Today I finally felt better, actually awake, so I set out on an adventure. I went to a restaurant I really like, where I once ate an amazing chicken soup. Like the best thing ever. A Balkan-style soup, sour and amazing, flavored with herbs that don’t even grow elsewhere. They were out of it, and the quinoa burger I ended up ordering was fried, so I could not eat it. I ate the bread and veggies, which were good, and I didn’t complain, but they caught on something was wrong. They ended up comping my meal, which was awkward. Everything is more awkward for me here, since I feel out of place and I know I often do or say the wrong thing. Anyway, blah. I shook it off and I bought a delicious covrig later, something that’s easier than dealing with the whole showing up by myself in a cool restaurant and dealing with the social anxiety of being in a place where I speak the language but am unaware of subtle social cues.
I then went to my favorite part of town, the Old City Center, a former merchant quarter which to me preserves a certain old world charm – though it is touristy and chaotic. There I visited the most beautiful bookstore in Europe, which I generally also consider too touristy, with many foreign language books and a vast assortment of expensive gifts, but today I actually found a nice selection of Romanian fiction and I proceeded to read through some of the books with intriguing titles and pretty covers to try to find one I like. Then I sat down to drink a lemonade and draw, and for once this much admired and much photographed touristy bookstore turned out to be a wonderful place of refuge. They even have carousel horses in the bar area. I think I shall return.