12-16 Dec Cluj, Romania
once reaching Cluj train station, our host was already ready and waiting for us on the platform. This time, Jamban is going to stay with his friend while me and Gadis Rempah stays with Florina. Florina was kind enough to send Jamban and his friend back to their place then we head to her home. It was a lovely flat with 2 cats, these two cats are much older, fatter and calmer than the ones in Bosnia. After settling down for a bit, we went out to meet Jamban and friend for a drink in town. The next day, we went out for a lovely lunch at a small cafe that our host recommended, Jamban and friend met us there. We then explored the town for a bit, went to meet another CS, Andrea whom was taking care of her little boutique clothes shop. Then Gadis Rempah and Jamban went bonkers shopping. After this shop and other second hand shops, Jamban got himself an outfit that would top any hippies and homeless! I think I came up with a description that goes ‘Cina boy with long hair and ladies blouse, wrapped in curtain, walking down the street in cold Cluj’. Florina joined us, and took us up a small hill where we saw the whole town. After that we went home and cooked a lush dinner for our hosts.
The day after we went with Florina to hike a nature’s trail in the woods. We crossed some dodgy bridges and have to hug the hills when walking on some narrow footpaths. It was my first time hiking in winter and we saw frozen river. The wood was unusually quiet, still in time. I would like to say it was stunning, but the woods couldn’t care less what I think, as it stands there magnificent without human Finally the final member of the muhibbah girls arrived with her toy boy in Cluj. We met up with them for lunch the next day in the same cafe that me and Gadis Rempah fell in love with. Then we walked around the winter festival. There was an ice-rink there that would have cost us less than 5 euros to skate but unfortunately it was closed due to the melting ice as the weather was not cold enough. By this time, I already have 3-4 layers on. Then we went to Andrea’s place for some homemade polenta and cheese, and some crazy easy dessert thing that I will have to make soon! Oh yes, the last Muhibbah Girl and her boy also went bonkers shopping in her little boutique before dinner. I remained the calm force in the hoarding frenzy. 😉 it was a good night, and it was very very special for all of us to be there together in a different world, with new friends, enjoying new culture. Unfortunately, i’d have to returned to England tomorrow. Tonight as we part, I bid my first goodbye to Jamban, whom I travelled the longest with. Tears welled up, and I, possibly him too, remembered all the crazy times we went through.
16th train to Budapest and fly back to Brighton
The next morning, Florina sent me and Gadis Rempah to the train station at 6am. We met the last muhibbah girl and her boy there. All 4 of us took the same train to Budapest. From Budapest, they were gonna head to Prague on the train and meet Jamban there. Jamban decided to stay one a few more days in Cluj to spend time with his friend. In Budapest, we hang out for a bit with our Malaysian friend then off I go, taking the metro to the airport. I said my goodbyes hastily as the metro approached. As the plane left the ground, flying towards UK, I thought to myself that I am so so lucky, to have had these 3 months, to have met new friends, to have adventures with old friends, to see so much of the world, a world that is different from mine but feel so familiar. I want to do this again one day. Another space, another time.