After class, Mrs. Despina organizes a reservation for a tour in the Parliament building. Cristina mentions that we should meet at the lobby around 1400, but this is changed to 1430. When we arrive, our group is a few minutes late due to payment of the tickets, gathering the money and student ID cards, and paying 30 Lei to be able to use a camera. On top of this, they allow a group 5 times our size, all from China, to enter before us as well as a few other groups. This has the Romanian students outraged. While waiting, the Romanian students, who love their photos taken, pose. Security asks them to delete the photo, as to not be accused of taking pictures of the entrance area to avert espionage.

The building is filled with elegant marble from around the country, statues, paintings, and endless expensive chandeliers. Room after room is beautifully crafted in this manner. Custom oriental rugs, trim, and ornaments adorn each area. After the one hour tour, we only see 8% of the entire building.

Next, we walk to the Unirea shopping center to find dinner in the food court area. We enter in, and different restaurant representatives see our large group as an opportunity. We settle on one that offers our large party a 30% discount off of the bill. All of the UAHuntsville students agree to cover the RAU students’ dinner, as a thank you for them taking time to take us around and ensure we are safe. We fill ourselves of delicious food, drinks, and desserts. When we receive the bill, only a 10% discount is applied, and it is disputed. We pay approximately 275 Lei (near $95), which to me, is a steal for having 15 people eat.

On our leaving, Adellina grabs us a taxi, but accidentally puts us into a 3.49 per kilometer vehicle (price difference for having a cleaner, roomier, and air conditioned vehicle). Thankfully the driver has to leave for a minute, giving us an opportunity to go into another taxi. As Adellina is explaining the situation to both drivers, I close the door not realizing that her pinky finger is in the way. She is okay, and the RAU students make their way home. Our taxi driver is funny and the safest thus far. He drives carefully, tells us of each of the different landmarks and Romanian universities with their students that like to party. Once we arrive, I attempt tell him in Romanian that he is the best driver we have encountered. He enjoyed our company and kisses my hand goodbye.

Our highlight of the late night: finally, there is internet access in our rooms!