Monday, April 13, 2015

Lines Composed Upon a Sidewalk

My first thought upon hopping off the bus after being out-of-town for a week and a half:

Dimitrovgrad, your air smells like spring!! Hey buddy :)

My second thought upon hopping off the bus after being out-of-town for a week and a half:

What am I talking about, I've been crying on the bus for the past three hours and my nose is stopped up. I can't smell a thing. I'll be leaving Bulgaria in two and a half months...HOW DID THIS SNEAK UP SO FAST?? And how will I be able to leave? (easy...my visa will expire!). 

My third thought, walking through the tunnel which runs under the train tracks separating the north side of town from the south side, when Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band came up next on my ipod:

THIS SONG. I used this in one of my first lessons last year, and I listened to it so many times in so many classes...ever since, I have felt extreme panic every time it comes on. Now, I know I'll think of Bulgaria every time I hear the song that I used to first explain home and small-town life to my students. OH THE TEARS. Also, how cute.

My fourth thought, while walking down the cobbled street on which I dwell:

FINE, I'll finally admit it: Students, I want to hang out with you and get coffee with you to practice conversation and throw the frisbee with you and walk through parks with you as much as possible from now until the time I leave, because I really love hearing you talk about the illuminati and football and League of Legends and how much you "hate" Chalga and your thoughts on Obama vs. Putin and your distaste for schoolwork and your inexplicable love for One Direction/ Rihanna/ insert top-40s-singer-that-I-pretend-to-know-about. I really do love it all, and I really do love learning about your lives. I can never say this enough.

My fifth thought, upon unlocking my apartment door for the first time in a week and a half:

Daggonit. I forgot to take out the trash before I left. My apartment smells like a rancid meat shop. I am still a child. Living alone is hard.

My sixth thought, upon dropping my bags and looking at my empty laundry hamper:

I washed every item of clothing and all towels and folded them all and put them all away before I left, with the foresight to think about how happy I would be to discover this upon returning home from a week and a half out-of-town. I AM AN ADULT. Living alone is easy!

My seventh thought, upon sitting on my couch:

I have been self-narrating my own thoughts during my three-minute walk from the bus station to my apartment, and wondering whether to tweet about it, make a Facebook status about it, or write a blog post...

Blog wins. And curse you, technology, you and your evil influences.

*     *     *     *     *

The end of spring break had a note of finality to it last year, and it feels like the final chapter of a wonderful, wonderful book right now. While I've been away from my town for the first days of April, spring has arrived in BG. With spring comes a bit of sadness, and with sadness, the need to write stuff down. A short little post, boring for probably everyone... involved... (Dorf, that's for you) but a necessary one for ME! I needed to process the last three hours I spent on the bus, thinking about how time is my enemy and my inspiration, as I try to wring as much Bulgaria out of the Towel of Life as I can. To make up for the crappiness of this self-indulgent post, here are some fun pictures from my spring break road trip from Sofia to Slovenia, then to Austria, and then back. We literally drove across Europe. That was pretty cool.


Ljubljana, Slovenia


View of the city


Piran, Slovenia


Casual church on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea


Sea how pretty? Sea what I did there...and here...?


Who run the world? Squirrels.


Lake Bohinj, Slovenia. Basically, just go to Slovenia.


Farm


Danger. Stupidity. Adrenaline. Not me.


Tic Tacs!
(The guy that made this sign was a Realist)


Wolfgangsee, Austria


I took this while riding a bike SKILLZ


Deedee! Get out of my laboratory!


It was very cold


And, back home to my love Bulgaria. Aren't her sweeping fields just spectacular?

*     *     *     *     *

~ Highlights (or lowlights, whichever you prefer) of SB 2015~

- Finding that our GPS directed us to the Serbian border, not the Romanian border as we'd assumed, which was a problem because our rental company said NO to driving outside the EU (what a tranquil drive! And why is the bridge to cross into Romania so far outside of Vidin?). Backtrackin'

- Finding that the receptionist of the supposed 24-hour reception hotel we'd booked was asleep when we finally crossed the border into Hungary at 1:30am.

- Driving all night to Ljubljana because everyone else in Hungary was asleep, too.

- Ditching our GPS and using maps instead because it was the worst and maps are more fun

- Finding that every single grocery store in Slovenia was closed one day because Slovenia is catholic and oops, we've been living in an orthodox nation and forgot about christian Easter being a week earlier and Slovenia is not the United States so people get to go home on holidays

- Finding that every single grocery store closes early always actually and people just deal with it

- Driving up and over a mountain that we were not expecting

- Staying at a hostel where no Australians were present (miracle!)

- Watching (and acting out) Crossroads and Bring It On

- Creating a snapchat masterpiece in Salzburg to the tune of My favorite Things in honor of Julie Andrews, accidentally deleting said snapchat, and then recreating it at a lake because daggonit that thing was brilliant


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