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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Bucharest, Romania: May 29-June 1, 2014

The weather for our return hasn't been as glorious as it was on our first sight of Bucharest two weeks ago.  It is mostly rainy and mostly cool--definitely not typical late May weather. About May 23rd, Dan woke with a cold that now has gotten worse. We consulted our Bucharest hotel, K+K Elizabeta, about seeing a doctor. The desk clerk said she'd call an ambulance. Alarmed, we said just having a doctor's appointment would be sufficient. She explained that most people who get sick in Romania see a private doctor. These private doctors make house calls in ambulances so when one gets sick, one calls the ambulance. She scheduled a 5 pm appointment for the ambulance to come to the hotel. In the meantime, she said we could walk around the corner to the hospital's emergency room to see if Dan could be seen.

We did go to the state hospital emergency room, but no doctors seemed to be working.  There was a waiting room full of people to be seen, but no doctor in sight. The information booth was vacant. Dan did find someone dressed in hospital green. He asked if she spoke english and she responded, "No, I do not speak English," and locked her door. Eventually, we decided to wait for the ambulance appointment. I guess this is why if Romanians have money, they have a private doctor come to them. Just a few days before a young man was telling us that in order to have an operation or see a doctor, the patient must pay extra in cash to the doctor because the government does not pay a living wage to the doctors who work in the state hospitals.

The doctor and his assistant showed up at our hotel room at about 5:30 pm. The doctor, asked Dan a bunch of questions:

1. Date of birth?
2. Do you smoke?  How much?  Here Dan admitted to only 10 cigarettes per day.  At that moment, he might have been correct because he was trying to make his cheap Moldovan cigarettes last until he left Romania (the land of expensive cigarettes).
3. Allergies to medicines?

The doctor listened to Dan's lungs, looked into his throat, and the doctor's assistant checked Dan's blood pressure. The diagnosis was chronic bronchitis. The doctor wrote Dan three prescriptions: antibiotic, nasal/bronchial spray, pain reliever and told him to drink water not Diet Coke.

The fee was 200 ROM ($62 USD).  The meds cost 55 ROM ($17 USD). The doctor and his assistant packed up their bags, and we followed them out to see the ambulance. They are driven around in the ambulance from appointment to appointment for their 12-hour shift. A roving doc in an ambulance making house calls is definitely better than a doc in the box.

We did do more than learn about the Romanian medical system. Each evening, weather permitting, a festival of international street artists has been going on. The performers come from all over the world.

A performer from the UK performed a very lovely acrobatic ballet performed while suspended from a helium balloon tethered to two guys on the ground.

Cute costumed creatures (Les Dedes) and Giant Puppets (from France) roamed around old town.

Sometimes, it was raining so hard that the performers had to run for cover.

There were four people in potted plant costumes (The Animated Vases from Italy) and like a Candid Camera gag, they would wait for an unsuspecting passerby and reach out to touch the person.

 A threesome called The Divas (France) in great costumes who sang opera and also Amazing Grace.

Bands, flag wavers, and the very tall group called The Long Necks from France who dressed like near sighted, trench-coated detectives.

It was great fun--too bad the weather wasn't more cooperative.