Romanian Living Blog

An expats working, socialising and living blog of thoughts and adventures delved within Bucharest and further afield in this alluring yet often baffling country.

RLB 6: A Family Visit and Surreal Football

Time period: 30th October – 29th November 2016

The last day of October brought a surprise visitor to Bucharest, my sister flew over to visit for a few days. Of course the surprise was not that she was there, she had informed me previously and I was aware of the visit. The surprise for me lay in the fact I never thought I would see another member of my family in Romania, specifically whilst I am here also.

The visit unfortunately came at a peak time of busy-ness for myself, subsequently most days I left her be to venture and explore with the late evenings free for us to chat and discuss over the latest family news. I tried to gauge my sister’s opinion of the city but she did not detail such strong thoughts regarding Romania’s capital; although she did note how convenient Mega Image is.

Regardless of her thoughts about me living and working in Romania itself it was pleasant to spend some time with her and enjoy a family visitor. Should another family member stopover indeed it would be equally surprising yet delightful also.

The rest of November seems a long blur, my schedule overload took its toll for sure, days were long and I had not been having the best nights of sleep partly due to noisy neighbours; this lack of sleep with travelling to various places and work locations with an abundance of planning and other smaller work related tasks certainly made November a challenging month to conquer.

This tasking month was overcome with motivation, a little chocolate and a lot of coffee -many more cups were devoured than usually drunken.

At times I found myself quite frustrated; frustrated with people, work, little tasks, commuting and even the city; the frustrations are not always warranted but when sleep deprived we tend to think less rationally. Luckily certain commitments are ending or ending soon and frustrations can be released through differing methods.

A release of stress that I find works for me is sport, I continue to play squash which is great to rid oneself of anger and work/life related grievances – there is something rather satisfying about smashing a ball as powerful as possible against a wall.

Another sport I partook in this month was football, okay not the most variant of sports with a multitude of people playing worldwide but it was quite an unusual outing that occurred for me this month.

I found a group that meets weekly to play football and I was interested in partaking, so one bitter Sunday morning I went along to a newishly built AstroTurf pitch, the pitch was in great condition but it was rather close to a some nearby train tracks. There was no real danger from the trains hooting by, just slightly strange to witness, although this whole experience was rather bizarre to begin with.

Mostly the other guys were in their thirty to forties but they were skilled enough with 1 or 2 of them having played professionally at lower leagues elsewhere.

It was 6 a side football with three teams interchanging, I was informed a few foreigners come along now and then but today there was I and one other player representing the international cohort, the rest of the players being Romanian.

I understood a lot of the words spoken on the pitch, well there were a few curse words being thrown around with Latin/Baltic tempers flaring up the cold winter’s air. The tempers and disputes stayed on the pitch however and were quickly pushed aside for the enjoyment of the game.

This is what I appreciated about these players and this football outing, the majority of them wanted to play for fun, to socialise and to simply enjoy the game, consequently there was a friendly relaxed vibe.

The atmosphere was relaxed but it was a rather surreal occasion when I thought about it midway through the session; my mind wandered asking itself how did I end up playing football on a foggy November’s morning with Romanians in the North of Bucharest whilst trains whistled by merely 20 or so feet away from the pitch; this moment soon passed however as the ball rolled my way.

A more bizarre surreal moment was to produce itself after the football had ceased; during the games a nearby BBQ had been cooking up. After the football there is an option to stay and eat the prepared BBQ food with some drinks to socialise, I stayed to be social, plus I was rather famished at this point.

It was quite a strange situation to find myself in, the nearby changing room barely big enough for more than 8 people suddenly had a table with around 12 people, plenty of meat and some Romanian wine to top things off.

I planned on staying around an hour and to have a glass of wine, Romanian hospitality being what is I found myself staying 3 to 4 hours with glasses of wine being consumed, my peers insisting and pouring more of the home made red into my glass. The wine certainly was tasty but left me with a slight headache later on and myself questioning whether I dreamt this situation as well as wondering how it happened.

It was an enjoyable outing of course and one I care to partake in again in the future, however maybe more football will be played next time and less red wine consumed. Maybe………..



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