Monday, September 25, 2006

Mark it off the list!

I only have two days before we leave for Venice. I was counting on nine! So I set out this morning with a list of things I needed to accomplish before Tuesday night. Actually only three but sometimes things take much longer than expected in Bucharest. After dropping Maria off at the gym at 8am I headed to the post office that is open early. I had two hours to run errands before picking up Maria and heading home to do school. I got postage for three postcards. Mark it off the list! As I was leaving I remembered that I could also pay our phone bill at the post office.

Now let me explain...normally I go to the actual phone company and pay the bill. I can remember doing this with my mom in the late 70s or early 80s. I turned around and started looking at the signs in the windows letting you know which line is for which function. I saw the Romtelecom sign and got in line. The man in front had out his bill so I was feeling confident. Then the cashier refused to do whatever it was he wanted. Oh no!! I was dreading the loud, "Nu". Which is no and I have waited patiently in line only to get this Romanian no with hands flung up as well! I looked at the lady behind me and pointed to my bill and asked, "aici?" which is "here?". She nodded, although her confidence was a little low for my liking!

When my turn came I stepped up boldly to the window and handed her my bill and the money. She started getting my change. Yahoo!!! I got my change, the bill, and my stamped receipt. Mark it off the list!

It was only 8:45am so I decided to attempt to get a haircut on the way back to the gym. I got to the beauty shop in about 5 minutes. Luckily I had a book with me I'm "pre-reading" for school so I leaned against a wall and read while keeping a wary eye on a stray dog that was keeping a wary eye on me!

About 9:10am I walked down the sidewalk and into the beauty shop. I asked for a haircut and made the universal scissor motion on my hair using my fingers. She said, "Da (yes)" then a long pause and in slow deliberate English "one hour - understand?" I said, "bine (good), I'll be back".

Maria actually got out about 10 minutes early. They were working on the roof and the noise was aggravating the coaches. So she changed and we headed back to the beauty shop. I sat down in the chair and hoped for the best. I explained what I wanted and the stylist nodded. She actually cut it like a normal beautician. (The last haircut took forever because the girl was young and I think she was intimidated by cutting the "American's" hair) It came out great! I walked to the counter to pay and she said "18 - I think that is right". I handed her a 50 Ron. She started making change and I realized she actually meant 8 ron! I paid her 10 which is around $4 USD. Mark it off the list!

We returned home in time to eat lunch and finish school before the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships came on TV. Maria is watching now and she says she'll finish her independent math assignment when it's over.

Now laundry and packing and we're off again!