On Saturday June 10th, I will turn 36 years old.  I love getting older.  Each year I get wiser, blissfully more deranged and, reportedly, better looking.  I’m told that I am afflicted with the ‘George Clooney Effect’ where, although I wasn’t unattractive when I was younger, I somehow become better looking as I age.  Well bully for me!  By the time I hit 40 I should be an irresistibly sexy, literary genius!  I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’m just an adorable hack who’s flirting with financial ruin.  Knowing this, my sweet mother has deposited $200 into my bank account so that I can ‘treat myself in some special way’ for my birthday.  Moreover, I’m under orders that whatever I do must not jeopardize my life in any way.  She says this every time she gives me a cash gift ever since two Christmases ago when to her horror I used them money to go skydiving in New Zealand.

So, even factoring out all the ways I might get killed, my options for spending that money here in Romania are still somewhat limitless. That kind of money will go a long way.  Do I go get an all-over tan at the Black Sea?  Bond with nature at the Danube Delta?  Immerse myself in the peasant lifestyle in Maramures? Party in Timisoara?  Spend it all on hookers and blow here in Iasi?  Decisions, decisions.

Or maybe I’ll spend it on a device that deactivates and permanently fries all car alarms, so I can go outside and blast the one that’s been going off outside my building for the past 45 minutes.