The Northern

If you’ve read the article Kingdom, you’ll know that I left it on a cliffhanger; I closed the article with the sentence “I boarded a train towards Baia Mare”. You’ll also know that I never wrote a follow up from that; well here it is, long overdue.

In the very north of Romania is a city called Baia Mare, and it’s where one of my housemates is from. Over the course of two days we took trains from Vama Veche all the way, we spent nearly 20 hours on the rails to get us there and we celebrated our arrival with a small BBQ. I only spent 3 nights there but I was shown around the place, we went to the main square for drinks with Riot Monk and then the following day I attended their rehearsal and even got to join in on drums for one song. I say join in, I hit the cymbal at the end with a broken drumstick. We even had a little photo shoot for my own amusement.

I spent the next day with the rhythm half of Riot Monk drinking in a garden bar before I left to go to Cluj-Napoca.

As you probably know I spent around 4 months in Cluj-Napoca at the start of 2018 before heading to the coast so this time back was spent catching up with old friends from the city. I went to all my favourite bars: Zorki’s, Shadow, Flying Circus, and of course, La Tevi. It was a nostalgic feeling going back to all those places as they were the same places I spent most of my time in before.

I explored the place that I called used to call home and I got to see the city with brand new eyes. A friend and I headed up to the citadel for a few drinks and saw the city from above, before we came back down into the centre and ate enough donuts to last all the way through the winter.

Apart from this I spent my time in the hostel, chatting with all the guests and reminiscing about my time working there, I joined in with some of the activity shifts and even helped out with some odd jobs around the place; it was like I’d never left.

On my last night in the city I went to an arts event, a combination of electro-psychedelic interactive artworks and also DJs playing techno music in the courtyard. I had quite a lot of fun running around checking out all the stands, but unfortunately I had to leave earlier than my companions as I had to get an overnight train down to the capital to start my new life down south.

I had been offered a job in Bucharest and I promised my new employer that I would start on the 1st of September so I was under a bit of pressure to get there on time. But luckily I was able to catch the overnight carriage and arrive in Romania’s capital city. I wandered through the streets from the main train station to the centre of the city and was amazed at the difference between Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest.

Read all about my time in Bucharest in my next article.

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