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Personal train passengers enjoy curling up on the hard benches after overdosing on brown beer and sausage. Since most of these guys are soon snoring away, and since the conductor makes no stop announcements, I deduced that a designated “stay-awake-passenger” system is employed to arouse these undead from their slumber at the correct disembarkation point.

I had designated no one to wake me, and Gheorghe looked fairly unreliable, so I tried to stay alert. This proved difficult in the slow-moving, gently swaying, overly warm carriage that smelled like a deli. To make matters worse, I assumed, after watching the train’s randomly interrupted progress, that the “Arrival Time” printed on my ticket was just a space filler.

Somehow I stayed awake or jolted awake, and incredibly, we pulled into Sighisoara within 5 minutes of “on time” – albeit long after a regular train would have arrived. Experience, luck, or sophisticated computer modeling of decades of Personal train disembarkation data must have assisted this scheduling miracle.

However they did it, I was impressed with the punctuality, amused by my fellow Personal travelers, and most importantly, after a massive wreck the day before on a Romanian Intercity train, happy to be safely delivered to my destination.

I only wished I had my 7 Lei back.

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Iolanda Scripca Jan. 25, 2012 @ 12:23 p.m.

Ha, ha, ha! You should've listened to the initial advice of the travel agent and guidebooks :) At least you got a very coloful feeling of farmers' and villagers' lives still living under some form of covered Dictatorship....(see the latest Romanian people's protests in Romania) You wrote a very informative and visual article, Ken.Congratulations! I wish you would go back and concentrate on the Cultural Romania full of excellent artists who made a difference in the World's History suh as: George Enescu, , Constantin Brancusi, Eugene Ionesco, Mircea Eliade, Angela Gheorghiu, Johnny Weissmuller etc...


Mircea P Feb. 7, 2012 @ 9:29 p.m.

Very, very funny, Ken! You had a positive attitude, witch was really important, and because of this you didn't miss the real thing. You portray a nice experience in the countryside, consider yourself lucky, most of the tourists don't even come close to this.Congratulations on your article!


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