Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Sofia is a pleasant change; compared to Bucharest, it's Paris. I took a minibus out to the National History Museum, which is located in an old politician's place 10km outside the city. Hopping on the same minibus back seemed logical - I could just get off where I got on, right?

Wrong. I never saw the place where I had originally boarded the bus, and when the driver reached the end of his route we had a little conference (he spoke no English, I no Bulgarian) about where exactly I wanted to go. Once he realized where I wanted to go, it was no problem, although as penance I served as entertainment for all the regulars on the bus, who got the story from the driver, if apparently in a light-hearted spirit. One large man who looked like Peter Jackson's evil twin did warn me, in English, that I "should not walk around after dark . . . only when the sun is very bright. We Bulgarians are a barbaric people. You, American, Canadian, English, you would not know that."

I told him I would keep it in mind. However, no one in Bulgaria has attempted to cheat me, and their signs are in Cyrillic, which makes me feel smart to be able to read, so yay for Bulgaria, which has super fast internet connections at its telephone office (boo: using telephone office to make international phone call yielded no joy. this was not Bulgaria's fault).

Tomorrow: wrapping up in Sofia, and then onward to Belgrade!
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