Wednesday, July 02, 2014

In the land of Nadia Comaneci

We're in Bucharest, Romania. I am having major Russia flashbacks and it is a beautiful thing. The flashbacks started before we even left Dubai, actually. The five of us were some of the only non-Romanians on the flight (it's the only direct flight to Bucharest), and we were immediately out-beautied, out-flamboyanted, out-queued, and out-black-spandexed. You know how when a plane is about to land in Iran, one by one the women make their way to the lavatory and change into their hijabs? Well, on this plane, as we approached Bucharest, one by one the women went to the lavatory and put on tighter, blacker clothes. Romanian women are gorgeous.

(Yes, I'm in the stage of travel where I make sweeping generalizations based on very short observations.) (But stereotypes aside, I swear to you that one of the women on the plane was wearing an honest-to-goodness fortune teller turban thing with lots of gold, spangly jewelry. Maybe she was just messing with us foreigners.)

Jeremy and my queuing skills are super dusty. I like to think we learned to hold our own when we lived in Moscow, but after years of living in Middle Eastern countries where lines don't exist, we forgot some of the basics. In the check-in line, the bus-to-the-airplane line, and in the rush to get seats, we were usurped by elderly Romanian ladies again and again. Waiting in line used to be a profession for these women. And they are good at it.

Anyway. We're not here for very long right now (we'll return at the end of our trip in August). Later today, we hop on a train (and another train, and then the metro) heading west. Until then!


Liz Johnson said...

I AM SO JEALOUS! Have fun!!!

Vrau doua bilete la Bucuresti, va rog.

(That's pretty much the sad extent of my Romanian these days. "I want two tickets to Bucharest, please.")

Jen said...

"You know how when a plane is about to land in Iran, one by one the women make their way to the lavatory and change into their hijabs?"

NO. I'm super curious AND I WANT TO HEAR ALL ABOUT IT. Except that might be it. In which case.....wowwwwwwwwwww.

So happy to hear about your travels!

Jen said...

Didn't you teach me something about calling uptight people "carrot-ed?"

Bridget said...

Yes. So in countries where hijab is compulsory or part of cultural expectations, women sometimes shed it once they leave. For example, many of my Emirati female students wear western dress when visiting London, etc. But on the plane on the way back to the UAE, they change back into abaya and hijab. I've heard stories of more extreme transformations en route to Saudi and Iran.

Jen said...

Wow. It's something I'd never considered, but completely makes sense.


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