Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Balto 2008

Thanksgiving: A time to be with family, a time to celebrate the blessings in your life, a time to walk on the highway at 5 in the morning...well, only in Bulgarian.
This weekend was my fist Thanksgiving in a foriegn country, and my first doing battle with Bulgarian transportation. So far, I have been lucky, and every trip I've done on has involved a direct route and no real problems. This weekend, BG got the better of TH Hewitt. Here is a play by play of my trip:

Friday 7pm: Take the last bus to Varna, 3rd biggest city in Bulgaria, with the goal of taking a night bus to Yablanitsa. The bus leaves at 11:45pm, which gives me enough yime to catch a movie, buy 11 cheeseburgers for thanksgiving, and leave in a timely manner.
Friday 10:45pm: Saw "Body of Lies" and left wanting to work for the CIA. My backpack is now full of cheesesburgers and I am certain my sweatshirt will smell of McDonald's for the next 2 years.
Friday 11:15: I realize any bus stop past 9pm is really shady and not a fun place to be.
Friday 11:40: I leap onto the bus as soon as the doors open. Cheeseburgers still warm.
Saturday 4:45am: A bus attendant tells me my stop is 15 minutes away. I am slightly dissapointed I won't be able to see the end of "Death Race" because I know the third act will really pull everything together.
Saturday 5:00-5:09am: I see a giant sign for Yablanitsa. I see another. And the bus keeps moving. And keeps going....and going. Yablanitsa signs have been replaces by road signs indicating Sophia is 62 km away. I tell the bus driver that Yablanitsa is (was) my stop. He looks at me, then tells me no problem.
Saturday 5:10am. The bus stops at a gas station and I am told "Its Yablanitsa". I get off the bus, and instantly the cold air attacks every inch of skin on my body. I know Yablanitsa is to my left, so I do what any reasonable person does; I start walking.
Saturday 5:12am. Two minutes into my journey, it starts to rain. Life is funny to me.
Saturday 5:47am: Life is not so funny.
Saturday 6:09am: I am now waling in a storm drain because on-coming traffic scares me.
Satrday 6:18am: I slip on something and eat it on a hill. My hands are numb so falling down leaves me indifferent at this point.
Saturday 6:32am: I start hallucinating. I tell myself I am on the modern day Iditarod, but now 10 mcdonald's cheeseburgers have replaced the diphtheria antitoxin
Saturday 6:47am: I start to question wheather or not I will be arrested for hitch-hiking. Every car now makes me incredibley paranoid.
Saturday 6:57am: I seriously debate eating all the cheeseburgers. I settle for one.
Saturday 7:00am: The most glorious sight I could behold; off ramp for Yablanitsa. I once again fall down a hill but I land at the bottom of a sign that reads "Sofia 80 km". I suddenly think back to the start of my journey...I have walked 18 km. Even though the comforting sign of Yablanitsa is in sight, I fail to read the bottom, which says '5km'.
Saturday 7:01am: As I summon my stenght to go another 5 km, a car begins to slow down behind me, and I hear the worst sound in the world: A police siren.
Saturday 7:01 +10 sec: :What will a Bulgarian prison be like, I wonder.
Saturday 7:02am: I am asked where I am going and what I am doing, all in Bulgarian. Luckily I make out the key phrase of "I am visiting a female friend" or preatilka. The police officer asks me her name. I say "Jenna", and then without a moment to pause he says "Jenna Back?". I say "yes" the most emphatically in my life. He tells me to get in the car, he will take me to her house.
Saturday 7:10am: I am walked to the door step of my friend's apartment, and given a hardy handshake and smile. The officer wishes me a nice day. I made it.

Life is funny sometimes

1 comment:

Courtney said...

aww toby im glad you made it safely!!!! love you!!!