I made it back to Mumbai and for once I wasn’t dreading it. I had a blissful stay in Bulgaria, I caught up on sleep, ate healthy, drank plenty of water (not from a bottle), exercised and took in beautiful deep gulps of fresh air, enjoyed the change of seasons (summer into autumn), painted, knitted and spent time with friends as well as making new ones. Participated in community events and worked at the meditation center in preparation for next year’s opening. In short, it was a wonderful and much needed respite from my existence in Mumbai and I hated to leave…I only get 90 days until my visa paperwork goes through.
From Bulgaria, Sus and I headed to Rome, Italy and again it was a surprisingly pleasant 6 days. I admit that Rome has never been even remotely on my list of places to see and I was shocked at how comfortable I was there. It ranks up there with Paris, France for me. I love places that seem to defy the time continuum and those are two places that have done it successfully. They have somehow managed to blend their ancient histories with their modern in an almost seamless way, they are neither too stuck in one or too removed from the other…if that makes sense?!. (at this point…I am not certain how much sense I am making because I am really not sure what day or time it is or if I really care to know).
It shortly fell apart by the time we reached Budapest, Hungary. Sus had been before and loved it and it was on my destination list and so I was excited at the prospect of experiencing this portion of our trip. We arrived late in the evening and were exhausted, we ate and retired for the night (it was cold and rainy anyway). I woke up sick. I am not sure if it was flu, food or too much jet-setting and I guess it really doesn’t matter. I was sick, it was a national holiday (and everything was closed), it was still raining and extremely cold. I was fine the day after but felt weak and couldn’t warm up. I saw the city by taking a hop on – hop off bus tour where I never hopped off and I am ok with that. I liked what I saw and I plan on going back. I like Budapest…I like any place that has more bookstores than cinemas and so it stays on my destination list until I have the chance to properly experience it.
Budapest to Bucharest, Romania. I wasn’t unfamiliar with Bucharest, We often travel through it on our way to Ruse, Bulgaria. We had always talked about stopping but never have until now. Romania has always intrigued me but I saw more of it than I really cared to on this leg of our journey and I am a bit disenchanted with it. I am not discounting the entire country just Bucharest. The issues I have with Mumbai I have with Bucharest; its just not a good match with me. Like Mumbai, I did meet some wonderful people in Bucharest and that was it’s only saving grace, but I am really not certain that I will intentionally go back. Due to our fun time fiasco in Bucharest we arrived in Mumbai a day later than we were supposed to which normally wouldn’t have been a bad thing, in this case it was a sideways move.
I am jet-lagged, facing a mountain of laundry, and have three very clingy cats to contend with. The dogs return in a couple of days and I get to explain to them that while I was in Bulgaria I rescued a puppy and so now they have a baby brother named Leonidas Maximus who is staying at a kennel/training center and being vetted so he can travel. I am sure they will be thrilled with this news.
Addendum: yesterday after I finished writing this I decided to fix myself a cup of tea and scroll through my photo file for a cover picture. I walked into the kitchen smelled gas and heard hissing. All I can say is whatever weird planetary thing has been at play the past two weeks is still in the works. Turns out that our janky little stove top in our flat decided to spring a leak (age and greasy cooking from previous tenets seems to have done the poor thing in), landlord is dragging his feet as usual. The oven hasn’t worked since we moved in 4 years ago. We have also had issues with the air conditioners and when we replaced them anyway, he had a fit. The electrical wiring is also an issue but that is everywhere here because they really don’t adhere to any sort of code or regulation specs. I am too tired to care at this point. Such is life you just got to roll with it! I have faith that next week will be better.
Photo: Green Glass Window