People have been clamoring to know about what happened after KFC. Here’s what happened.
The girl came and got me and we waited for a rural taxi, something along the lines of a short bus, which costs 1 Lev (about 50 Euro cents). I figured that we’d be going a minimal distance, as her page said 2-3 km from the city. Imagine my surprise when we were still in the bus half an hour later, getting further and further from Sofia. In the end, we had taken the wrong bus (apparently, the bus only goes to the village we needed to get to on Sundays). We then had to a walk a little in the rain to catch a bigger bus. Then it was the start of a long walk up a dirt road.
Along the road, she pressed the earlier point, “No, but seriously, if a gypsy tries to steal from you, you can beat him. The police will not care. The gypsies pay the police to not bother them, but the police do not care.”
While we were walking up the rocky road, there was smoke off in the distance, coming from below where the trees dipped. She told me that she was concerned, as there is an old man that lives there. She told me to leave my bags a little into the field, as no one would steal them. Usually, I would be a bit reticent, but there really was absolutely no one in eyeshot, so I figured the harm would be minimal.
Off we went to investigate the smoke. As she was quite a distance ahead of me, I tried to take a shortcut through some brush, avoiding the large piles of dung that were scattered about. At the bottom of the hill, there was smoke coming from in front of two adjoined brick walls. I wondered if there was some sort of a structure that had burned down. Two men below spoke in Bulgarian (presumably) with a few cows milling about. I was slightly concerned that someone might be a bit thrown off and angered by me being around, with a brief flash in my mind of a shotgun being pointed at me. My worry increased when I realized that the girl was nowhere in eyeshot.
The girl yelled for me and said we could go. She explained that the guy was just burning cow crap which she made a point of saying was a natural fertilizer. My bags were untouched. We kept walking uphill, eventually arriving at her boyfriend’s house, a two-story building, with some puppies crawling under the fence to get onto the dirt road to greet us.
I got offered some food, took a nap, then found out how the girl saw Bulgaria, (which I have recently discovered is a part of the EU, something not everyone in Europe seems to be aware of).
Some bits that she claimed about what they sometimes do to food:
- Chalk in the dairy products
- No bacteria in the yogurt
- Toilet paper in the salami
Why toilet paper in the salami? Because it absorbs water, makes the salami bigger.
We watched the news and she told me about one of the stories, where some carjackers killed a cop. One of the carjackers was being interviewed because he had written a letter to the media, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. She kept commenting in dismay over the sad state of affairs in Bulgaria, which she had earlier attributed to 500 years of “Turkish slavery” (a term that I found out later was fairly common for the Ottoman rule, but a term that I had not heard in other countries that were also controlled by the Turks). After the Ottomans, there was Communism, which she said that I knew was bad. After Communism, the same people stayed in charge, therefore not changing anything. Her mother receives 75 Euros a month for a pension, which the girl said was caused by the politicians putting all of the money in their own pockets.
It was a fairly bleak picture. She said how much Bulgarians hate each other. When she was abroad and talked to the Bulgarians that she heard speaking on the street, she felt like they ignored her to try to be less Bulgarian.
The story tapers off from there. The long and short is that I needed to record Don’t Worry About The Government, which turned out to not be a plausible thing to do within the situation that was set up, so I got a tour of the city from the girl and her boyfriend, then went back to the house, got my stuff, went on a rural bus, went to McDonald’s to record the show, then stayed in a hostel. Along the walk to the hostel, I got to see various hookers of both the moderately-attractive/ugly woman variety and the tranny variety, as well.
And now, as my tale has been recounted, I head off to Veliko Turnova, Bulgaria, my first stop on the trip north to Moscow.