We left at about 9 in the morning, arriving in Iaşi right at noon. Tanya was supposed to meet her coworker at a mall, so she waited for him while Kelly and I wandered the mall. Moldova definitely does not have anything that looks even remotely as Western as this mall! Romania is newly in the European Union, so I guess they want to prove they belong there! Kelly and I looked like country bumpkins coming to the big city for the first time... eyes big, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at everything. The mall had all sorts of neat Christmas decorations, and they were playing American Christmas music over the speakers, so it was just like walking into any mall in America!One thing I had definitely been excited to learn about this mall was that they had a KFC in their food court! Now, in the States I'm not a huge KFC fan, but I have been absolutely craving chicken strips during my pregnancy, and Moldova does not provide anything even remotely like what I've been wanting. So we stopped at KFC and got me a large order of chicken strips to bring home with me!I didn't eat them for lunch, however, because Tanya said that Iaşi had a Pizza Hut, and THAT'S where we were going for lunch. However, when we arrived where the Pizza Hut used to be, it wasn't there anymore! At that moment, though, Tanya remembered a really neat place called Little Texas, and she said we just HAD to eat there. It is a restaurant that was opened up by an American, and they serve real authentic Tex-Mex food! (Read the NY Times article that includes this restaurant here.) It was so neat walking in there and seeing the swinging doors, the longhorns over the door, the huge Texas flag on the wall, and the life-size cutout of John Wayne to greet you!
After splitting appetizers of nachos and chicken quesadillas, Kelly and I ordered the Colorado Chicken Burrito that came with rice and beans, and Tanya got a Barbecue and Mushroom Burger. The food was AMAZING and definitely authentic. I felt like I was back home in Waco for that hour! :)On the way back out of the town, we stopped at the Gelateria Venezia for some Italian-style gelato, which was also delicious. Then we hit the road back for Moldova!
Our border crossings weren't the smoothest they could be - long lines and inefficiency. However, we made it and we are SO GLAD we went! And now I have another stamp in my passport - I've been to Romania!Thank you, Tanya, for letting me tag along and making it a fun day of new experiences!
By the way, I had my KFC chicken strips for lunch today, and they were DELICIOUS! :)