Chaos came to take over Bucharest one day and found cars everywhere, racing, revving, and piling on top of each other. Their drivers never actually bothered with any type of training, obtaining their licenses instead through bribery of the designated officials. Bucharest’s streets snake off in all directions, meandering, wandering aimlessly, with no particular destination in mind. Pedestrians share sidewalks with automobiles because that’s where the city spills its leftover traffic.
Chaos came to take over Bucharest one day and discovered drivers dive bombing their cars into places that automobiles ought not to be going. Horns blare, fingers wave, tires screech, and tempers flare. There’s no rhyme or reason to their maneuvers, and the only recognizable pattern to their behavior is that Bucharest’s drivers can be counted on for their unpredictability.
Chaos came to take over Bucharest one day and instead got itself run over, sworn at, ass fucked, and sent packing like a pathetic little bitch poodle running with its tail between its legs. Not even Chaos could tame the streets of Bucharest.
So there I was, behind the wheel of a rental car, driving my way back from Piata Romana to my apartment on 13 September Blvd, about 5 km away. It took me about twenty minutes to make my way home through the heavy downtown traffic and I’m pleased to say, I did alright. At times, I even out Bucharested some of my fellow drivers because they were in my way. I feel like I really accomplished something. If I can drive through Bucharest, I can drive anywhere!
Adding to my good mood was my backpack showing up. I had a car, I had an apartment, and the only thing left to do was buy groceries to make myself feel truly at home. I drove to Unirii Shopping Centre, parked on a sidewalk, and soon found myself face to face with a bunch of labels I could not read. Is that butter or cream cheese? Is that milk or coffee creamer? What’s the white stuff in the ‘Heinz’ bottle?
Simple things become miniature adventures in this place because familiar things become new again. At the same time, brand new things like the location of an obscure cafe, the correct stop of a bus route, and the cell number of that friend I made, become familiar. This is my forth trip to Bucharest and I really like my familiarity with the city as much as I like its mysteries.
On the drive home I took a different route. The winding nature of the streets messed with my sense of direction and I wound up driving south east when I should have been heading west. I figured this out after driving past one of Bucharest’s countless Orthodox Churches. They always face east, and based on my orientation to the one I just passed, I was able to get my bearings again. In no time I was home and preparing a pasta dish for supper.