Since there was so much hiking the day before, I fancied a day that was a little easier. So staying in the city of Brasov, I went for a walk to the park, where there were stalls selling things from gingerbread to furniture. There was a section full of seats and chess boards with all these men crowded round playing each other, it seemed a really nice way to spend a sunny afternoon. I spotted a building that was mentioned on the map as still having bullet holes preserved from when 1989 protests were being broken up.
Later, in the town square, I was drawing people enjoying the day. A man and woman joined me on the bench, she leaned over to ask what I was doing (I presume that is what she asked, she spoke in Romanian) and once we’d established I was English we eventually got into a conversation about our different cultures. I was interested to see their views of living in Romania, not the shiny lovely bits proffered to tourists. They didn’t seem that optimistic about life in Romania, in fact most people from Romania that I spoke to said they wanted to leave and work in England. The people that I was talking to said that, yes we may have had a revolution, goodbye communism and all that but it’s still the same mindset, it’s still the same people running the show. I asked about the future, the next generation will change things surely? They didn’t think they’d see any changes in their lifetime. We also spoke about religion- they gasped in horror when I said I was an atheist… It seemed so odd to be odd in that respect. And relationships – it seemed a machismo culture. We went for a walk around the base of Mount Tampas, very green and refreshing just outside of the city. I very much enjoyed being in the city next to a wall of trees.