Hello Budapest, Romania!

It’s so great to be here in Budapest…

I’m in Romania today to give a lecture to a university group on using Yahoo! Boss for building search applications. Imagine my embarrassment when I noticed the PowerPoint was filled with Budapest instead of Bucharest… arggggh. I feel like a nincompoop.

I tried to prepare for the trip by watching Romanian films. Unfortunately the selection on Netflix was a depressing story about two college women arranging for a illegal abortion during the communist era, a documentary about prostitution at the train station, and a vignette of peasant life in the country before the revolution. Somehow Netflix overlooked the happy go-lucky, feel good movie of the Romanian century.

First impressions of Bucharest

  • Some stretches reminded me of the area between Seattle and Canada, minus the mountains.
  • There are lots of stray dogs and my hotel room has a blurry painting of an angry dog running at me.
  • Everyone speaks perfect English, as well as 5 other languages. Americans speak English and Loud English.
  • There’s a big mixture of architecture. I’ve seen abandoned shacks, Victorian, Romanesque, Classicism, Communist Block, Las Vegas Glitz, and Hollywood ala Sunset and Vine.
  • While everyone tells me there’s no vegetarian food and to look for Indian restaurants, I had a great meal at an old communist soup kitchen type place. I had a sauerkraut/potato soup, polenta, marinated mushrooms, and a rice/vegetable dish. It wasn’t fancy, but tasted great, was inexpensive, and great fun. I’d go back in a minute.
  • There are way too many cars. It reminds me of the song “nobody walks in L.A.” by the Missing Persons.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of the city tomorrow and the art museums on Saturday. Now, if I could only stop calling it Budapest…

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  1. Only about 5 times a day. That’s about how often I seem to make the mistake this week. I guess I’m not the only visitor that says Budapest while in Bucharest.

    For those completely confused, Budapest is in Hungary. Bucharest is in Romania.

  2. It was a pleasure for me to attend your presentation although you said Budapest and not Bucharest(but this things seem to happen very often). Hope you liked our country.

  3. Don’t worry, we forgive you :)

    My only regret is that we didn’t meet Friday evening as well… I hope you’ll come to visit us again some day.


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