Monday, May 23, 2011

When It Rains...

Hello from Sofia!

It still feels a little strange to be saying that and, after only a week, I can't say that we are exactly experts at living successfully in another culture. Every day is a new lesson, which brings me to today.

What was supposed to be a simple trip to a nearby bazaar to pick up some fruits, veggies, and other necessities for dinner, turned into something else entirely. After riding the tram a couple stops over (and then an extra stop if you are me and Lauren), we found ourselves in a completely different part of the city, struggling to figure out things that any child could know: why are old men playing chess behind this newstand? Why are there carnival rides by the side of the road? How do you say "kilo" in Bulgarian?

After wandering through a maze of shops selling everything from clothes to more clothes (and everything in between), we found some shops with fruits and veggies and proceeded to get some tomatoes, some eggplant, and two kilos of cherries (not without some difficulty). We had some problems trying to explain that we wanted more cherries than the vendor was originally giving us so, with our small knowledge of Bulgarian, we said "mnogo" (more) and motioned as if we were picking up an entire armful of cherries. Eventually, the matter was sorted and we were on our way. Ideally, the rest of the trip would have included some more shopping, perhaps an investigation of the carnival rides, who knows?

But Mother Nature had other plans. What began as something I can only describe as an urban sandstorm (maybe dust-storm is more accurate), turned into a full on rainstorm that drenched us from head to foot. We raced back to the tram, only to have Dana literally break one of her sandals in half. We made it to the tram and eventually made it back to the office where we had been meeting with Jessica, our supervisor. As we entered and heard Jessica ask, "Did you get soaked?" all we could do was laugh. Even now, as I am typing this, laughter is the best response to today. It was not a calamity, or a tragedy. It was merely another adventure in this crazy Bulgarian summer, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


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