Day Eight Update

Another high speed email post from a Net Cafe. Excuse all format and spelling errors please.

No disasters lately. In fact the weather has been fantastic the past few days. The car is even acting better. It starts without hesitation in the mornings. I don’t even have to pop the hood and pump the primer anymore. The car thawing out has brought on all new little “personality quirks” that a better man might find charming. I, however, am about to kick some car ass. There’s a thingie loose in the dash somewhere. Whenever the car moves it starts to vibrate and squeak. By the time I reach 100KPH it sounds like a pigeon having an orgasm inside a bullhorn. Sometimes pounding on the dash (one of my favourite pastimes) makes it stop. Sometimes if I drive through a massive pothole it stops, but usually it torments me all day. Also, now when I roll down the window it makes a squealing sound that makes my soul hurt.

I drove on the most shameful stretch of road I’ve seen in all of Romania yesterday from Drobeta-Turnu Severin to Timisoara, highway E70 in the southwest. On the map, they have the nerve to mark it as a bold red line, the second best line there is, but in reality it is almost non-stop potholes, dips, sinkholes and crumbling road. The car took so much punishment that the muffler bounced its way out of the rubber ring and hook system that holds it in place. I had to tie it back on with wire until the next town. I also lost the bolt that holds the hood down. Still haven’t found anyone to sell me a new bolt yet.

The fender bender in Craiova is still smarting. Apparently, even when you have insurance in Romania you don’t really have insurance and the cop forced me to pay most of the damage to the other car out of my pocket, a whopping part of my budget. If I lived in Craiova we could have handled it differently, but everyone there knew I was leaving town and never coming back, so it was either an on-the-spot resolution or I was going to lose my license and get fined and probably thrown in some mental institution.

To balance my budget I have been staying in some real shitholes. Student rooms in university sports centres for like nine euros a night. I actually slept in my clothes last night the bed looked so dodgy. It’s not too much of a sacrifice. I spend all of seven to eight hours in my room at night and that’s it. Just show up, fall into bed, get up, sometimes shower and back on the road. That’s the plan.

Breakfast is included at each hotel (except the sports centres) and I am sure to eat a huge, filling dinner, otherwise I am living on bananas and Snickers’ all day, as they are the only clean and quick things I’ve found that can be eaten while moving at a steady trot. I supplement this with the occasional Burn (Euro-Red Bull rip off drink, do they have this in the States yet?) to keep me going.

That’s all for now. Gotta eat before I fall over.