on the Internet, and now, I am well and truly ready for bed.

Goodbye, Cluj.  Goodbye, Romania.  Goodbye, all you wonderful people that I have come to know, and have come to know better this fall than ever before.  I hope to return to see you all, yet again.  

1 comment:

Please use no profanity in your comments. My granddaughter and other young people will be reading this blog. Thank you.