My birthday gift

My birthday gift

Big moon, big laughs, big meat. This was the motto of my second birthday on the road. With the years I have become less and less fussy about this day, so much so that my expectations of it are almost zero. Not quite frozen, but pretty close. This could be seen as sad “oh, poor woman, nobody makes her day special” or “god damn, her whole year is so amazing, she has no need of a birthday to know she is special”. I will leave the choice to you.

I did mention that Bucharest left us underwhelmed. Instead we spent an embarrassingly long time in the outskirts of the city with our feet running through some of the softest and greenest grass we have seen . Get out of the traffic chocked capital, drive through the big chimneys, pass the circle road while praying to survive, as nobody knows what is happening or bothers to follow the rules, drive some more until you reach the cute houses and turn right. There we were, most likely washing Couch, believing if we show him a good time, he will continue to be good to us and take us around Europe without a hitch. No kidding.

This is where I welcomed another year.


The morning was taken up by a table full of gifts prepared by the children. I piled the cards written in English and Romanian on the side. Then I  unveiled various food items from hand drawn wrapping papers. We followed this with a leisurely day and quick preparation for the evening bbq.

Not before long the meat was sizzling over the hot coals and cold beer frosted the glasses all around. Friends of our hosts joined in and only the huge moon knows how much we laughed.



And there, warmly welcomed by strangers in a new country I gave myself the best gift. I felt it all – the place, the company, the clean and waxed Couch, my kids running on the grass, the freedom, the privilege…life as a traveler.

So passed one of the most, no, THE most amazing year of my life.

Thus far.