The past month has been super busy for me. I finished up my job and did some traveling, and now I’m back for some much needed R&R. In my time traveling, I had the chance to visit Timisoara and Budapest, and I will have some posts about those cities coming up this week.
I’ve also spent some time apartment hunting. Prices for housing in Brasov are about the same as they are in Bucharest, so you can imagine on my fixed income that finding a place with any kind of requirements is not easy. I also need to be in a certain location and I don’t want to be on the ground level or first floor…needless to say I haven’t found anything yet. I had a really good lead on a great place, but there was some shadiness and I backed out. Leases are different in Romania – not everyone has a contract because you have to register it with the government and then pay extra taxes. Owners don’t want to lose that income, so they sometimes insist on going without a contract, which isn’t an option for me. The owner of the apartment that I found had promised a contract and then later started to complain that he thought we had a deal, no contract, yadda yadda yadda. 😦
So perhaps I will stay in the apartment I have now. It’s affordable, the location is within walking distance of basically anywhere I’d want to go. It has a lovely view of Tampa and on a clear day, Piatra Craiului. If I remain in this apartment, I’m going to paint and possibly invest in a few pieces of IKEA furniture to help me organize some more. The downside is that it’s like a fifth floor walk up, the top floor, and in the summer it’s very, very hot. I have a fan with mist and that’s helpful, but there was a week where it was at least 95 degrees outside and in the apartment. We shut all the doors and windows and tried to keep the sun out with the curtains, but I felt very sick that week. I wish I had some other option for those random days where it’s actually hot here. It’s not realistic to buy an air conditioner for here because you’ll only use it a few days a year.
For the last heat wave, I just did what everyone else did – sleep during the day and then go to the square at night. I think one night we were in the square until after midnight. There were so many people out having dinner or coffee. Children were playing and running around. I understand now why they have siestas in Spain. It’s just easier to sleep through the hottest part of the day and then live your life when it’s cooler out. When sleeping wasn’t an option, we went to Coresi mall and sat in the air conditioning. Hint: the former smoking section of Starbucks has the most amazing air conditioner in it. Best place in the whole mall, if you ask me.
Other than the trips to Timisoara and Budapest, I’m not sure there’s anything else new with me. I started doing a low carb diet because I wanted to see if I could lose my last twenty pounds. For those of you who know me IRL, I’ve been on a weight loss “journey” since 2013. I’ve lost 60 lbs and I need to lose 20 more…but they’re just stuck. No matter what I do 🙂 So this is my last attempt to lose those last pesky pounds. I’ve done a lot of research on low carb diets, and they’re apparently really good for people with insulin resistance like me. How is this related to Romania, you ask? Well, this is possibly the EASIEST place ever to do low carb. Meat, cheese, and fat at every meal. Just skip the starch and voila, done. Fast food isn’t really an option here, so that’s not a temptation anymore. The only roadblock I’ve run into has been finding those weird ingredients, like almond flour (faina de migdale). You need some of these kinds of ingredients to make some of the more complicated low carb recipes. These ingredients are readily available in the US, but here I’ve had to scout Lidl, Carrefour, Auchan, Mega Image…and I’ve put together a pretty good cabinet.
And…that’s it 🙂 I’ll be working on the Timisoara and Budapest posts and hopefully will have them ready for this week.