Just checking in. See you haven’t posted anything in 5 days. My guess is one of 2 things have happened. 1.) you met a local Bulgarian girl who you slept with but her father caught you in the act and he is now making you stay and run the family farm and do right by his daughter. or 2.) Some Russian model seduced you and sold you to one of those Hostel like torture places.
Definitely hope its option 1.
Hit me back
Dear loyal reader,
Thanks for your questions. 1.) Yes I did meet a Bulgarian girl. Unfortunately she met me too. Apparently telling someone you love them and crying when you first meet them is no longer acceptable. 2.) I wasn’t tortured, but the bathtub of ice I woke up in was freezing. Fortunately, the doctor tells me you can live with one kidney.
Thankfully there is a night train to Belgrade, Serbia, my next destination. My excitement quickly diminished with a few stories:
1. It smells like pee.
2. A guy from the hostel is on the train. Bulgarian police search his train car and find assault rifles and shotguns hidden in the ceiling. Guy pleads they’re not his as the police calmly ignore him and confiscate the fire arms because apparently this smuggling is normal.
3. Girl from hostel. 30 minutes into a train ride the driver realizes he is going the wrong direction and driving to Hungary instead of Bulgaria. His wrong guess (between east or west) resulted in an extra two hours added to the journey.
4. And the last story is… there wasn’t a last story. Everyone kept going…
Bulgaria has a long history and is arguably the oldest country in Europe, possibly the world (as surrounding countries were only territories). However to find this out I had to crash a going away party at a local bar where my history lesson was laid out. This is a common theme in Sofia as it doesn’t seem important to the city to share its history with outsiders. One local museum displaying ancient roman artifacts commonly explained its contents as “piece of metal”. What it does lack in historical information in makes up for in friendliness. Every night it was easy to chat up a few new friends and there seemed to be a genuine interest in hearing why you were there, regardless of whether it was curiosity or just shock.
Nightlife. Weeknights the city is pretty dead but on Friday and Saturday night bars and clubs are packed and playing your favorite selection of 80′s and 90′s pop music. Meeting girls for a westerner is pretty easy as curiosity becomes your wingman. However English Ryan (sincerely) made the point that Bulgarian girls are not looking for one night stands after taking his date to the mens room at Club Mixtape the previous night.
A night out in Boston often results in burning through your whole ATM withdrawal before switching over to credit cards. That “Oh, $h!t, how much did I spend” feeling in the morning is never a welcomed one. My first night in Sofia was celebrated with rounds of jager bombs (not my idea), inflated tips and shots with the bartender. With approximately a $65 a day budget (Including accommodation, transportation, food… etc) I immediately woke up with regret. That was before I opened my wallet and realized I spent maybe $20.
Bulgaria appealed to me in a few ways. It’s an obscure destination which always offers surprises for those looking for new adventures, and it’s cheap (Beer price gauge; $1 dollar. Turkey was about $5). Upon crossing the border I saw some really cheap accommodations but opted out because the vehicles looking for the parking space almost drove over the tenant three times in five minutes.
After crossing the border I was pleasantly surprised with the modern facilities of the Bulgarian border patrol and further surprised once I was put into a cage and realized that I had just gone through the Turkish border crossing and not the Bulgarian.
Even though my immediate instinct was to run, something, call it intuition, told me I was on the right path.