I’m in love…

Bulgaria is seriously awesome. I had a lot of doubts about the place and quite a few negative stereotypes in my mind apparently, but I have to say, Bulgaria is possibly my best international experience so far.

Last night I had dinner in a pub, talked to the girl at the bar (who thought I was a food critic, because I was writing (lyrics) – she gave me a fork and knife with my fries ;)), drank a few beers and then went to my hotel. Back there, I was bored and I wanted to drink more (Irish blood.. once you start, you need to keep going), so I went outside to see if there was anyone hanging out at the hotel (for some reason some ‘friends of the hotel’ hang out there) and there was.. So I asked the guy where I could get beer, he told me.. I got beer and a few extra, then came back, sat down with him and started drinking. We talked, I learned about the culture here. Then this 64-year old guy came and inquired where I was from. I told him I was from Holland, and he started complaining about liberalism, homosexuals and wanted to know what I knew about communism.

It was hilarious. He explained everything to me, how Lenin stole his ideas from Jesus, how Marx was a clever Jew, how imperialism is ‘ominous’ (evil) and well… I didn’t really try to remember, in fact, I tried to forget. The other guy I was talking to, who was about my age, clearly didn’t agree with the guy.. oldskool vs newskool.

Ok… so I’m renting my appartment from a Bulgarian fashion designer who’s apparently rather famous. The Bulgarian National Radio people are showing me all the ins and outs of the radio and they’ll be introducing me to a young team of people next week, who are launching a local radio station for Sofia soon.

I think I’ve been really lucky when it comes to connections. Somehow I’m falling into webs of important or sometimes even famous people (probably because euro’s are worth A LOT in Bulgaria (kilo of paprika (peppers) costs about 80 euro cents, for instance)). I am really looking forward to how this all will develop in the future. It looks like I’m going to be having a rather busy life soon.

Anyway, I’m going to try and get internet soon, now that I have an address. I’ll start putting up photographs then (of the city, but also of graffiti).

I was worried about not being able to find cool places to go out, but apparently there are drum ‘n bass parties multiple times a week here… Better than Holland!

Some more prices (in euro’s) to tease everyone who’s not here right now (yes, I mean you):
– Beer, 0.5 litre.. 1.30
– A hot meal… 2 – 8 euro’s. (you can easily have a good meal for less than 6 euro’s, incl. drinks) Today I went out for lunch with a colleague (or boss, I think) and it was 4.50 total, tip included.
– Taxi, I paid about 4 euro’s to get to the city from the airport. Same distance in Holland: 30 euro’s.

And the language isn’t even that hard. I am getting used to the Cyrillic alphabet and I can already understand quite a bit of what is said around me. (I know some numbers, “cheers”, “thanks”, “good afternoon”, “okay”, “yes/no”, and maybe a few words more, but for some reason, it’s not very tough to understand it..). If you know some languages well – English and Dutch for me – and some other languages on a basic level – German and French for me – then it helps a lot. Dutch people can understand one of the Bulgarian words for ‘receipt’. Of course it doesn’t sound like “bonnetje”, but they say a word very similar to “kwitantie” (spelling?? hmm….). I guess that would be understandable for French people too? Don’t know.

Anyway… don’t let all of the negative stereotypes be an excuse not to come. The weather is not as unpredictable as in Holland, prices are low, people are nice, gypsies are… well… gypsies (nobody really appears to like the gypsies.. sometimes you hear people saying things about gypsies which could be put right into the Borat movie, I hope some anonymous person doesn’t mind me quoting: “my mom told me not to play with the gypsies”).

To us it’s funny, to them it’s every day business. The good news is that hopefully, with the entrance to the European Union, the status of gypsies will improve and there will be less problems or incidents regarding them.

Enjoy your weekends!


3 Responses

  1. Play, search, rule the city, take over the country, let them think who you are, make sure you know who they are, be good, be better, be hung over, have fun, sounding great mate, cheers Len

  2. Ey man, Bulgaria, i just travelled trhough there… never reallly checked it out.. apart from 2 cops that weren’t too friendly 😀 Opposed to that…your story sounds really good… i might drop by for a couple of days this fall 🙂



  3. Damn your integrating fast. I would have loved to be there when the guy started about communism and stuff… I would have totally changed the topic to alien abductions and government conspiracies….

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