Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 7 | Romania - Ignored & Fined (again)!

Another day, another country, another adventure.

Sigh.... It has been awhile since I update this trip. Jom…

Obviously my trip to Greece covers 2 countries despite that the initial plan was Greece and it’s Aegean Islands. But Zali said, since we paid so much, can we “pleeeeaaaaseee” cover another country in Europe (might as well kan konon nye). Cam kesian pulak, travelholic in a making ler kan, hehehhe…. I was thinking too, since our objective was to cover Santorini and we manage to extended to Mykonos which I successfully forgotten how we went about deciding or even finding out on Mykonos is beyond me (of course Athens memang sahih sahih dah masuk dalam trip nih). Apa kata kite redah another country….!!!

Thus, as it was my task to do any “big” transportation findings/costing/blah blah blah…., so there I go searching (more like surfing) dutifully… First, hemm…. let’s look at the map and the surrounding Greece countries, perhaps I can cover one of them via land… neh…. Not doable or more like - they don’t look that interesting. Then GREED got into me, heheehehe…. Looked at Warsaw, Prague, Budapest etc….(jauh tuh) Nope tooooo expensive (I do have budget you know!). Argh… annoyed then, I checked via my favourite darling todate Miss. Expedia… jeng jeng jeng… GOT IT!!! Bucharest for RM1,100 per person - RETURN FLIGHT + ACCOMMODATION for 3D2N, I thought that was very reasonable. Don’t you think so??! That’s it, we’re set and ready to go.

The flight was super early that we have to call for a cab since the subway is yet to start it’s operation. We left our king-kong luggage at Athens hotel and only brought over our hand-carry and small backpack (ahh…. always make sure the hotel you stay do luggage storing, sonang if they do). Anyway, we reach the capital - Bucharest at 9ish morning (giler awal). This is where the journey begins….

First impression & experience upon touch touching down :

1. They really don’t receive many DIY tourist like us from Asia, they asked us a lot of questions (1 immigration counter for each f us, and they counter check with each other - kebetulan each counter sorang but giler suspense). “Who are you traveling with, which hotel, why, how many days, where are you going after this, when you arrive Greece, when are you flying back to Malaysia from Greece (eh! Cam over lak)” Bear in mind, we are staying in hostels, obviously they would not have heard of it before (sebab bukan hotel chain kan) thus we tend to sound as if we were crabbing lar… susah ler cam ni. But we got thru it despite it took slightly longer.

2. We went to the tourist information counter, and guess what? It was fully glassed with a little hole for you to talk - not that friendly for a tourist info counter huh! First time I see such, how can they hear or understand you right? Taking into consideration that there bound to be some language barrier (but very very minimal actually, hence senang jalan sini). Man! She was so not helpful and we only ask what’s the best way to get to our hostel. She said, take cab, tapi MAHAI ler minah oooiii…. So, we decided to go to the bus stop downstairs but we saw another counter opposite for train, ahhh….better. The friendly lady at the counter said this “Wasn’t you from the tourist information counter just now? Didn’t she help you?” We were err…..”Errr… She didn’t help much” we said. “I am amazed, you mean she didn’t help? What is she doing?” The train lady said… panic mode, takut depa gaduh cat fight kang. But she was very helpful, she said take bus to the city it’s easier, we asked for train - she said it is too complicated. Masa tuh I dah nak kata “Try us, serious; how hard can it be? Have you seen London & Paris Metro map? I survived them!”, but masa tuh, tak nak argue ler kan and macam riak lak kan.

3. The bus is sooooooo super slow, I think it was like 50km/hour, the distance from airport to city is below 20km I think or slightly more but it took like an hour to reach Piata Unirii. Sungguh berkhemat…. penat diri dalam bus. But safe we felt ler kan, not like our local Mini Bus, those that can remember would know what I am talking about (it‘s near death experience every time).

OK lar…. I guess it was a culture shock experience as none of us has been to Eastern Europe before… It’s a brand new feeling, all excited and curious, well…. That was before we got summoned again (reminded me of my New Zealand trip - Yup! Got a tix in New Zealand 10 mins after we drove from Greymouth), I think either we are jinx or we are setting a trend for ourselves *hemmm….. Not something I honestly looking forward to*. How it started? Nih cite Nye…

We went to purchase the bus tix, we told the lady (whom can’t speak a word of English) that we need to go here (showing the address) and there are 4 of us; English, map and sign language all at the same time (memang chicken and duck talk). She go like “ ahh…. Ok ok…” and key-in her cashier machine and times 4pax. We paid and was given 2 tix… ERRR… 2 tix??? Wei wei??!?? It’s 4 of us, I siap tunjuk satu, dua tiga, empat lagi….Ish! Minah nih… Dah ler minah kat atas tadi cam loghat! Minah ni pulak blur. Panic attack! AGAIN!!!

She said, “ok ok ok…”; this is what she tried to explain and I am very deadly SURE I understood it clearly, but if there’s a Romanian reading this entry, please verify as I might have been wrong. She said to tap the tix TWICE on the sensor portion (tap just like Malaysia Touch & Go card on our local bus), each card to tap TWICE as it is 2 person per tix. And she gave us the receipt which stated all details as well as 4 person. OK lar we suppose… we accepted, thinking this is how the bus system in Bucharest works and it does protect the environment, GO GREEN Bucharest! Noble giler!

Got IT! Bus came, on board we go, city it went…. All went smoothly and slowly (remember 50km/hour). Then 2-3 station before our stop, the tix conductor came on board in grey uniform (2 of them), since we look different, we were approached and asked to produce our tix. Zali gladly pull it out and show her, she said where’s another 2 tix (remember we were give 2 tix only), we explained clearly and she said we were wrong, then we got panic and wondered; how the hell would we know, we bought from the bus counter at the airport. Tak kan salah kot kan kan kan… marah ada, geram ada, panic ada…. Arghh…..

She said she have to fine us or we will be taken to the police station (WHAT????? Over a bus tix, banyak keje diarang), we then show our receipt and pointed out the price, she said “No no… and insisted to fine us or police station we go”. We said ok we pay the fine, thinking it should be the different ie pay the other 2 tix plus probably RON$XX for the fine right?!

Guess how much we were fined? Additional RON25 per person as she claimed we should buy the daily pass (even if we feel that we don’t need it as we are going on board the HoHo the next day which is CHEAPER then this; however we don‘t feel like arguing), plus the fine of RON100-150 if I remembered clearly (Zali handled this), meaning per person is RON50-75 (exchange rate is 1:1 to our RM currency). Kinda a mood spoiler for whole day masa tuh.

We were so not happy even we said we just arrived and we were tourist, she saw our passport pulak tuh. Yeah, we saw her employee ID so we figure she is not a conwoman ler kan, makna nye kene dengar cakap. We got down at our stop (finally) and decided to forget about it (which was freaking hard sebab it’s RM75 ok!!!!).

We got down and start looking for direction and asked around but no one could help (muka orang tengah pissed memang garang kot), then we decide to just take a cab for RON20 as it’s much easier. It was actually 5mins walking distance from where we stand… ek elaaa…. Tak pa ler, masa tuh dah bengang kan. But those who wants to go, please stay at Horoscop Hotel, it’s right smack at Piata Unirii and not hidden like ours.

After looking at our room in Prince Park Residence, the “upsetness” are all GONE, it was HUGE; there’s balcony for BBQ, the attached bathroom is superbly clean and look like 4 star hotel (it is apparently), it came with kitchenet and utensils, TV, dining table etc… giler gempak ok! And I have to say this, the bed is SUPERB, rasa cam tak nak bangun!

Money well spend! Marah terubat!

Credit hyperlink : Wikipedia, Prince Park Residence, Horoscop Hotel


Biqque said...

tak beli tiket bas pun kena fine! crazy!

just.HY said...

crazyyyyyyy sbb kene saman! jual jela tix dlm bus abes cite! but seriously when u said 50km/h, i rse mcm nk tolong drivekan jeeeeee...tekan pedal minyakkk tu lebih skit! huhuhu

currency mmg murah ek...tak sangka!

Fatt said...

aku plak rasa hangin dgn citer ko ni...for god sake why do u paid??!!! kalo aku le, aku heret dia pegi kaunter tu pastu gasak kome la nak pungpang ape...

mentang2 la kita asian ko dorg ingt dorg tu malaikat ape sbb skin kaler putih. aku teringt baca blog mana tah haritu psl isu skin colour ni...kat subway rasanya. polis tu pull org kulit hitam & colour je...bila tanya omputih yg passer-by tu bleh dia ckp bcoz mamat tu skin colour pasti sengih2...

aku mmg benci la racism ni...and i crossed what the brusch??? out of the map!

TURN OFF!! anyway, thanks sharing benda ni or else we didnt know..

Lily Riani said...

itu ler pasai.... sebab tourist and colour.... itu aku ok lagi sbb kat mesia pun kite buat cam tuh dak?! but yang GERAMnye, logic apa fine aku when the mistake is by them ie the tix counter lady!!!! dia single aku out tak pe, dia fine aku tuh atas dasar aku salah beli tix... yang best nye RECEIPT tulis 4 ORANG! arghhh.... ada RECEIPT tau tau tau...

Amer said...

Alamak..are you sure it wasn't a scam? There's a lot of scam in Eastern Europe. Maybe next time you should read reviews on Lonely Planet atau TripAdvisor. Tapi bestnyer korang dap at pegi Romania. Dah lama plan nak pergi tak sampai-sampai.

Lily Riani said...


its legal, sbb they scan and able to read the tix. then they reissued. they came in with a tag and randomly pick, they also pick the person before us.

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