The U.S. Fulbrighters reconvened in Bucharest for two days, December 8-9. The purpose was touch base with each other and to let the Commission know what we had done during our first two months in Romania. We each spoke for about five minutes and, overall, were quite impressed with how much had been accomplished in such a short time. Acclimation seemed the biggest hurdle we’ve faced: new culture, language, and food; housing and transportation; and, perhaps most frustrating, the laborious residency process. We also commiserated about our “challenges” dealing with our host universities, most notably our problems with student class attendance and our hosts’ seeming indifference toward it. Unfathomable but very real.
On Thursday evening, there was another supper/reception of current and past Fulbrighters (U.S. and Romanian), but I wasn’t feeling well and opted not to go. (In a later post, I may write a bit about health.)
The next morning, we all got on a charter bus and had a tour of Bucharest’s main attractions, most notably the Palace of Parliament, which is the second largest administrative building in the world. Grand and impressive, perhaps, but more a reminder of dictator Ceausescu’s megalomania and vanity. Later in the morning we toured an in-city royal palace and then had lunch in the Old City at Caru’ cu Bere, which is famous for its history and architecture, but not for its food or service.