December 18th 2022
I had already made up my mine that I was leaving Hungary, but two cancelled rideshares to Belgrade later, I was forced to take a different route out. Opting for more "reliable" transport, I got a five hour bus to Timisoara (Timi-sho-ah-ra). I have bigger plans for Romania in the future, this would just be dipping my toes as a layover.
The bus was delayed two long hours, and after talking with an American where I learned that most southern US cities do not in fact have southern accents, I arrived far too late to do anything. The extra hour added by the seemingly arbitrary border-initiated timezone shift didn't help the situation.
My first impressions of the town at night though, were that they must really take Christmas seriously. For being a relatively small city of ~300,000 people, the entire centre was one continuous series of xmas decortions.
From the grumblings I heard from the mouth's of Hungarians previously, my expectation of Romania was, in all honesty, relatively harsh. But, the impression this city made on me really hit home how rarely one's preconceptions ever mirror reality.
I found Timisoara to be clean and pretty, have a high-tech new city area (complete with a park playing out Christmas jazz from several speakers), and the people very welcoming. Hell, even the hostel staff invited me to go party with them immediately.
This was only a stopover though, I barely had time to listen in and rack my brain around the sounds of Romanian. That evening I was gone, taking a rideshare to Serbia.