Monday, October 24, 2011

Ruminations on Toilet Paper (and other things)

Toilet Paper:
Romania seems to suffer from a dearth of toilet paper.  I have learned (luckily after being warned) never to leave home without tissues or some toilet paper.  Bathrooms in just about any public place never seem to have toilet paper.  Not on the train, at museums, or at my university.  In fact, the bathroom at my university doesn't even have a toilet paper dispenser.

There was a storm earlier in the week with really high winds.  It shredded this flag at the university.

Night Life:
I was never one to go to bars or clubs in the US, mostly because I don't drink much and would always rather do my homework.  Still, I am knowledgeable enough of clubs in DC at least to draw these comparisons among  clubs in the US and in Romania.

  1. In Romania, the party is still getting started at 1:00 am; in the US, many places have stopped serving alcohol.  Clubs in Romania stay open until 7:00 am or even 9:00 am.
  2. Clubs in Romania have much cheaper cover charges (if any) and free coat checks.  In DC, I once had to pay a $20 cover, and then they asked for an additional fee for a really creepy looking coat check.
  3. One club I visited had a buffet of free food.  That's no cover (since I'm a woman) PLUS free food!  And it wasn't lousy food either; they had chicken breast, deviled eggs, desserts, fruit, bread, cheese, and more.
  4. These cheap clubs that sometimes have free food are just as nice, if not nicer, than any club I saw in the US.

A menu at a bar.  Please note the price of the draft beers.  They have a beer for 3 lei, that's a little less than $1.00.

I witnessed this all first-hand this weekend when I went out to clubs both on Friday and Saturday with my new friends.  Josi is from Germany, and Angelina lived in Russia up until last year.  We had lots of fun dancing and hanging out together.  One of the best things is that you can go out, not drink, and still have just as much fun.  I never would have expected that I would stay out until 7:00am, but I did two nights in a row!  I can't say I want to repeat this same process every weekend, but it's nice to be able to go out, dance, and have fun and simply forget about time.  It was nice not to have to worry about time or deadlines.  It's 3:30 am at Angelina's apartment.  Do we go to sleep?  No!  We go out dancing!

Apparently students in Constanta just don't feel the need to attend class.  Of course that is a greatly exaggerated statement, but I can't help draw this conclusion after no one showed up to my first class last week and only 3 student were at my second class--and one of the students came an hour late!  i could help but ask myself: I am THAT bad a teacher?  Was my lesson last week so boring that no one wanted to come to my class anymore?  Why don't my students like me?!  Then, the next day, I had a decent showing, with students who actually were interested in discussing the topic I was presenting: success!  My life had meaning again!  Still, I can't help but be peeved that some students care so little about my class.  Some students are unable to attend class regularly because they have to work to pay for tuition; it's a vicious cycle.

This delicious treat is a dark chocolate cup and saucer with coffee cream.  It was sooooo delicious and cost less than $3.00!
Aside from these particular thoughts, it has been a nice routine week: teaching, Romanian class,a cafe with some new friends, spent time talking, watching movies, going to mass, and going dancing with friends.


  1. Not every culture uses TP. Have you learned how to use just water?

  2. I haven't. And while I know it would be better for the environment and more economical and helpful in situations such as these, I am just too attached to TP to do so.