Warning: This is one of those chronological journeys through my day that may not be interesting to anyone but those who love me and really do wonder how I spent my day. Sorry blogosphere to inflict this on you.
My first full day in Cluj did not begin as early as I anticipated. With jet lag I figured I would be up long before an alarm, but set one anyway. After tossing and turning all night, trying to convince my body it was not day but night and we should sleep, I must have finally slept because the alarm woke me up. I hate jet lag.
I met with the person at the University who takes care of the Fulbright scholars (among other things) this morning. She briefed me on the things I would need to know—the apartment contract that must be filed with the tax administration for me to get reimbursed for rent, the residency card materials needed—provided me with a map and directions to a mobile phone store, and sent me on my way.
I found the mobile phone store after only one wrong turn. I entered and found I was lost again-lost on what to do. Everyone had a number, but despite asking one of the people who had one where to get a number I was still confused. There was a little receipt sized printer and a computer screen, but I had no idea what I was supposed to do to the screen. If I read Romanian, that might have helped. The store has a clever system where you let them know what you are there for, just add minutes, activate a phone, or 7 other things (I don’t know what else. I can’t read Romanian!). Fortunately the people working in the store spoke English or I would have bumbled along for much longer. They assisted me in getting a number-A9. And the wait began. The A7 trio was there for the entire 45 minutes I was in the store, talking to the only sales agent that was helping A people when I arrived. The B people appeared to just be adding minutes and I watched jealously as they got called, completed their transactions and went on their way. Another sales agent arrived and helped out A8 and then me! She spoke excellent English and helped me get a nice little phone with some incomprehensible number of minutes and text, network and non-network, EU and non-EU call package (incomprehensible because I generally find such things incomprehensible, not any cultural barrier).
That bit of communication access completed I left the store and promptly got lost. At the beginning of my ‘walk’ I thought I was going the wrong way but decided to override my innate sense of direction. Bad idea. I actually, and unintentionally, made a circle, laughing at myself when I found I was back in front of the phone store. I took the other way and got back to my hotel.
Back at the hotel I worked on another form of communication, the internet. I sent some e-mails and then used my new phone to call one of my apartment possibilities. He was heading out to do something else so he picked me up on the way and brought me back to see the apartment. A lovely attic apartment that is a definite possibility. We’ll see what else the next few days bring.
I walked across the city to get back to the hotel and decided my feet could use a break. How I wish I had used a step counter today, I put in quite a bit of mileage (kilometerage?).
Attempting to hold out for a decent bedtime tonight and sleep for several hours in a row.
The sweetest sight of the day