Transylvania 6-5000

Remember the movie “Borat?” The village at the beginning of the film was supposed to be Kazakhstan, but the producers couldn’t find a place in Kazakhstan backwards enough to be Borat’s home town. So they went to Romania. And Romania is where I may be going next summer.

My wife’s family escaped from the Transylvania region of the Eastern European country before the communists took over —but she’s quick to remind you that her people were ethnic Hungarians, not Romanian. After all, Hungarians would never allow their trains to be a mess like those described here in the Rough Guide to Romania:

Tickets are incredibly cheap, but this is offset by the habitually derelict carriages, bizarre timetable and sweltering/freezing conditions. Often crowded, trains frequently lack light and water, making long journeys somewhat purgatorial.

OK, so the trains aren’t great —but how about the food? I’m looking forward to trying the muschi ciobanesc, which is pork stuffed with ham, covered in cheese, and served with mayo and cucumbers on the side. Mmmmmm… pork stuffed with ham.

Anyhow, an adventure like this takes planning so I hope you’ll join me here as I prepare for my journey to the armpit of Europe.

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