Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ode To My Hood

Today was an especially nice day in my city, one in which I had the pleasure of listening to our symphonic orchestra play famous movie tracks such as Skyfall, the Indiana Jones theme, the Rocky theme, and music from the Harry Potter films. The event came as a surprise to me, as I'd been informed of its existence about an hour before the curtains rose! Shivers, smiles, and foot-taps were all a part of my experience, and such a wonderful one it was.

I'm sorry to say, I've not done such a hot job of blogging about my town, which is ridiculous because it arguably boasts one of the most fascinating histories in all of Bulgaria (in my humble opinion... more on this at a later date). No worries--I'm not going to linger on a boring, lengthy excuse for my blogging hiatus. Instead, I'll simply say that I've really been living much more this year than I did last year, and it's kept me busy! Here's a little taste of my evening (listen carefully for the disgusting throat-clear around 1:45...adds such flair).

That's right, I found a lil Hogwarts in my city esta noche. I felt so inspired listening to the orchestra tonight whose members, I might add, were sporting some killer musician-style flowing locks. While sitting back in awe, I couldn't help but think about how much art and creativity surges through this city. There are dance classes and art courses. There's yoga, folk dancing, constant photography showcases, and many many youth programs. For a city that I'm told holds no more than 30,000 people, that's an incredible amount of culture and community life. Take it from me, o-students-who-complain-of-nothing-to-do, your city has So. Much. To offer. If you're bored, you probably aren't looking hard enough for opportunities. Ouch, sorry. Believe me when I say that having such cultural opportunities at your fingertips is an amazing, amazing thing...something I was not afforded while growing up. 

I wrote this silly little poem as a tribute to the town that surprises me over and over again. Take note: I am not a poet, nor will I ever claim to be. Yes, I graduated with an English degree. No, I most certainly did not think carefully about the number of syllables in each line or anything that might require me to think too hard after a long day. Sue me! I do love my banitsa line, though.

Oh Dimitrovgrad,
How I love thee more with each passing day
From the parks that guard you at both poles
To Maritsa River that swiftly tumbles by.
I love the carefully planned streets you boast,
And your lively Nedelya Pazar,
Largest of all in Bulgaria.
Dimitrovgrad! Linear, tree-lined Dimitrovgrad!
How it thrills me to peruse your magazines,
To wander your open spaces, to dwell in your cafes.

Sweet Dimitrovgrad,
You alone boast the confident ancestry
Of people bravely starting life anew
In a town planned for youthful workers,
And created as a model for the future
Of a hopeful nation.
Your peoples came from the four corners,
And your 'welcome' sign trumps
All others in comparison.
Dobre doshli, indeed.

Dear Dimitrovgrad!
How I long to share the world over
That this place is full of life:
Full of music, dancing, singing, and creativity,
A town brimming with talent, with pride.
Even your crumbling buildings - your abandoned,
Overgrown theaters - whisper Romantic notions,
Secrets of years past, of quiet solitude
Found amidst the steady heartbeat
Of a town worth exploring.

My Dimitrovgrad,
You offer me the sweetest fruits:
Friendly smiles and a centralized avtogara,
A pleasant home and salty banitsa.
I have found in thee a true love,
Tiny city which wraps me in her
Uneven sidewalks.
Construction dust on my boots
reminds me that a new city
will soon unfold.