Going back to Romania after all these years was like a dream. 
It was so much the same and so different all at once. 
And every second of it felt surreal. 
But the people were always my favorite part.
And that hadn't changed.  
So even though our two week trip felt way too short, I tried to capture as much of them as possible. 
Gypsy superstitions about cameras and photography made it a little bit of a challenge. 
I only wish I had been better at getting a portrait of all of our hosts in front of their respective homes. 
Oh well, another reason to go back. 
Mititei - Romanian street food. Always served with mustard and a thick slice of bread.

One of the smiliest and happiest Romanians I have ever met.
He cut open this squash to show us the inside. Using only the finest kitchen tools of course. 

Vendors set up shop on the sidewalk for your convenience. 
It's always the worst when you can't get garlic right outside your front door.

Gypsies love having their pictures taken. 
Luckily I couldn't hear what she was yelling at me through the bustle of the marketplace. 

The view from behind.

He stopped to help these metro performers by volunteering as their conductor. 
Clearly they needed one.

Parks are always packed with chess players. It's all very serious business.
Also, those are books hanging on lines in the background serving as an outdoor bookstore. Oh the convenience!

And it's not just players. There are crowds of men watching all the action. Chess spectators.
Incidentally I have never once seen a woman playing chess in Romania. 

Putting away his wallet after he just gave money to a beggar. I liked him immediately

The best way to photograph gypsies without being yelled at or having a finger waved in your face.
Side-note: I wore a bright colored skirt while we were there and got so many double-takes from people. 

Earning his keep.

Tending her flowers.

Manning the train station.

Keeping up with his peeps.

Talking to herself. 

Talking to somebody else.

Helping dad drive the truck - we stayed with Mihai and his adorable family out in the country

This is his grandma.

And this is his grandma's reaction after spotting him in the truck.
The double handed wave.

This is his grandpa.

And this is him with his dad and uncles.

Some people would yell at you for taking their picture. Others flat out ask you to take theirs. 
Can you guess which he was?

I was happy to believe his palm reading when he said I looked like an angel, had the beauty of the earth shining out of my eyes, and would find love wherever I went in my long and happy life. Then this fortune telling took a turn for the worse when he looked at Ryan's palm, got this above look on his face, and started spouting out things about death, heart disease, and six months to live. 

  Some little old ladies exiting the monastery in Hungary where we spent a cold afternoon. 

The people are lovely (wouldn't you agree?) and the scenery is insane!
More photos of the countryside coming soon.