Sunday, November 2, 2008

One Laid-back Dude

I overslept. Charles was sleeping in the living/guest room, and awoke when my alarm sounded at 7:00 in the adjacent "master bedroom."

We had intended to drive today toward Maramures to give Charles his initiation into Transylvanian rurality. Our plan was to start at 7:30, but I hit the off button, and then fell back to sleep. When I awoke it was after 8:00, and Charles was nowhere to be found. I thought he might be on the balcony havng a cigarette. Nope. In the bathroom? Nope. Then, on the kitchen table I saw the napkin with "Gone to McDonald's" scribbled on it.

I dressed and went to get Klaus, who was parked between the apartment and McDonald's. I started him up, and arrived at Mickey D's lot just as Charles came out. Off we went on our tour.

We agreed that we had only sightseeing in mind today, no target sites to visit, no schedule, and no hurry. We drove toward Satu Mare as far as Almasului, then turned on a shunpike across a rolling farmscape past Letca, and turned toward Baia Mare on Highway 1C/E58. On this road we crossed the mountains into Maramures, stopping in Somcuta Mare for lunch at a fine restaurant called Fantasia (spelled in Romanian slightly differently).

Over lunch, we debated seeking a monastery to visit, maybe driving another 100 Km up to Barsana, the magnificent wooden monastery that was depicted here a few weeks back. Charles volunteered that he had seen what he came to see, and neither of us wanted to exhaust ourselves this weekend. So, after lunch we headed home, took a nap, and had a pizza for dinner at the Roland Garros, just across the Somes River from the apartment.

My conclusion as the weekend closes: Charles Harris is an easy-going fellow, a smart, fun and friendly Midwesterner, a laid-back dude.

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