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Showing posts from December, 2013

Build Morale With Little Wins

The price was too good to be true. Organic Bresaola for 10 lei/100grams (about $3). It was imported from Italy and based on the number of ingredients (beef, salt) the claim seemed legit. The best by date was listed as the day after, but we planned on eating it that evening, so that would take care of that.

When I opened the package I immediately recognized the smell of ammonia. Maybe it was something else too, but in any case, it wasn't the smell of meat gone bad and that was somewhat more disturbing. Because I had to work and do other things the next couple of days, I wasn't able to return it. I wondered whether they were still selling it or if they were using the packages as chloroform rags now.

On the third day I went after work and looked around until I found somebody. I stumbled upon a middle aged lady at the dairy section, updating prices.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for the deli department manager."
"We don't have any managers working in the evening.&…

What I Learned About Driving In Romania

I get it now. I understand Romanian drivers and their follies. It's something I thought would never happen. All it took to shape me into a Romanian road rage machine was one month of driving around Cluj and a 400 km round trip. I'm kidding about the rage part.

The idea of driving in Cluj was intimidating. Last time I'd driven manual shift was almost ten years ago when a co-worker asked me to drive her and her newly purchased, Pontiac Firefly home because she had no idea how to do it. So of course I stalled that little bastard all over the place. Little surprise that the idea of driving along busy and narrow European streets was unappealing - especially after years of driving automatic on wide, North American roads.

But I managed. Stalled an average of once per trip during the first week, and then a couple of times in the second week, and now, a little over a month later, I sometimes stall at stoplights when I forget I'm driving stick and leave it in gear when I release…