Because each day of class ends between 1400-1430 in the afternoon, there is time for us to venture. Today, Eugen decides to help navigate us to the Baneasa, a shopping center. He normally works every night during 2nd shift as a video game tester at Gameloft, but tonight is his night off. Eugen loads up a bus card with money so that we can all go to the Baneasa. It is gigantic and very mall-like, but much bigger; an IKEA and Carrefour (Europe’s “Wal-Mart”) are connecting buildings. There are three floors full of shopping madness; a girl’s dream come true. We grab the electronic adapters/converters needed and leave. The eight females of the group want to shop, but understand that there is little time prior to dinner. Afterwards, we stop at a nearby pub and have a few drinks. The University of Alabama Huntsville students are all of legal age to consume alcohol, and in Romania, the age requirement is 18. There are local beer brands to try, while others not interested in alcohol request fruit-drink mixes.
Dinner is at Taverna Sabului. Although it is not too much of a stretch walk for normal Romanians, the Americans gather and take taxis. Our driver mumbles “Taverna Sabului este acolo!” to the affects of the translation of “but the restaurant is only over there!” We meet our other colleagues and start to enjoy dinner at the Siberian restaurant. The choices seem endless. Because Carly and I are sitting next to each other, we order tomatoes as a side to split. I ask for a delicious grilled Flounder dish. We are ever grateful and stuffed from food.
Internet access is still nonexistent within our rooms. Wi-Fi is available, but for a good connection, students most go to the lobby and sit near the TV area. I am bit constantly by mosquitoes whenever staying still – at a restaurant, in my bedroom, outdoors, or especially when trying to check my email in the lobby until the wee hours of the morning of sleep. It is worth it though to be able to email and speak to family. Besides, I came prepared with cortisone cream and an electronic device that supposedly works like an aura of bug spray.