Monday, August 31, 2009

My worst morning

Zdraveytey everyone!

Now last week I told you that I wanted to post my journal entries for the summer camp. Well unforuntately I have a much better story to replace that with. So I won't be mentioning anymore of the camp, you can ask me about that in the comments or personally if you feel intrigued however. Instead, today I'll be talking about my worst morning I might have ever had in a long time.

As a point of reference, 1 BGN = 0.73 USD.

Last week Monday, I the B25's in my general region (that is in the bottom left side of Bulgaria) were invited to a refresher course on English teaching at the PC headquarters in Sofia. We would be going over different aspects of the Bulgarian classroom and what have you. I was most excited to going because I'd be seeing some of my friends that I hadn't seen in about a month. Also, my town was on the same train line as a couple of my friends so it was a no-brainer that I'd be trying to get on the same train. I went to bed that Sunday night with the intention of getting up 6am to get ready to leave my apartment at 730am for a train ride at 8am to arrive at 10am for the training session at 11am. It was a great plan.

So I woke up at 130am the next morning and I found myself staring at my ceiling. After going back to bed, I woke up an hour later at 230am. Then again at 330am, then at 4am, then at 530am, then I said "fuck this". It seemed my body refused to let me rest. I thought of punishing it later with a diuner. I got up and ate some leftovers for breakfast giving me the boost of energy that i needed to get out of the apartment at the proposed 730am. On the way, I met an old lady who seemed to recognize me. She started to speak in Bulgarian which I could only barely follow but it contained the words for 'train', 'there is no-' and 'major accident'. That last one I learned on the spot because in Bulgarian that word is "catastrophe". So of course I had to go look. I got to the train station to find that there were around 100+ people hanging out in the station and in the trains in the yard. None of them were moving and it seemed that I would not be making it on a train at the proper time. I texted ahead to my friends down the line and they rushed down to their station to catch the train that was leaving one hour earlier than before. I hung out at the station for another hour when I noticed that the people in the station started piling onto a train after an announcement. Then the people from one train started boarding the first and then I saw what was to be the worst train ride I might take in Bulgaria. I rushed inside, bought a ticket and boarded the train to see that my fears were not unfounded. Every single seat was full from the front to the back by people who were going to Sofia on both trains. So I found a nice window to lean on and stuck my head out of it. We left the station at 9am. At least this would probably be the express so that the train system could get back on track, right? Hell no. This was the train that stopped at every Podunk between my town and Sofia. Alright! 3+ hour train ride on my feet!

The ride itself was really pretty. I stuck my head out the window several times just to feel the refreshing mountain breeze. Seriously. It was really nice. Except that I was standing in the same position. My legs slowly became sapped of energy and I might have gone crazy if I hadn't brought my ipod. 3ish hours later, legs burning, eyes heavy, we arrive at the station in Sofia. It is now 12pm. I am going to be late. I head out to the parking lot and grab a taxi. We converse as to where we are going and then I fall asleep. I wake a little later to find that I'm to get out here. I'm not totally sure where I am but I'm sure it's on the right road. Well before I could think about that, I had to pay the bastard 40 leva for the taxi ride. Imagine paying 40 dollars for a 10 mile ride. You'd be angry as hell. Well I wasn't. I was sleepy. But I paid him (no tip of course) and got out of the cab and looked around. That son of a bitch didn't drop me off on the right road. I started asking random people on the road and they had no idea where PC hq was. So I started off in one direction. It seemed like the wrong way for some reason, so I went in the other and met the main road. Looking up and down it, I came to the realization that I was let off 2 or so blocks away from my road. So in the end, I had to walk ANOTHER km to get to the PC hq. I arrived at 1230pm. Just in time for lunch. As I walked into the conference room, everyone cheered. It was like I was Fonzie. I love that feeling.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends, and with Jill in particular, who showed me the Mall of Sofia where I bought spices for more cooking experiments. In the end, Sofia itself was fun and on the trip back, I had my own 6 seat compartment on the train. It was like night and day. All in all, the afternoon was good enough that it balanced out to a solid zero. No negative or positive aftertaste. After that shitty beginning, that was most certainly the best I could ask for.

This is the Peace Corps and even though they prep you over and over about the fucking 4 leva/km taxis, you will always jump in one no matter what. *shakes fist*



  1. I wish i could cut the taxi driver in half.

  2. You could be describing Jamaica.
    Except that in Kingston, the driver or other passengers (as inevitably there would have been) would have robbed you while you slept.
    Just so everyone knows, I can say this because I live in Jamaica. You wouldn't even have your cellphone anymore.