Thursday, July 28, 2011

Romania by proxy

In Meteora I ran into a bloke from Romania.  Then he got up, we exchanged addresses, and he told me his name was Neculai (Nicholas) and was also travelling alone.  My Romanian is, of course, inferior par excellence, and being a gracious acquaintance I allowed him to practise entirely his English, which he learned from television.  It sometimes took us forever to convey an idea but, bless him, without his efforts we would just have stared at each other.  We saw two monasteries together and he encouraged me to flout the “no photography” rule until I was busted one too many times by the decent but exasperated monitor and slunk sheepishly away.  He was driving across Greece in his car, which was also his kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, and parlour after dinner when he entertained me with music on his stereo and a bottle of cognac parked on the side of the road.  I brought along a couple of beers and some Greek retsina, which neither of us have had before but concluded tasted like dirty hiking sock rinsewater.  The cognac was lovely, though.  Alexandrio, or something.  Who knows.  After cognac, beer and retsina, I was lucky to remember the way back to my hotel.

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