[Original post by Elliot Mogerman – Transferred from yahoogroups.com]
So Romania decided to rain on us for both days we were here. After riding into town we noticed a few crazy things. first, bucaresti has so many freakin banks on every corner it is funny. you could make a drinking game out of it and be drunk in minutes. Or like slug bug and you would have to stop after a mile. Each corner was around 5 or 6 banks connected one after the other. It was worse than starbucks, which we did see our first one in europe so far here. I have no idea how these banks stay in business, mafia, or how they have so many security guards watching every building of the city, mafia, but it is normal here. We found our favorite spot for internet, mcdonalds, again. And I think this was the busiest one in the world. We had to stop and wait out a huge storm for like 5 hours. And all these busses were dropping gruops of kids off and coming back to pick them up. There was probably over 400 kids in the time we were there. And they loved their happy meals. Glad to see an american icon mean so much to the locals. So those of you that have been to mexico with me, will understand the next imagery. Most of the cities we passed through reminded me of mexico. One main paved road, with some really old buildings, lots of people on the streets walking around and thousands of stray dogs. These dogs are everywhere and love to chase us. And then there are the markets. Huge square mile, yes mile, of swap meet type farmers and everything else markets. It took us all day to walk through a quarter of one. Leaving Romania we were able to see the beautiful countryside. And it’s fun to see they still use horses a lot pulling wagons, and primary transportation for some of the families around. The farmers are using hand tools instead of machinery for their farming and agriculture. They are using pitchforks and pull carts and manual “sy?” blades to cut grass, etc. They incorporate it well. The roads are getting worse, the roadkill is more apparent and there are tons of people staring at us as we ride by. I’m sure we are good looking but its kind of weird. Also, livestock and animals have no barriers to the highways and roads. So today we passed by within feet of horses and bulls. Furthermore, all the music in mcdonalds and live music at places of interest are all american. But like the karaoke style electronic sounding remakes of american songs. So soon dinner and then ride through moldavia into kiev ukraine. Take care, hope everyone is well.