More View

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Last week I went on a business trip to Bucharest — my first ever visit to both Romania and Eastern Europe in general. I didn’t have much time to see the city itself (other than out of hotel and taxi windows), but I did like what I saw.

I was fascinated by all the contradictions — impressive traditional architecture … covered in neon signs and Coke ads. There even appeared to be entire blocks of flats with HUGE banner ads over the front — I hope that there is some kind of profit-sharing for the tenants, else they’re having sunlight stolen from them!

My most persistent memory of Bucharest, however, is likely to be the traffic. It was absolutely INSANE. Many of the roads, like that in the picture, were very wide — 4 lanes each side, but with any lane markings completely disregarded by the drivers all desperate to inch ahead any way possible. I was amazed that I didn’t see any crashes or prangs the entire time I was there … although a local colleague reassured me that a quick visit to the police station would provide plenty of evidence to the contrary!

Hopefully next time I’ll have a little more time to see the city — but I definitely won’t be driving myself!