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 9: Spring Time Dancing, Exquisite London (Club) and Becoming Trapped

Time period: 1st February 28th February 2017

As February springs upon us so it would appear in the latter weeks of this month that spring has also sprung its way into Bucharest; the chaotic snow upon its arrival soon turned repugnant grey and following this warm days melted the remaining clunks of snow into past thought.

February; time and again referred to as a short month, certainly it is the shortest but it is strange how a few less days can make a month seem to whistle away as quickly as the tune of it has started to play. A tough month in ways but also a jubilant one.

The month encompassed old experiences and work as always but new ventures moved the senses also; one such moving adventure was dancing. I never anticipated I would dance in Romania’s capital city but life is a funny and unpredictable undertaking.

It started with an invitation to a taster session one Sunday, this session of around an hour introduced basic steps to three differing dances; Salsa and Bacha were two and the third one escapes me. The taster session was great fun, so much fun I signed up for the beginners course taking place the following week; the course was a mere hour twice a week for four weeks. Each week would introduce a new dance such as Salsa or Bacha and overall I believe I learnt the steps quite quickly.

A challenge for me was with the fact the course was naturally taught in Romanian; I have a basic understanding of Romanian and soon learnt want the commands meant – such as pirouette which is pronounced similarly in Romanian.
The difficulty was often that my brain would sometimes translate or remember the instruction which sometimes took an extra second or two, granted a second is not much but when you are in rhythm and following specific steps it can throw you out of sync.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt more confident from it with improved posture I hope also. I found to begin with I was too stiff and overthinking the process, things improved once I let go and felt the beat of the steps rather than counting or monitoring my feet.

I gained good vibes from the course and understand why people partake in dance courses or competitions which is a common occurrence here in Romania; for now however February held enough dancing for me but the future may garner more dance courses.

Away from dancing I took a visit to London – not London England but to London billiard club in Bucharest; as expected at a billiard club with some friends I partook in and played pool for a few hours. The games were pleasant enough, especially since I won the majority of them, however what was more pleasing was the magnificently beautiful building.

It is a wonderment here in Bucharest how many exquisitely designed buildings are tucked away holding various purposes; unfortunately some of these fine residences are without funding or renovation and subsequently are dilapidated or unbeknown to many locals. Luckily this grand structure where I was courses new life in its elegancy by offering billiards as a social recreation for willing players.

Late in February on the last Saturday of the month I found myself trapped in a room trying to discover the secrets hidden away to reach an end goal of obtaining a heart for freedom; to achieve this, sixty simple minute’s lay before me and a companion joining in this elusive journey.

What am I babbling on about exactly? An escape room to be more precise; escape rooms for those unaware are a new craze it seems in Europe that have found prominent success in recent years.

The concept is rather simple upon first thought: 60 minutes, one room, a few acquaintances and some puzzles/tasks/riddles to solve to gain freedom from the room. Should the hour surpass you are then released but the pride of failure will be washed over you.

For around a year or more I had been wanting to partake in an escape room so with eager anticipation I entered the room rather unaware of what was about to occur.
The company offering my first experience was aptly named Trapped; The room; “The Black Pearl” from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise delighted my curiosity as I and my friend were promptly trapped inside.

Immediate intrigue crossed our minds as we speculated how to find the heart and earn our way out before the clock struck zero. Clues were scattered and cryptic, puzzles took careful thought to overcome; occasionally precious minutes were eaten up by our incapacity to decipher the mysterious conundrums. Fortunately limited hints were available from the overseeing staff member who would slide a note or picture under the door when wanted to aid us on the journey towards freedom.

Time is such a deceptive concept, to begin you think yourself easily escaping, then a secret room or a tricky trap snares you in; suddenly you have less than ten minutes to vacate the room by logic or assistance, as the time ticked nervousness crept in and beating hearts filled with concern regarding escape.

With less than 5 minutes left a plastic heart of Davy Jones was revealed and with it a creaking door freed itself from the lock to light a way out of the dimly lit room. With 4 minutes 35 seconds left I and my friend were free and elated at having solved and completed our first escape room experience, arguably not an outstanding time but at least we were not trapped.

The room experience was ridiculously entertaining and enjoyable, after the room upon reflection certain traps that had halted us seemed easy in hindsight; other tricks that we had easily swished past were forgotten or thought of differently in a fresher context later on.

A certainty of the experience however is the desire to combat and escape another room soon.

Until the next entrapment…..

“What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens.” 

(Benjamin Disraeli)


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