Settling-in at Brasov
Hello from a tiny/noisy internet cafe in Brasov,
Well, I made it safely to my first post-trainee area. The journey to Bucharest went alright; glad I won’t have to deal with the border for a while. Upon arrival in Bucharest, I was surprised to see snow on the ground! Snow for a Californian = super-exciting. Given where I was headed, it’s a good thing I like snow.
I got to Brasov that evening with my new district of four. My companion and I took a taxi to the part of the city where we lived. We live in the “center” of the city (which isn’t actually in the middle). It’s under the hill with the Hollywood-looking “BRASOV” sign. We live off of a street which makes me happy every time I walk down it. It’s what “every European street should look like”, as I think my companion put it. It’s cobblestone and is lined with awesome looking buildings. Behind a gate off the street is a courtyard (with vines going over a metal canopy) belonging to the villa complex we live in. In our area are the town’s Christmas tree (which they just seem to have finished decorating) and the huge “Black Church”.
It is cold and snowy here, which is great! I finally got some (thick/warm) gloves (at H&M, for cheaper than I could’ve got any in Chisinau). They’ve made quite the difference.
It was Thanksgiving on Thursday, so we had lunch as a district, which was fun. We had stir-fry, corn, and crepes; doesn’t get much more American than that, right? (Well…crepes are almost pancakes.)
Speaking of traditionally American food, I’m impressed by how much is available here. We’ve had both frozen pizzas and decent Chinese food since I got here. As to food in general, Romania is big on the German store Kaufland (though I suppose I’ve also seen a Lidl here), which has a lot of selection. I’ve also had Schoarma and a good number of filled pretzels.
The branch here is very small, but we do have a chapel. Apparently Brasov used to be one of Romania’s largest branches, but then Romania joined the EU, and tons left. There’s also a small group in Felioada, a village outside of Brasov. We went to both services yesterday, so I’m getting to see both the urban and the more rural side of Romania. Sunday was some sort of Romanian Unification Day, from what I gathered, so we sung the national anthem of Romania at both services (there were also fireworks set off last night right when we got in, but I wasn’t too eager to go back out into the cold to take a look). We’re also starting English classes next week in both Brasov and Felioada.
I’ve started to read Elder Talmage’s Jesus the Christ. It’s very good at using examples. I’ve also started to read the Book of Mormon in Romanian personally and with my companion (I haven’t read it in Romanian with regularity since the MTC). It’s especially good for me to be doing this, since I’ve been spending all my time on the grammar, and my pronunciation/reading is behind (though it is gratifying to have vocabulary be the only thing impeding my understanding of the book).
Until next time,