We arrive in Sighetu Marmației. It is freezing cold, I can’t feel my hands. But this is my favourite part of the whole journey. Volunteers greet us with hot coffee and direct us to a car that will drive us another 3 hours to Cluj-Napoca. Along the road, they make a call to Romanian volunteers, hoping to find a place to stay for all aboard.
One of the upstairs rooms in the train station has been converted into a transit centre. We enter and get friendly greetings, even if our dark skin makes many people raise their eyebrows. They ask if we want food—they have soup. Next, they prepare us a small bag of groceries. It almost makes me feel like a child.
There are beds here too, for people who want to take a train in the morning. But we don’t really have a plan now. Not anymore. They ask us if we want to stay in the city for a bit. We agree.
We get picked up by Andrei, a volunteer who shuttles us to a hotel that offers free accommodation. He tells us to smile, we’re safe now. When we arrive, I am so tired I could cry. But my eyes are dried up.