MARTIN FENGEL’S ROMANIAN DICHTOTOMY We love Martin Fengel. He’s the guy who took the pictures of the happy crucifixions in Manila. Apart from his passion for beautiful pictures he is really into traveling around the globe. His last trip led him to Romania. After he came back he wrote our German editor a really nice letter about his experiences over there, and since you all like freaking out about someone’s trip to Romania we thought we’d share it with you. Hello Tom, After sleeping some days I’m back… since Monday I’m not drinking, which is a strange feeling. Romania was kind of a vodka hell, or paradise…. They give you (or did we ask for it?) glasses full of vodka. Not 0.1 liters but 1.0. Somehow it’s very easy to drink them–you even feel like you want another one right away. Vodka for lunch made me very happy. I was once invited to a wedding in Romania–for Andrew and his wife, whose name I forgot. There were always three kinds of vodkas in different colors. That and sausages were the wedding food. Back then, and also today, the streets are horrible–a lot of time I sat in the back of the car getting my spine crushed. As a warning, all the old people walk around with their backs bent. I don’t remember if there were holes in the streets or dead dogs. It’s the Land of Refrigerators: there are many big refrigerators in overheated restaurants. None of them is connected to an outlet–they use all electric power for heating. So better be prepared for warm beer. Or, as we did, drink vodka. Traditionally the male population wears rubber boots, track pants, an unwashed sweater, and something on their head. They love standing around. Lots of signs for construction work, subsidized with EU money and lots of workers with lots of cigarettes in their mouths watching other workers working. Their favorite food is baked pig brain or pizza, always served with two different kinds of ketchup: hot and mild, so they can have a half and half pizza. “Uh..too hot…you know, what I’ll do? I’ll just rotate my pizza, hahaha!” Waiters tend not to be too friendly. Locals also suffer from the same. Sometimes things are not available. It also happens that waiters are following you in the street, accusing you of having stolen a glass and asking for five Euros extra. Knight-themed restaurants are also common, where the people who work there are dressed like they’re in a fairy tale. I heard the worst music ever while I was eating muschi and cabbage–in Romania muschi means a piece of meat. Asking my neighbor who invented that music, he told me it’s Michael Bolton, and that he is a very beautiful man. After eating the chef told me that there would be something very beautiful–he would have have to show me. We walked through different rooms in the restaurant until we reached one with a round table. And he said, “This!” And I said, “What this?” “The round table,” he said. “The round table?” “Yes—the round table.” When I stepped out of the place I saw how a young guy threw away a puppy dog. Laughing at me, there were no teeth in his mouth.