Chapter 3: Orientation

Romania is truly a land of never-ending surprises.


I greeted Virgil with an over-the-top wave, and his usually passive, somewhat glum-looking face turned into a smile. The afternoon light was fast waning in Bucharest as we returned to the Pensiunea, and the same woman at the front desk also smiled to see me again. I dumped my bag and full-body-flopped onto the bed, feeling a serious sense of deja-vu as I went through nearly the same motions in nearly the same place as I had a bare three days ago. After a moment of checking in with my body and mind (no, I wasn’t hallucinating, yes, time had passed, yes, I was really in Romania about to attend my orientation as a Fulbright scholar), I decided the best way to make myself more comfortable would be to do what I do best: take action.

I reached for my phone, foregoing wrangling with my memory as to who, exactly…

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