There was a “P” next to the train number on my ticket to Sighişoara. I had been warned about the uncomfortable Personal trains of CFR, the Romanian train system, but I wasn’t prepared for the mad rush onto the cars. As soon as the train chugged up to the platform, everyone crowded around the doors to claim a seat (they aren’t reserved on the Personals).
Bears – Wait And See
I was lucky enough to have spoken to a very kind woman named Maria on the platform, asking her a question in very bad Romanian, so she pushed her way onto the train like a pro and saved me a seat. She helped me with some Romanian words, and insisted I share her chocolate and cookies with her. She also told me how many stops I had before Sighişoara and wrote down her contact information on a sheet of paper for me.
I was very grateful for the seat. The train was hot and crowded, especially when a group of day laborers piled into our car. Some people opened the doors and hung out over the side, but the train was agonizingly slow. I almost cried when I looked out my window and saw us being passed by a horse cart. When we puttered across roads, there was always a long line of cars with people hanging out of the passenger seats in in the wilting heat, and men in horse carts with their head in their hands, waiting for us to pass.
Eluvium – The Motion Makes Me Last