From Hot Stuff.
Here are the answers to some of the questions left in the comments yesterday:
1) Eleven Eleven: No, there is not a large Arabic speaking population in Romania. However, all of the Shoarma stands were run by Lebanese families so there was some Arabic presence. I studied Arabic in school for several years but unfortunately was unable to study abroad due to 9/11. I keep the languages up by reading, speaking, and writing whenever possible. Speaking is the hardest because neither Romanian nor Arabic have a large population of speakers in San Diego. The Internet is great for keeping languages up though.
2) Whirlochre/Marsha: The restaurant was called the "Bella Muzica." We actually stayed in the hotel attached to the restaurant. The food was great, but it did feel strange having tortilla soup in a 700 year-old cellar in Transylvania.
3) Suze: The fortified churches popped up during the Mongol invasions. Like Kiersten said, villagers would gather together and hide in them until the invading army left. All of the fortified churches in the photos I put up were built by Transylvanian Saxons (a German people).
Okay. Feel free to ask any other questions in the comments. I know you are all dying to know what an author's husband feels on any given subject!
And, to round out the post, I will end with an attempt at Cartomancy (as gleaned from the Harry Potter books) using Austrian playing cards: