Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 1.5

The day continued, and just got more hectic.  After landing in Romania, I got the nastiest Border Control clerk, and she tried to deny me entrance because Russia hadn't stamped my passport book in Moscow.  I was completely defeated until a man clerk came, and after a short discussion in Romanian, he looked at my book, and asked, "Why did Russia not stamp book?"   I looked at him in complete bewilderment and stated, "I gave it to them.  They said they didn't need to stamp it."  He looked at me for a minute honestly, and then shook his head, and as he stamped my book to admit me into the country said, "That's why you never trust Russians."  And we just smiled at each other, LOL.

Then, the day just got stranger.  I ran through the gate to meet Marius, our liaison for the gallery, found him immediately, but with all of the delays, all of the other artists, coming in from all around the world, were trickling in at all the wrong times, wrong gates, etc.  So, Marius tried to keep us together, and introduced us in trickles, and we became a lively bunch as the HOURS ticked by in the terminal and we tried to get everyone rounded up.  One poor soul had her luggage, EVERYTHING, lost by JFK, others were rerouted to Istanbul, all kinds of craziness.  We all sat around, eating bread, drinking juice and wine, and just trying to have some laughs and make the best of this bizarre situation....We were all operating on less than an hour or two sleep for the last 48 hours, so we were just looking forward to getting to our apartments.

So, when the last artist was finally rounded up, we merrily and excitedly made it to our hired coaches to go to Sibiu....problem was, we all were whispering different accounts of how long the trip would take.  After we all conferred, we agreed it should probably take an hour tops.  Well, we could not have been MORE WRONG.  We began a 387 kilometer odyssey literally being driven by Formula One drivers, flying through the night at top speed through the Carpathians, dodging trucks and precipes, to the point where I truly believed we would be splattered all over the Transylvanian mountainside.  At nearly midnight, we arrived at our destination, all of us literally crawling out of the coaches, and just looking to flop into our apartments.  Not so.  Lee, our boss, decided we should not be such wimps, and had a big party planned for us in the historic town square, with food and drinks and the works. never saw a more sorry bunch!!!  We each pathetically tried to beg out of it, and took turns hiding in our rooms, so that it took nearly another hour to organize everyone, including staff, etc., and by the time the taxis came to drag our sorry asses to the party, it was nearly 1 a.m., but in Sibiu, there is no closing time, so our Romanian friends just laughed this off.  Dealing with crabby artists is like having a bunch of angry pre-schoolers, but Lee just took a firm stance and refused to let any off us "be excused," so off we all trudged muttering, grumbling and sniffling. My ears had popped horribly (this was a first) during the airplane landing in Romania, to the point where I was deaf in my left ear for most of the day, and that was the only thing that was awesome about racing through the majestic and eery friggin' ear finally popped clear!

In the end, we really had a wonderful time, and I was happy I didn't Grumpy Old Man it into my room in spite of the orders.  I met some really great people, and we all had a barrel of laughs, and now....well, what the hell.  It's a new record for me.  Going on 72 hours with only 4-5 intermittent hours of sleep....I'm actually delirious, but that's OK.  No wake up time for us tomorrow, and the nightclubs are still blaring loudly away across the street on the strip, at nearly 4 a.m., so I know I have to get used to the sound of the music, laughter, sirens, and happy voices that are both in our courtyard and, welcome to Sibiu!!!  And now, I need to hit myself on the head with a hammer and knockout LOL....I have no wake up call tomorrow (it's recommended we sleep as long as we can, even into the afternoon), so...there it is.  Life is hard???  Sometimes, in strange ways....

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