At exactly 2:30PM the train left-right on schedule. We had been traveling for about 15 minutes when the controller, or ticket checker walks by. We noticed he was not wearing the national CFR train uniform but didn't think much of it as we pulled our tickets out of our bags. (Hint number 2 we weren't in the right place.) As Freya hands him her ticket, he looks at it, looks at us, looks back at the ticket and says "Nu este bun." OR in English- "It's not good." WHAT? I say "poftim?" or "excuse me?". He looks at both of us and says again "Yeah, its not good. Where are you going?" "Timisoara!" Freya responds, confused as all hell. "Well", he says, "we're not going to Timisoara".
At this point Freya and I just look at each other, shocked, confused, horrified, scared. What does he mean we're not going to Timisoara?! Long story short, and with the help of the entire train car giving us information, we realized that we were on a local private train, headed out to the mountain villages in the East. Not South. Basically, the train we wanted was BEHIND this train on line 2-OBVIOUSLY, RIGHT? So once we figured out where we were headed, we had to figure out where to get off and get back on track to Timi. The lady next to us told us where to get off (Periam) and so at every station our faces were pressed against the cold window pane, trying to spot our destination. Finally, after about an hour of traveling in the wrong direction, we got off at Periam, a tiny village East of Arad. And so the adventure really begins...
|Heading into Periam...where are we?!|
Under the protective and watchful eye of the seful statie we walk towards the bar, and run right into a village crazie. Literally this man is walking up to us saying "fetelor! fetelor" with basically translates to "girls! girls!". Yes sir, we are ladies, but we want nothing to do with you. Freya and I have a short discussion in English, muttering under our breathes "What do we do? do we turn around" BUT THERE IS COFFEE IN THERE!" We move away from the man, turn around at least three times to walk back to the station but decide he's probably harmless so head back to the bar. At this point, he beats us to the punch and runs into the bar yelling "the girls are coming! There are girls here!" Wonderful. We wait until he leaves and enter the bar.
As we enter, all eyes are on us (thank you messenger man) and we (dragging our packs) decide a beer is definitely in order. We order a beer, turn around to find a seat, and realize there are no free tables. Integration right? So we sit at the end of a long table where we were offered a seat and open our Ciuc beers. After a few sips and awkward glances, the seful statie walks in with some friends and announces our presence again. "These are some American girls, they got on the wrong train and now are here with us!" Wow. So at this point conversation is started, and before We know it, Freya and I are taking pictures, discussing British English v. American English, and insisted that Freya's camera was NOT $1,000 as they kept insisting. After some time at the bar we were invited back to the station where we could wait by a cracking soba fire until our next train arrived.
|The bartender and our faithful station master.|
|Freya enjoying her Ciuc.|
|Pulling away from Periam, there's the station master!|
We're considering making a trip back to say thank you-this time on purpose.
Sara & Freya
|Back on track! Heading to Timisoara finally.|