Sandu Ciorba Zumba

Okay Internet, I am going to have to thank you for this. Whatever gods of destiny are out there, they blessed me the day they put this video in my Youtube suggestions.

Sandu Ciorba Zumba

Uh…I might actually try this!

This looks high energy and fun. Not to mention, it could possibly be the much needed break that I need from Pitbull (dale/fuego/Mr. Worldwide).


For those of you who are uninitiated, Sandu Ciorba (is this really his last name? soup?) is a Manele singer who routinely tricks me into listening to his songs because his videos are so much fun. Am I a fan of the music? Possibly? Or do I come for the awesome ladies in the background of these videos? Hell, yes.

These ladies are the whole reason this song works:

Not to mention this song is catchy as hell. I’m totally guilty of thinking “WOO LOO LOO LOOOO” at inappropriate times.

Notice how the women in the videos are displaying actual talent (and whoa there with that crazy hood, Sandu):

Now, I don’t know what that snap dance is called, but it looks pretty hard to me. I would probably fall down if I tried.

In this video, men are also showing their moves (the ladies are killing it again – in heels):

Again, another high energy dance. I could probably do it. I mean, at least five seconds of it. At least.



In all of the videos, Sandu gives it his all, putting his heart into dramatic facial expressions that a Backstreet Boy would be jealous of – just so we can get the real emotion of the manele. I’m not sure what he’s singing about, but man, it must be deep.

Now if someone could explain to me why his hair always looks wet…

Sunt Scriitoare!




Delta Dunării e localizată în sud-est-ul României.

Este o rezervație naturală protejată de UNESCO.



Delta Dunării are multe animale.

De exemplu, are pelicani și broaște țestoase.


Este un loc popular pentru turiști.

Uite turiștii în barcă.


Multi turiști au camere.

Lor le place să facă poze.


Păsările sunt foarte frumoase.


Vreau să merg la Delta Dunării.



[This is my first ever attempt at writing sentences on a cohesive theme. I will admit that I had someone edit my work 🙂 I can’t believe a year ago I was sitting in my car repeating Pimsleur phrases – Buna Zi–what? Buna Zeewahh?]




Four hikes in Romania

I love to hike. It’s weird because as a kid there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit in my bedroom and read a book. Get out into nature? Uh, no. I’ll take my Babysitters Club and read forever, thankyouverymuch. I was such a bookworm as a kid that many of my books have food stains (ew, I know) because I read at the table every chance I could get. I couldn’t even stop reading while I was eating! Now that I am a Grown Adult*, I still love to read, but thankfully I have diversified my interests.

*may not actually be an adult


Appalachian Trail, y’all

Mainly, I like to nature. Can nature be a verb? I like all things outside (afară! I know that word!): hiking, camping, drinking on patios, you name it. If it’s a beautiful day, I have a really hard time justifying staying inside. What can I say? I’m solar powered.


My mother and I freezing to death on Blood Mountain – New Year’s Day 2015

Now, our mountains in Georgia are nothing like the mountains in Romania. Sure, they used Zărnești as a stand in for North Carolina for Cold Mountain, and I won’t deny they look an awful lot the same…but our mountains are like baby mountains compared to the Carpathians. Little, innocent, soft…baby mountains. The Appalachians are just so sweet.


Indian Seats, Sawnee Mountain, Georgia

Down in Georgia where I live, we have the Blue Ridge mountain range. The mountains really do look blue. It’s really gorgeous. But when it comes to mountains, I’m craving something…more. Something bigger. Something wilder. Something…Romanian.


Tampa Mountain…not a mountain?

Last summer, I had the pleasure to walk up a few Romanian mountains. First, I walked up Tampa thrice – but I have been informed that Tampa isn’t really a mountain (or is it? debate away). I walked up Postăvarul – straight up, no trails (YOLO) – and I almost died. No, I didn’t, but it really challenged me.


Postavarul, owned (j/k it kicked my ass)

I also got to hike up Piatra Mare after going through the Șapte Scări canyon. Piatra Mare was also a huge challenge, but I had a guide (the very best ever) who was very patient with me while I was sucking so much air. Thankfully, the trail up is wooded and shady. Lots of good places to take a break from wheezing.


Damn, Romania. There you go again with that natural beauty…


Look at this ass on the top of Piatra Mare! And there’s a donkey, too!

Șapte Scări, by the way, is incredible. I am deathly afraid of heights (ironic for someone who enjoys standing on the tops of mountains), but I made it up all of the ladders. I was more proud of myself that I got up the ladders than I was getting up Piatra Mare….


Right this way to my very own version of Fear Factor



Sapte Scari Canyon

Now I get to make my list for this year.

What mountains will I climb in 2016?


I have a pretty long wish list, but the obvious number one is:

Piatra Craiului


Home of Plaiul Foii where you can get the most amazing Papanasi.


I’ve been staring at this mountain a long, long time. Is this desire? Yes, yes it is.

Bucegi Mountains

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I have to digress here. Upon googling these mountains, I stumbled upon all these conspiracy theories. There is some sort of occult interest in an “unexplored” area of the Bucegi mountains. A convergence of energy? Secret tunnels? Giants? We were there in December and how did I miss all of this? All I saw was snow and Gendarmerie 😦

Lizard People?? Uh, now I’m definitely going hiking there.

01 Romanian Alien Base Bucegi Mountains


How did I fall down this rabbit hole? There’s holograms inside of Bucegi. Left for us by GIANTS. It’s real, people. There’s evidence. Now my YouTube suggestions are all weird 😦


Ceahlău Massif

Here is one mastiff that I’m not very familiar with. It’s located in Neamţ and is a very popular range for hiking. According to this article, there are seven trails for hikers. If you don’t feel like camping in a tent, there are a few chalets and refuges on the mountain. I’m very interested in those chalets. Not that I don’t like camping…I’ve just never stayed in a chalet before. Also, to my consonant riddled American ears, the world chalet just sounds fancy. Chalet. So many vowel sounds. I digress. Look at this beauty:


Cuvintele…nu exista

Retezat National Park


source: misulica via deviant art

These mountains are located in the Transylvanian Alps near Hunedoara. There are so many opportunities for hiking and camping here, I think you could probably spend a week exploring. Although I’m not a climber, there are some pretty cool hikes that include some actual mountain climbing. I’ll add those to my to-do list for when I ever get over my fear of heights.



I would love some other suggestions about where to go for great hikes in Romania. I would love to know more about the great outdoors in western/southwestern Romania. I haven’t really been out that way yet, and I’d love to go explore. If you have an idea, please leave it in the comments.


Of course, this is old news for Romania, but since it’s just now hitting the American news, I wanted to make a post about it.

Romanian people are fantastic – they see the opportunities in unlikely places (see: Bernie Sanders Internet Speed Test). For example, when Snoop Dogg accidentally checked into Bogata in Maramures.


Mr. Dogg was in Bogota, Colombia doing what he does best – rapping and smoking – when he misspelled Bogota and instead checked into Bogata. Of course, Romanians (particularly the ones who know who Snoop Dogg is) loved this and immediately used the opportunity to make a beautiful website extolling the virtues of traveling to Bogata. Proving once again that all publicity is good publicity.


Snoop later realized his mistake and called himself out (he “steve harvey’d himself”), but because he seems like a genuinely nice guy, he left us with a #visitbogata hashtag and said he’d be there himself someday soon.


and I’ll just leave this right here…


updated to add:



I love the internet.

The Chicken Baron will stay in prison


At first, I really giggled at this. Chicken bribes? I feel like this should have some kind of #onlyinRomania hashtag.


After reading the rest of the article, I immediately felt guilty for laughing. There are people in Romania who are so in need of food that they accept chicken, flour, and oil in exchange for votes. Although, I think you are allowed to be amused by the indignant, “but I haven’t even eaten a wing!!” statement from Mr. Chicken. 60 tons of chicken!


The high court is not amused.

News story from Yahoo News who got it from the Associated Press: here

Bucharest Wish List

I’m already thinking ahead to spring when I’ll have a chance to take my time when I visit Bucharest. So far, I’ve barely seen any of the city apart from a section of Old Town and Herastrau Park. Most of what I saw was lovely (apart from all the TRAFFIC – seriously what), and I can’t wait to go back.

  1. Primaverii Palace (Ceausescu’s mansion) – newly opened to the public. The website for this attraction makes me a little carsick. Why is it slanted? I’m glad there is information about having an tour in English, even if the information is only in Romanian. Primaverii is supposed to be huge – like 80 rooms. It’s rumored to beostentatiously decorated, stuff like gold toilet paper holders and filigree ceilings. Naturally, I am really looking forward to seeing these gaudy touches because (according to my mother) I am a crow. It’s not my fault I get distracted by glittery things. Bring on the gilded gewgaws!

    Photo from Google Streetview


  2. Palatul Parlamentului – The heaviest building in the world belongs now to the people of Romania. Last summer, we made plans to come here, but it was so gosh darn hot that we were drove around it and decided not to get out. We ended up heading to Vama Veche earlier than expected and this massive edifice stayed on my to-visit list. For lack of anything more intelligent to say, I just really love cool buildings, and I’m looking forward to exploring the world’s largest (well-constructed) pile of cold marble.


Here’s a very cool video of projection mapping on the building:

Here’s a less dramatic but more informative video on the building:

(featuring lots of Bogdans!)


3. Peasant Museum – I was able to visit the Village Museum last summer and I really want to visit the Peasant Museum next. I think both of these would be great to visit on the same day, just to get a better depth of Romanian history.

Speaking of museums, I’d really like to attend Noaptea Muzeelor (Museum Night). Every year there is a special night in Bucharest where the museums are open all night. There are loads of special performances and exhibits. I would really like to go to Museum Night to enjoy the festivities and the novelty of staying up all night with art(!) and history(!) – and then come back another day to actually spend quality time in the museum. Probably a Wednesday morning, when everyone is at work and the exhibits are mostly empty (at least, this is true for IKEA, so I’m hoping it will apply in this situation :P)

4. Romanian Atheneum – I would love to hear an orchestra performance here. People say this building is beautiful, and judging from this virtual tour, they’re totally right. Here is my dream: I want to get fancied up, attend an Enescu concert here, and then go out for a nice dinner wherein I drink too much wine and become a bohemian at the stroke of midnight.giphy.gif


I’ll probably have to wait until June to get some quality time in Bucharest, but that just means I have more time to research and add to my to-do list. I would really appreciate any suggestions for places to visit, especially if they have to do with art and history.