THE STORY OF MY BREAST LUMP (IV)

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Operatia de indepartare a nodulului

In ziua operatiei m-am trezit super devreme, oricum nu prea am avut somn (a fost prima experienta de acest fel pentru mine). Am fost preluata de asistenta doctorului meu, care mi-a luat pulsul, tensiunea, mi-a dat un gel de dus cu care sa ma spal pe locul operatiei si mi-a dat si halatelul in care urma sa intru in sala. Apropo, daca s-ar lucra putin si la bai si dusuri as putea sa spun ca la Institutul Oncologic Bucuresti (IOB) ar fi aproape bine. Dar stiind ce e prin alte spitale ma abtin de la comentarii inutile. Aici exista o baie cat de cat curata (depinde si de colegele de salon), functionala si un dus.

Am mai schimbat cateva vorbe si cu doamna doctor si cu cel de-al doilea medic care urma sa ma opereze.

Apoi o alta asistenta m-a luat de manuta, a incercat sa ma linisteasca pe cat de mult posibil in acea situatie si m-a condus spre blocul operator.

Acum fac o mica pauza si va spun ca eu multa vreme am vrut sa am fac chirurg, nu imi e frica de sange, operatie, ace, ba chiar sunt curioasa. Firea mea mi-a facut viata mult mai usoara in spital.

Am ajuns in preoperator si parca am intrat in alta lume. Era prima experienta de acest gen din viata mea. Era modern si curat, peste asteptarile mele. Am fost preluata de asistentele de aici, carora le multumesc pentru vorbele frumoase si zambete.

Una imi punea cipiceii in picioare, alta casca pe cap iar alta branula in mana. Sunt genul de om caruia nu ii place necunoscutul in aceste situatii, vreau sa stiu ce urmeaza sa mi se intample. Medicii si asistentele au vazut acest lucru si mi-au respectat dorinta. Inca un lucru la care nu ma asteptam. Imi era frica de faptul ca o sa mi se vorbeasca de sus si ca o sa mi se comande mai rau decat imi era de operatia in sine.

Tot in preoperator, urma sa vina si medicul anestezist pentru o discutie de rutina. Am stat acolo cuminte cateva minute. In sala alaturata se desfasura o operatie … curioasa din fire am urmarit totul din spatele geamului. Desigur, nu trebuie sa faceti ca mine, daca va e foarte frica atunci mai bine stati lungite in pat.

Dupa discutia de rutina cu anestezistul, una dintre asistente a venit sa ma conduca spre sala de operatie. In drumul meu am trecut si pe langa alte sali. Se opereaza pe muzica, sau in liniste doar cu sunetul aparatelor de monitorizare. Din nou, curizitatea si ineditul situatiei cred ca mi-au blocat cat de cat frica.

Am ajuns in sala de operatie, acolo ma astptau medicii, cu zambetul pe buze si comunicativi. Au ramas asa pana am adormit. Dupa ce m-am intins pe masa, doctorii mi-au spus, impreuna cu asistentele tot ce se intampla, pas cu pas. La un moment dat m-au anuntat ca se pregatesc sa injecteze anestezia. “O sa te simti putin ametita”, mi-a spus doctorul.

Pentru ca nu am mai trecut prin asa ceva, bazandu-ma pe ce am auzit de la prieteni si pe ceam vazut in emisiunile de la tv, am crezut ca o sa pic lata imediat. Nu s-a intamplat asta si la mine. Am intrebat de cateva ori daca adorm, cand trebuie sa adorm si de ce nu adorm mai repede. Asta s-a intamplat dupa ce le-am transmis tuturor ca eu voiam sa ma fac chirurg si ca la noapte o sa dorm pe patul din blocul operator, pentru ca e mult mai confortabil decat patul meu din salon. Cred ca toti au fost usurati sa vada ca am adormit in sfarsit.

Restul povestii:

Breast lump removal surgery

I woke up super early on the day of the surgery; I didn’t sleep much anyway (it was my first surgery). My doctor’s nurse took my pulse and arterial pressure, gave me a shower gel to wash the surgery site and also gave me a robe to put on before surgery. By the way, if they would upgrade the bathrooms and toilets, I could say that the conditions at The National Oncology Institute in Bucharest (IOB) are almost decent. But, knowing the state of other hospitals, I stay away from useless comments. At least here I had a mildly clean bathroom (it also depends on the other patients), and a place to shower.

I also exchanged some words with the doctors, they were nice enough to visit and discuss some final aspects.

Another nurse came and took my hand, she tried to comfort me as much as possible on our way to the operating room.

Insert short break here, because I want to tell you that for the longest time I wanted to become a surgeon, so I’m not afraid of blood, hospitals, needles, I am very curious. This made my life easier here.

I arrived in the preoperative room and I felt like I have entered another world. It was the first experience for me; it was modern and clean, over my expectations. I want to thank the nurses who took care of me, were gentle and smiled.

One nurse was putting on those operating room slippers, another one the surgical hair net and the Intravenous (IV) cannula. I’m the type of person who does not like the unknown in situations like these, I want to know what’s going to happen next. The doctors and nurses here noticed this and respected my wish. It was another thing I did not expect. I was afraid they were going to patronize me, it was actually scarier than the surgery itself.

I also waited here for the anesthesiologist to show up for a routine talk. I waited for a few minutes. In a room nearby the doctors were performing a surgery … I’m very curious and took a peek from behind the window. Of course, you don’t have to do this, if you’re afraid you should just lie on the bed and try to relax.

After the routine talk with the anesthesiologist, one of the nurses came to take me to the operating room. On my way, I’ve passed other rooms. Some performed surgery listening to music, others were quiet; you could only hear the sound of the medical equipment. Again, my curiosity blocked my fear.

I arrived in the operating room, and there the doctors were waiting, they were smiling and very talkative. They stayed like this until I fell asleep. After I lied down on the table, the doctors and nurses told me what was going on, step by step. At some point, they’ve told me they’ll begin the anesthesia procedure. “You’re going to feel a bit dizzy”, said the doctor.

Because it was my first experience, I was only relying on what I’ve seen on TV documentaries and on what my friends told me, so I thought I’ll fall asleep on the spot. It didn’t happen with me. I’ve asked a few times if I’m falling asleep, when will I fall asleep and why I’m not falling asleep faster. Before this, I’ve let everyone know that I wanted to be a surgeon and that “tonight I’m sleeping here because It’s way more comfortable than the bed I was supposed to actually sleep in.” I think they were all relieved when I finally fell asleep.

The rest of the story:

THE STORY OF MY BREAST LUMP (III)

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Internarea

Doua saptamani mai tarziu, dupa multe griji, scenarii si nopti nedormite, a venit in sfarist si ziua internarii. Am adus cu mine tot ce doctorul meu a inclus pe o lista (depinde de la caz la caz).

Desigur, sa nu uitam de bagajul pentru spital. Urma sa stau o zi inainte de operatie, in ziua operatiei pentu ca ziua urmatare sa fiu externata. Eu am adus:

  • 2 pijamale de schimb (cu nasturi in fata) 
  • lenjerie intima pentru 3 zile 
  • ciorapi pentru 3 zile 
  • papuci (va ajuta sa fie de cauciuc ca sa nu intrati desculte in dus)
  • pasta de dinti si periuta 
  • sapun 
  • ceva de prins parul (eu l-am prins in coada)
  • carti, pix, telefon si incarcator, casti, orice ca sa imi ocup timpul cat mai mult
  • servetele umede si hartie igienica 
  • crema de fata 
  • prosop 
  • apa 
  • optional o cana si tacamuri (eu in prima zi am mancat la cantina spitalului, a doua zi dupa operatie doar un covrig si o felie de pizza iar a treia zi am mancat acasa)  

De cum am ajuns (8:30), am fost preluata de asistenta doctorului meu, care a inceput procedurile pentru internare. A urmat un sir lung de intrebari despre starea de sanatate, alergii, alte boli sau operatii. Apoi analize de sange (nu mancati in dimineata internarii) si inca o ecografie pentru marcarea exacta a locului in care se afla nodulul (investigatiile in functe de medic si de diagnosticul fiecaruia).

Medicul meu a discutat cu mine si cu sotul meu. Ne-a raspuns rabdatoare la toate intrebarile si ne-a explicat EXACT ce va urma sa se intample, inainte, in timpul si dupa operatie.

Trebuie sa stiti ca si insotitorul va da cu subsemnatul pentru interventie. Regulile spitalului. Poate fi o ruda sau pur si simplu iubitul. Si voi veti semna multe foi. Va dati acordul pentru internare, operatie, anestezie, explicati exact ce vreti sa stiti despre diagnostic (daca vreti sa stiti sau nu) si cine altcineva din familie mai afla (sau nu) aceste detalii. Apoi am ajuns in salonul unde urma sa imi petrec urmatoarele zile. Trebuie sa stiti ca exista saloane cu cate trei paturi si grup sanitar la comun cu salonul alaturat, unde sunt tot trei paturi. Grupurile sanitare sunt …decente, ma rezum la atat. Daca aveti noroc, exista si salon de doua paturi cu baie privata. Unele saloane au si frigidere (puteti folosi un frigider din alt salon daca nu aveti chiar in camera), tv nu am vazut, mie mi-a tinut companie radioul de pe net.

In saloane si in grupurile sanitare e curat fata de alte spitale si contrar asteptarilor mele (da, stiu ca nu e bine sa iti faci o idee fara sa stii exact, dar cu totii stim cu e in spital in Romania) toata lumea s-a purtat extrem de bine, de la internare pana la externare.

Am avut doua colege de camera senzationale, ne-am incurajat si am stat de vorba pana noaptea tarziu, desi erau mult mai in varsta decat mine. Am socializat si cu colegele din alte camere. Spuneau despre noi ca suntem cele mai prietenoase si ne vizitau. Asa a fost prima zi in spital.

Restul povestii:

The Hospitalization

Two weeks and many worries later, after sleepless nights, the first day of hospitalization came. I brought everything my doctor asked (depends on each case).

Don’t forget the luggage. I stayed in the hospital a day before surgery, the day of the surgery and I was discharged the next day. I brought:

  • 2 pairs of pajamas (buttoned in front)
  • underwear for 3 days
  • socks for 3 days
  • slippers (the rubber kind, I won’t shower barefoot)
  • toothpaste and toothbrush
  • soap
  • a hairband (I kept my hair in a ponytail)
  • books, pen, phone and charger, headphones, anything to keep me busy
  • wet towels and hygienic paper
  • face cream
  • towel
  • water
  • if you want, a mug and cutlery (during my first day I ate at the hospital’s canteen, after surgery I ate a pretzel and a slice of pizza and in my third day I ate home)

As soon as I arrived (8:30), my doctor’s nurse took care of the hospitalization papers, then I answered many questions about my health in general, allergies, other illnesses or surgeries. Blood tests followed (do not eat in the morning of hospitalization) and another breast ultrasound to mark the spot of the lump (the medical investigations differ for every patient and diagnose).

My doctor discussed with my husband and me. She patiently answered all of our questions and explained EXACTLY what will happen before, during and after surgery.

Whoever comes with you will also sign papers consenting to the surgery. Hospital rules. It can be a relative or your boyfriend. You will also sign many papers. You must agree for hospitalization, surgery, anesthesia, and you must explain clearly what you want to know about the diagnosis (if you want to know or not) and who else in your family will be informed (or not). After all this, I was assigned a room to spend the next days in. There are rooms with 3 beds and a common toilet with the joined room, where you’ll also find 3 beds. The bathrooms are … decent. I’ll leave it at that. If you’re lucky there are also rooms with 2 beds and a private bath. Some rooms have a fridge (you can use a fridge in another room if you don’t have one), I didn’t see a TV, the internet radio kept me company.

The rooms and toilets are clean if you compare it to other hospitals (yes, it’s not right to form an opinion ahead of time, but we all know how the hospitals look in Romania) everyone was nice from the day of the admittance until the discharge day came.

My two roommates were very nice, we supported each other and talked until late in the night, even if they were older than me. We also talked to the other patients. They said about us that we are the friendliest and kept visiting. This was the first day in the hospital.

The rest of the story:

THE STORY OF MY BREAST LUMP (II)

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Prima Consultatie

La prima vizita la IOB mi-am deschis fisa acolo si am fost repartizata unui medic la consultatie. Mentionati daca vi s-a recomandat un medic anume. Daca ajungeti cumva acolo, iata ce trebuie sa stiti. Aveti nevoie de:

  • Trimitere de la medicul de familie, cu specificarea ca este pentru IOB.
  • Cardul de sanatate activ.
  •  Adeverinta de salariat de la locul de munca, care sa dovedeasca faptul ca sunteti la zi cu cotizatia. E stupid in contextul existentei cardurilor dar asa e regula. Ii multumesc fetei blonde de acolo care a vazut frica in ochii mei si a trecut peste faptul ca nu adusesem adeverinta in acea zi.

Nu aveam de unde sa stiu, am revenit dupa cateva zile si am atasat-o la dosar.

In hol veti gasi doua masini care impart bonuri de ordine. Aveti doua optiuni: pentru pacientii care revin, sau pentru pacientii noi. Luati bonul corespunzator si asteptati linistiti sa va vina randul (va striga in ordine fetele de la receptie iar numarul bonului e afisat pe ecrane). Nu are rost sa va certati, agitati sau mai stiu eu ce. Cum le-am transmis celor care se bagau in fata, desi sistemul era destul de bine pus la punct pentru Romania. “Toti suntem disperati, plini de frica si bolnavi. Toti vrem sa fim primii sa ne rezolvam problema. Dar hai sa ramanem oameni si sa ne respectam. Altfel cum putem sa pretindem respect”.

In fine … am ajuns la consultatie cu ecografia in mana. Si ii multumesc doamnei doctor pentru felul in care a vorbit si mi-a expus informatiile. A incercat pe cat a putut sa ma linisteasca. Nu putea sa imi zica exact despre ce e vorba fara sa ma opereze. Acelasi lucru mi-l spusesera si medicul de la ecograf si medicul de familie. Eram pregatita pentru orice. Am stabilit impreuna data operatiei si am primit indicatiile pentru internare.

Restul povestii:

First Exam

At my first visit to the National Institute of Oncology I signed up for a consultation and I was assigned to a doctor. You can mention if you have a recommendation for a certain doctor. If you are from Romania you’ll need:

  • A recommendation from your family physician, with an IOB mention.
  • An active health insurance card.
  • A certificate from your employer stating that your health insurance is up to date. This is stupid now that we have the health insurance cards but that’s the rule. I want to thank the blonde girl who saw the fear in my eyes and assigned me even if I didn’t have the certificate on me.

I didn’t knew I needed one, so I came back and attached it to my file.

In the lobby, you’ll find two ticket dispenser machines. You have two options: for returning patients, or new patients. Take the ticket you need and wait your turn (you’ll be called according to your ticket and the ticket numbers are also displayed on screens). It’s useless to fight with the other people. As I said to those who wanted to skip the line, even if the system is pretty organized. “We are all desperate, scared and sick/ We all want to be first to solve our health issues. Let’s be humans and respect each other. How else could we expect to be treated with respect”.

Finally, I arrived at the doctor’s office with my ultrasound. I want to thank my doctor for speaking to me clearly and for giving me all the info I needed. She tried to comfort me a little. She couldn’t say what was there without surgery. I got the same diagnostic at the ultrasound and at my family physician. I was ready for anything. We set the date of the surgery and I received a set of indications before hospitalisation.

The rest of the story:

THE STORY OF MY BREAST LUMP (I)

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Descoperirea

Trist, dar adevarat; in Romania 9.000 de femei sunt diagnosticate anual cu cancer mamar, iar cifrele sunt in crestere. Nu suntem in octombrie, luna dedicata luptei imporiva cancerului la san, dar cred ca acesta este un subiect care trebuie dezbatut oricand. De curand am trecut si eu printr-o experienta destul de neplacuta, mai ales din punct de vedere emotional, care m-a convins sa descriu aici ce s-a intamplat, in speranta ca poate va ajuta pe cineva. Si in speranta ca din ce in ce mai multe femei nu vor mai ignora necesitatea unui control anual, mai ales dupa 30 de ani.

Povestea mea incepe prin aprilie anul trecut, cand am inceput sa simt o durere la san. Initial, am crezut ca are legatura cu perioada lunii, insa ea a persistat. M-am ingrijorat si am inceput sa ma palpez. Prima greseala: inainte nu aveam acest obicei. Undeva in minte cred ca tuturor ne rasuna in cap celebrele cuvinte “nu mi se intampla mie”. Asa am descoperit un nodul destul de mare la sanul drept. Fuga la doctor pentru un consult rapid si o trimitere la ecografie.

In ziua ecografiei nimic nu mi-a mers bine. Cu toate astea, m-am dus acolo relaxata, convinsa ca o sa am parte de un rezultat concludent. Multa vreme am vrut sa dau la medicina si pot sa spun ca multi termeni imi sunt destul de cunoscuti. Stiam ce semnale de bine sa caut pe ecranul ecografului.
In momentul in care am vazut nodulul pe ecran m-am blocat, nu arata deloc cum trebuie. Margini neregulate, destul de maricel si mai rau, deja vascularizat. Deja imi trecea prin cap ce e mai rau. Degeaba a incercat medicul sa imi explice ca nu se poate pune un diagnostic exact, fara un control de specialitate. In mintea mea deja curgeau scenariile. Asa am ajuns cateva zile mai tarziu direct la Institutul Oncologic Bucuresti (IOB).

Dupa ce am discutat cu medicul meu in amanunt despre interventie (urma sa scoatem nodulul pentru mai multe analize), am cautat multe informatii pe net despre spital si ce se intampla acolo, insa nu am gasit raspuns la toate intrebarile mele. In postarile care vor urma va voi povesti mai multe lucruri si daca aveti intrebari va rog sa mi le adresati oricand.

Restul povestii:

The discovery

It’s sad but true; in Romania 9000 women are diagnosed each year with breast cancer, and the numbers keep rising. We are not in October, the month dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, but I think this is a subject that we can discuss anytime. Recently I have also been through a very unpleasant experience, especially from an emotional point of view. I decided to write here about my experience, hoping that I could help someone. And hoping that women will no longer ignore the yearly breast checkups recommended especially after the age of 30.

My story begins in April last year when I started to feel a pain in my right breast. Initially, I thought it had to do with the time of the month, but it persisted. I was worried and I started to perform a self-exam. My first mistake: I never had this habit before. Somewhere in our minds, I think we all say “it won’t happen to me”. This is how I discovered a fairly large beast nodule in my right breast. I went straight to my doctor for a check up and an ultrasound.

Nothing went well the day I scheduled my ultrasound. Still, I arrived there relaxed, convinced I’ll receive a clear result. For a long time I wanted to study medicine, and most terms are pretty familiar. I knew what are the good signals I needed to see during the ultrasound.
I panicked when I first saw the lump, it didn’t look right at all. Irregular edges, it was already a decent size and with a doppler signal. The worst case scenario was already in my mind. The doctor tried to explain that the result is inconclusive without a specialist’s opinion. My mind was going crazy. A few days later I went to the National Institute of Oncology in Bucharest (IOB).

I discussed all aspects of the intervention with my doctor (I needed surgery to remove the lump for further tests), and I started to look for info about the hospital, but I never found answers to all my questions. In my next posts on this subject, I’ll write about my experience there and you can ask me any questions anytime.

The rest of the story:

REWIEW: TRATTORIA BUONGIORNO

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Incet-incet descopar ca imi place foarte mult sa va scriu despre … mancare. Asta si pentru ca sunt gurmanda de cand ma stiu. Cu greu ma convingea mama in copilarie sa nu mananc toata ciocolata intr-o singura zi si sa pastrez si pentru restul saptamanii. Principiul e simplu: “Traieste clipa”. Ma bucur pe moment de ce am si daca nu imi ramane si pentru mai tarziu … pai atunci asta e. Macar am fost fericita mai devreme.

Sa trecem deci, la fapte. Saptamana trecuta mi-am delectat papilele gustative la Trattoria Buongiorno (de pe Lascar Catargiu).

Am incercat Ravioli rosso con Buratta in traducere libera: Ravioli proaspete, muguri de pin, smântână dulce, parmezan. Buuunnnn rau de tot, iar sosul de smantana a fost perfect, nu a ingreunat deloc preparatul.

I’m just realizing that I love to write for you about … food. It’s because I’ve been a food lover since I can remember. In my childhood, my mom could barely get me to save a piece of chocolate for the next day. It’s really easy actually: I prefer to live in the moment and enjoy what I have now. If I don’t save some for later … it’s not a loss. At least I was happy while it lasted.

Let’s get down to business. Last week I’ve delighted myself with some delicious food at Trattoria Buongiorno (located on Lascar Catargiu Street).

We’ve tried Ravioli Rosso con Burrata: Fresh ravioli, pine nuts, cream, parmesan. Reallyyyyy tasty. The cream sauce was just right, not heavy at all, just a delight with the rest of the ingredients.

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THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD

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Nu am mai fost nominalizata de ceva timp la un tag, insa recent, Josh Gross (mergeti sa ii vizitati blogul), m-a nominalizat la Mistery Blogger Award. Multumesc si hai sa incepem:

Mystery Blogger Award a fost creat de Okoto Engima, si iata cum il descrie ea:
Un premiu pentru bloggeri minunati, cu postari ingenioase. Blogul lor nu doar captiveaza atentia, ci inspira si motiveaza. Sunt cateva dintre cele mai bune si merita sa fie citite si laudate si de altii. Premiul este si pentru bloggerii care scriu cu inspiratie, se distreaza, si fac totul cu foarte multa pasiune.

Reguli:

Ca alte premii, Mystery Blogger are cateva reguli. Acestea sunt:

✔Posteaza logo-ul/imaginea premiului pe blogul tau.
✔Scrie regulile.
✔Multumeste-i celui care te-a nominalizat si fa o trimitere la blogul lui.
✔Mentioneaza creatorul premiului si fa o trimitere la blogul lui.
✔Spune-le cititorilor 3 lucruri despre tine.
✔Nominalizeaza 10-20 de oameni. Eu va nominalizez pe voi toti, asa ca oricine vrea sa dea stafeta mai departe sa o faca!
✔Anunta-i pe cei pe care i-ai nominalizat printr-un comment pe blogul lor.
✔Pune-le 5 intrebari, una sa fie ciudata sau amuzanta (specifica).
✔Pune un link catre cele mai bune postari ale tale.

It’s been a while since I took a stab at a blogger award. Recently, Josh Gross (GO VISIT his blog), nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Thank you and here goes nothing:

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma, and she describes it as:
An award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much passion”.

Rules:

As with all awards, the Mystery Blogger Award comes with some rules. They are:

✔Post the award logo/image on your blog.
✔List the rules.
✔Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
✔Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
✔Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
✔You have to nominate 10 – 20 people. I nominate all of you guys, whoever wants to pass on the torch, please do so!
✔Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
✔Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
✔Share a link to your best post(s).

the-mystery-blogger-award

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REVIEW: DINING AT SAINT GEORGE, BUCHAREST

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Cand nu am timp sau bani sa calatoresc, imi place sa ma simt ca in vacanta in Bucurestiul meu. Asa ca la fiecare pas prin oras incerc sa gasesc frumusetea ascunsa a locurilor prin care trec. Ca sa nu ma plictisesc niciodata, imi place sa ies in locuri cat mai diverse, si sa incerc lucruri cat mai diferite. E valabil si atunci cand vine vorba de o cina in doi. Din cand in cand, mancarea gatita in casa nu e de ajuns, ai nevoie doar de un locusor linistit, unde sa bei ceva si sa mananci ceva bun. When I don’t have the time or money to travel, I like to take a moment and feel like I’m on vacation in my Bucharest. I try to find the hidden beauty of the city with every step I take. I don’t like to visit the same places every time, it would be boring, so I try to mix it up and try different things. This also counts when we’re planning a dinner out for two. From time to time homecooked meals are not enough, all you need is a quiet place to drink and eat something tasty.
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Borzoska

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