Akasha and I rose early the next morning and headed off to catch our bus into the mountains. The others had most of the day to fill before catching their own buses home. Jesse had helped us check bus times with an official when we’d arrived 2 days earlier, but the woman at the ticket office assured us that there was no bus to Sibiu or Alba Iuliu. The trains, despite being a fraction of the cost of anywhere else I’d been in Europe, were too expensive for Akasha, so we were left with the option of the microbuses that act as shuttles. We found the right one, then after some quick negotiations with the other passengers, even managed to get 2 adjacent seats. We both wanted to start fresh, but it wasn’t easy to put the past week behind us.
“I’m broken,” Akasha said. “I feel like a single mother who’s lost her freedom.” The observation was the perfect compliment to my own feelings of being the child in the back seat. “I can’t support both of us.”
She told me that they’d been trying to reach me and that I’d been in dreamland. Perhaps they had. There were a number of times that I’d been shocked to find them speaking English to me. It wasn’t beyond belief that I’d missed some. And the previous night may have been better simply because I was less stressed and therefore more open, though I think they were making a real effort for the first time that week.
Our conversation was interrupted by an old woman behind us, who wanted to introduce her grandson, Robert. The boy of about 8 spoke a number of English words and helped to […]