From Bucharest And Rome

Rome.

My friend Raj: “Hey Hong, do you want to help friends of mine in Poland ? A big family who needs somebody to teach English to their children. ”
Me: “Yeah, I will think about it.”
2 days later
Me: “Sure, why not, I will go.”

After India I went to Romania, Bucharest.
Jeez, this country is so beautiful.
Romania’s history is not only interesting because of the cruel personality of Vlad the Impaler. Thus, Vlad III. might have also inspired the Irish writer Bram Stoker to his novel character Dracula.

Bust of Vlad the Impaler

Oh, churches again.

Romania’s history is characterized by revolutions (1989 revolution), demonstrations, dictatorships, revolutions and so on. The country faced a difficult transition from communism to democracy. Unfortunately it is one of the poorest countries in the European Union, but I hope for this amazing country a better future to come.
I had one of the best Free Walking Tours in Bucharest, which unravel the old and new Bucharest and its hundreds of years of history.
Additionally, the guide rewarded us with cookies once you answer her questions right. No worries about starving at the tour, of course only when you answer the questions right.
Meeting point: Piața Unirii, one of the largest squares in central Bucharest with many benches to sit on after a long day or hanging around with some fellows for a drink.

Part of Piata Unirii

Cool thing: A relatively large number of Bucharest’s historic churches have survived war and communism. The numbers are not surprising considering the fact that more than 80 percent of the Romanian population identified themselves as part of the Orthodox Church in a census of 2011.

Another one.

Stavropoleos Church and Monastery was built in 1724, located in old town and is perhaps the most strikingly beautiful church in Bucharest.
It is characterized by neat stone and wood carvings.

Stavropoleos Church

After traveling India I couldn’t refrain myself sitting on benches every time I would see one.
And luckily Bucharest whyever has plenty of benches.

Romania has been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire,
perhaps that’s why some buildings looks like they could stand somewhere in Turkey.

The city center is somehow not as spectacular as the old town.

City center

A music festival show I sneaked in.
Just keep your eyes open what is happening around you.
By the way, there was a time in Romania when people used to be crazy about French culture, language and food.
They would pretend to be French and speaking with a French accent while walking up and down the avenues. Weird.

No idea until today what he was singing.

Last but not least: Palace of the Parliament, which is the largest administrative building in the world!
The story behind it: 
The megalomaniacal last communist dictator of Europe with the name Nicolae Ceausescu came up with this idea in 1984.
Therefore four neighbourhoods were demolished to make space for this crazy project, among them important buildings like hospitals and churches were torn down.
More than 50000 families lost their shelters and were forced to move.
The project took an eternal time, because of the dictator’s dramatic imagination of constructing a perfect Parliament, some parts were torn down and had to rebuild.
Nicolae Ceausescu never got the chance to hold a speech from the balcony. Even in December 1989 the project was not nearly completed and during the Revolution Ceausescu was arrested and then executed.
That’s what you get if you are too greedy, what a jackass.
Nowadays it is used for large concerts, rather than for political speeches or military parades like in Ceausescu’s dream *tee-hee*.

Guess who stood in 1992 on the immense balcony and addressed to the large and excited crowd outside with a “Hello, Budapest!”.
No less than the King of Pop – Michael Jackson.
Hahaha, how awkward as a cultural ambassador in the wold.

I still had time to go to Piechowice, Poland to help the family with English.
So I decided to give Italy a second chance and go to Rome to visit
Vatican City.
The first time I came to Italy with 15 years, I spent time in Rimini and Venice.
Italy was so in favour with me until I lost my phone, because it is my talent to lose my phone wherever I am going.
I left it on the beach, buried in the sand with my towel upon it. And it got stolen on my last evening, yippie.  My mum was hysteric due to my disability to contact her.
And I faced for the first time sexual harassment in an European country, which traumatized me a little bit.
Lara, I am so happy that you took care of me after this event.
So yes, I came back to Rome and on the top, I would be homeless for several days.
Please, don’t get me wrong but Italy still belongs to one of my favourite European countries. The country of pizzas, pastas and La Dolce Vita.
A country where hand gestures fly in the air and is more valuable than a thousand words combined with faces twist into funny and weird expressions. Living a life full of indulgence and pleasure.
Only few countries can batten me, Italy is one of them.
Seriously, I might get diabetes problems if I would live there.

St. Peter’s Square
Guards of St. Peter’s Basilica with cool uniform.

Rome is stupidly expensive because I decided at the last moment to travel Rome. Prices for the cheapest hostel were around 50$. What the heck?!
A nightmare for a low-budget traveler. So, that’s the story how I became homeless.
And in the middle of September the nights in Rome were freaking cold! During the day you get fooled by the sunny weather and at night the weather slaps you straight in your face. Man, I even spotted a place in front of a church where I would like to sleep during the nights. And then I came back at night. Ta-dah! The place was full of homeless persons.
At least we have the same taste, I don’t know if I should consider as a good taste. So I have to dodge to the parks and their benches.
I nearly didn’t sleep for 2 nights.
Like I told you, I am sharing also the shitty travel stories.
Furthermore I could never be vegan in Italy, the gelato is the best I have tried in the world. It’s all about eating and food at the end.

Food.

Places I went to and probably nobody would miss:
Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican City.

Queuing up for Vatican City
Inside of Vatican City

I bought online a “Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum &
Palatine Hill” ticket.

Colosseum 1.
Colosseum 2
Colosseum 3.
Roman Forum 1
Roman Forum 2

Nevertheless, the architecture in Rome in my opinion is so far the best in the world. This country is such a poser, but it has all the rights to boast.
Italy is the country with the most Unesco World Heritage Sites on Earth.
In total it counts a number of 47, China has ‘only’ 34.
Yep, Italy’s beauty is undoubtedly stunning.
Germans love to travel to Italy, what a surprise…

Castel Sant’Angelo
Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II.
Built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a Italy.

Maybe there was a rumour which got around about a small Asian looking girl who is homeless in Rome. Therefore on my second day I got from two lovely ladies free tickets for Galleria Borghese (entrance fee is 12$).

My stay in Piechowice, Poland was splendid.
The family had 8 children and two dogs living in a modest house.
I taught to their daughter Sara English and for a long time I felt I could settle down again. The routine life in Piechowice pleased me.
All the children got homeschooled, a unique lifestyle.
My host mum would wake up at 6 am to prepare the breakfast for the whole family and then everyone starts their own lessons, whereas every one of the children is very independent and learns the subjects.
I enjoyed to talk to the children about their way of living.
But at the end I had to say goodbye and traveled to my next destination: Myanmar.
Thank you for everything you did for me, you will be forever my Polish family.

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