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Instant Gratification

by Tara

Day two of Rob's guided tour Bucharest didn't go exactly as planned. We didn't go to the museum or the park we had intended to visit, but we did do something else: we got exactly what we wanted.

Before we left, Tyler and Rob searched online until they found a good camera store in Bucharest. We arrived with no trouble at all, and were dumbfounded to see their extensive inventory. To our surprise, all of their products were inexplicably cheaper than they would have been in the states! Rob translated everything for us so what could have taken us all day unassisted, took just a few minutes. Getting what we need or want easily and expediently with zero hassle has really become a foreign concept to us!

Tyler was able to find the step-up ring he wanted for one of our lenses so we can take more 3x macro shots like the one below. Without it, we have to hold our 20mm lens up to our camera backwards to take a picture. It is fiddly and difficult with such a shallow depth of field (you can only have a few millimeters in focus).

Old Man Tick(?)

After the camera shop, we headed towards the art museum. It was closed, but nearby, we found an ENGLISH BOOK STORE. Poor Robert probably got bored, but we were in heaven. We could have stayed forever, purchased the entire stock of books, and read everything. In our book-induced high, we even decided to spend an entire year as hermits doing nothing but reading. In retrospect, it doesn't sound that appealing and we'd probably go crazy, but it was fun to think about.

After painfully extricating ourselves from the bookshop empty handed (we couldn't justify the high cost of buying books new), we all went for a drink at a hip bar located on the roof of the Bucharest National Theater. Rob treated us a pint of Bergenbier, a really tasty Romanian beer. We drank happily while enjoying the cool rooftop breezes and watching guys playing hackysack to the backdrop of colorful murals on the walls.

From the bar, we made our way back home, where we made evening plans. We would go see a movie! A real movie! Ironman 2 was playing, which sounded good, but I hadn't seen the first one. So, we all sat down to watch, finishing it just in time for the late show at the theater in a nearby shopping mall.

Before the movie started we wandered around the gigantic American-style mall and, due to my prompting, asked around if any companies had pay-as-you-go internet. Cosmote didn't, and Orange didn't. But Vodafone did! With Rob translating again, we were able to get pay-as-you-go internet for the remainder of our time in Romania. Success!

With ice-cream, milkshakes, a huge bucket of popcorn, and corn-syrupy caffeinated beverages to drink, we were ready for our movie. We walked into the darkness and waited for the show to begin. While we sat, I thought of my dear friend and old roommate, Jess. When we were in college, we used to go movies together all the time because she worked at the local theater. I miss you JmcJJ!

The movie began, a riot of encompassing sound and fancy graphics, and we were soon swept up in the big screen. As much as I love real, slow, intentional living and the simple pleasures therein, there is something to be said for instant gratification and the occasional colorful, sugary rush of commercialized life.