As cheesy as it sounds, all my bags are packed and I’m ready to go!! From Manila, I flew to my parents in Norway. I had been working my butt off in the Philippines, teaching little Korean kiddos and coaching two cheer teams on different ends of Manila, to be able to save enough money for my time in Bulgaria. A much needed break was in order after all the crazy hoopla I had to endure in Manila leading to the time of my departure. I was going to spend time first in Norway and then in Germany. It was after all, my much awaited reunion with the boyfriend on top of seeing my family in Norway (mommy, Pops and my youngest sister and twin, Ellie). Haha.
Insert good times with family and then boyfriend here. And now continuing with relevance here: From Frankurt Airport, I took my flight to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. My work was located in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. However, there were no direct flights from Frankfurt so I had to make do with stopping in Plovdiv. AIESEC Sofia had set me up with a host from AIESEC Plovdiv to accommodate me for an overnight stay since I was arriving late at night. Upon arrival at Plovdiv, I had to endure an embarrassing moment at customs, where I was asked to step aside from the immigration officer’s line.
After a few minutes of waiting, a giant ass scary Bulgarian (who could pass for a Viktor Krum haha) came to tell me in his rough English: “Come with me. You go to our immigration office for questioning.” What. The. Actual. Fuck. I was scared out of my wits as it was the first time EVER that I was taken to a private room for questioning. I wanted to squeak with the little voice that I could muster that “I swearbear on all the candy in the world that I do NOT have a bomb or terrorist intentions.” But what could I do? I ended up being delayed for an hour as my Plovdiv host, Ivan, waited outside with his friends. I answered all the questions, showed all necessary papers, and even made them talk to Ivan before I was finally, at long last, let go. Haha. Though it was unpleasant, Ivan and his friends definitely put me right back up.
We had a simple Bulgarian dinner made out of egg with Bulgarian Cheese, salad, potatoes, and the dreadfully dangerous national drink: Rakia. Ivan was all, “Let’s toast to your first night in Bulgaria!!” and kicked back his shot easily, as did his friends. I on the other hand, do NOT have the pleasure of saying the same. I knocked back my drink but was surprised that the liquid hell burned inside my mouth. I gulped it down for fear of disrespecting their culture, and was rewarded by fits of coughing and spluttering and gasping for water. I know it sounds like I’m over reacting but I shit you not. Ivan and his friends were laughing at me in amusement as I had dawned on an important realization: RAKIYA is DANGEROUS as FUCK. The home made Rakia is more dangerous and I think the mix that Ivan did was like 80% alcohol.
Nevertheless, I had my first Bulgarian friends, learned my first Bulgarian words (Zdravei! Kak si? Dober Den!) , ate my first Bulgarian meal and slept my first Bulgarian night in my first visited Bulgarian home. It was AMAZING. :D
Click HERE to read of my first impressions of Bulgaria, and Bulgarians’ first impressions and Filipino misconceptions.
Read on to find out about my Bulgarian experience on these posts:
“WORKING IN BULGARIA” POST SERIES:
- How I Got This Amazing Opportunity
- Flying In And Spending My First Night In Plovdiv
- Of First Impressions And Filipino Misconceptions
- My First Two Weeks in Sofia Was Like A Personal Hell
- My Jobs In Sofia, Bulgaria
- Life And Times With Friends From Different Places
- The 30 People Who Made My Experience Magical For Me
- Looking Back, A Year Later