Monday, October 24, 2011

Struggling my way home

I should have stayed in Varna and I got thousand proofs for that during my trip home. Starting with my night train experience described in another post, I had really the worst trip in my life. I had to reorganise my bags in the airport because my baggage was 21,7 kg and they wanted me to pay 40 Euros for that. Then they probably thought I am a terrorist because it took them about 10-15 minutes to check my passport in the airport. First a girl was looking at my passport as it was a lettuce, then she called some guy who took my passport, told me to wait and left for 10 minutes and only after that they finally gave it back to me and let me go. With my luck, I don’t know how did they let me to keep my toothpaste, but I had to try my bag with ryanair bag-size-check-box.
When I thought that finally I am in the plane and it will be ok, I noticed that the guy who was sitting next to me was terrified of flying. And of course there was no single free place in the plane. As a result I was able to sleep for only around 1 hour from 3,5 because he was pushing me all the time (not on purpose but because he was all shaking and breathing loud and I don’t know who is this cruel person that convinced him to take this plane, but he should definitely travel by bus or train). When I arrived to London at first everything seemed great (even though I received my bag with a label that it was checked by the security in Plovdiv... still thinking I am a terrorist?), I didn’t have to wait at the security check since they have a separate line for people with electronic passports, and since there are just few, it was really fast to scan my passport with a special device, show my face to the camera and go without any interaction with people.
I left my bag at the storage room and took a bus to Stratford, where I was supposed to meet with a friend of my classmate to get the keys from the apartment I was staying at. On the way my friend told me there is a landlord inspection and I had to wait till 8 pm to go there, well, ok, I went to meet with my cousin, whom I haven’t seen for more than 2 years and actually it was the second time in my life we met.
I got an illusion that things got back to normal when we went to Giraffe and the guy first told us we have to wait for the table 40 minutes, but then there was a free table for us in 1 minute. Well, probably the fact that I walked the main street of the area where my friend lives 3 times back and forward before I found the right turn doesn’t count, but next morning my adventures continued.
In the airport they checked me as I was a terrorist again, touching all my body and scanning my legs with a special device (do I need to mention I was the only person to walk through the scanner in my socks?) No wonder they gave me hot coffee instead of the cold one, I had to pay double for the storage of my bag because I came couple of minutes later than the 24 hours finished, and of course they wanted me to check my bag for fitting in the box again or make me pay 40 pounds. Trying to hold my feelings and strong desire to send them all to hell I just told them I’m not gonna pay a penny, put all my clothes on and jumped on my bag a bit.
During my trip 3 belts for my bags broke (having 2 bags and 3 belts there usually shouldn’t be any problem), I got a strong feeling some power wanted me to stay in Varna. You could get an impression I am really unlucky with travelling, which is totally wrong; this is why I am so impressed with the last 2 days of my life. I'm just amazed my bags weren't lost and I'm finally home safe and sound!

Marketing campaign for Bulgarian trains - travel with Bulgarian trains!

Having one of the worst trips ever I learned that one of the scariest things in your life could be being alone in a Bulgarian train at night. First of all, you don’t know who you will sit with. My great neighbour was drinking beer all night long and talking to me even after I told him 15 times that I want to sleep and because of the fact that he was so great, I was afraid to fall asleep, so I had to listen. Next is the complete lack of information. There are no announcements of stations, no “tabels” with the station names, no info about any arrival time (and if you bear in mind that Bulgarian trains are ALWAYS late, it’s even worse), you don’t know whether your station is the last one or if you can wake up in a different part of the country next morning.
In addition to everything mentioned above, I had an experience with Bulgarian train toilet. NEVER go to the toilet in Bulgaria train, especially if you are travelling alone. Being a naive girl who thinks that Bulgarian trains are similar to the old Russian trains I closed the door and next minute realised that I am trapped in a 1 sqm large smelly, loud and cold room, in the middle of the night, alone, with no phone. Trying not to panic too much and thinking what will I do if I have to stay there all night long and miss my flight; I was beating the door with my fists hoping someone will hear me. 10 minutes later I was rescued, but the impressions and emotions I got are priceless and unforgettable. If you feel like you are bored and nothing thrills you in your life any more, forget about extreme sports, travel with Bulgarian trains! A whole marketing campaign could be based on just my impressions J

Varna. Conclusion.

Rommies :)

It wasn’t always perfect, there were ups and downs, lefts and rights, mistakes and successes, it was different even though we spent all summer between Cubo and Piratite and all autumn between Bolla and Sea Wolf... This is how it should be and I didn’t regret a day I spent in Varna even though sometimes I wanted to be home really much. This is the life paradox – the more you travel and the more you live in different countries – the more pieces your heart is broken into. But these pieces don’t go into trash; they are safely kept in the hearts of those who gave you a piece of their own heart. This exchange is painful, but it brings a lot of happiness once the pieces are together again, even for a short period of time.
I’m trying to make a conclusion of what life in Varna gave me, but it’s difficult, since these 4 months were like a separate world, even though they finished very fast. It seems like last week I came to Varna airport not knowing anything that is going to happen next, being frustrated after Sweden, happy that I am going to see my Ivelina again and expecting new experiences.
16 weeks later I am going home with completely different feelings. I know exactly what I am going to do at least next 8 months, my mind is more structured and organised, I am happy that I will see all my friends and family in Latvia, but sad, that I don’t know when I will meet again the people that I didn’t know 4 months ago and that became my family, and at the same time I am also happy about what these 4 months gave me.
Life, packed in two bags of 30 kg in total is complicated from time to time, but also exciting and I would never trade it for anything else. 

Latvia and Bulgaria

Bulgaria and Latvia are two similar countries, even though at first it seems that they don’t have anything in common. Both countries have people who want to live much better than the corrupted government allows, however in Latvia there are much more people who want to escape by going to England, Ireland and Germany. In Bulgaria people’s national conciseness is much higher and as a conclusion more people want to stay in their country even if it’s not perfect (does anyone know a perfect country? Even Norway was attacked by a terrorist, and the fact that he was Norwegian only made it worse). Another expression of national belief is the protests that I witnessed less than one month ago. Protests in Latvia also happen, but firstly they are attended only by few people and secondly they don’t have any effect on anything. I wish my country to wake up and to look at all the problems not from the position “I want to escape”, but from the position “I want to change it and I will”, however even for me while writing this post is difficult to imagine that something like that can be done.
Living in Bulgaria for me was great, as I felt the connection with the culture, language and people, the politics and economy doesn’t differ much from what I am used to and the climate was normally much better than in Latvia, however the 2 rainy weeks in October made me reconsider my opinion about the great Bulgarian climate.
It was really sad to leave, especially considering that the last couple of weeks everything was becoming better every day of my life, but life goes on and this page of my life finished. May be I will come back one day and I would really loved to, but life’s unpredictable and I cannot plan anything like that so far. So, keep in touch and thank everyone for everything! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last weekend in Varna

What can I say, my last weekend in Varna is oficially over. In one week from now I will be sitting at home in Riga, having home-made dinner from my grandma and sharing my impressions. It was a great weekend though, starting with Friday night at a nice place I haven't been at before - Underground club, where Clay was performing with some other guys (one was from Cuba, one from Bulgaria?). I tried playing darts for the first time in my life, met some nice people and eventually we went to Bolla (how come? we always end up in Bolla even if we say "no Bolla tonight", this is a magnetic place).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Managing the time

Hey guys,

I know you're all probably mad at me for not writing a lot, (I mean 1071 preview of 35 entries, it's like 30 previews per entry in average, no kidding), but it's only because I really don't have time to write in my blog these days. After we came back from Turkey, we only had 4 working days break and went for another trip, this time around Bulgaria. Finally visited the capital - Sofia and the old capital - Veliko Tarnovo. Well, in Veliko we have only seen the foretress and the place where we had lunch, but I must say the city is very beautiful and the view from the hill where the foretress is - is just amazing.
Sofia was better than I expected since for three months that I spent in Bulgaria I only met 1 person who likes the city and I thought it will be terrible, but actually it was kinda cool. I mean I wouldn't lie to live there, but it reminded me Riga a bit, just surrounded by mountains, bigger and with IKEA. However the bad part about Sofia was that we met thousands of people protesting against gypsies, and for me it was quite an unusual experience. I mean we don't usually have protests in Latvia and especially the rasist ones. Oh well, not my business.
Later on we went to an increadible place not far from Sofia, 1000 m above the sea level with population of 2,500 people, named Koprivshtica. The really generic Bulgarian village, however with an important role in history, since this is where the uprise against Ottomans started. (as I was told).
We spent 3 days in the car practically moving all the time and seeing something curious, thanks to Ivelina and Chris who planned this trip for Des and me and patiently were driving and telling us about the places. I will miss travelling with you, guys!
After that I finally had to start writing a huge paper for my university with the deadline of November 7, however I don't know where I have less time for that - here when I'm practically leaving or in Latvia - where I haven't been for a while...
Trying to write my paper I had to manage combining it with meeting with Pris who was with Des and me in Sweden in first semester, Zhuo, who was also with us in Sweden, but I never met her before and she only stayed in Bulgaria for 2 weeks and is forced to leave tomorrow, trying to spend some more time with all the other people and sleep somewhere inbetween.
Last weekend was a disaster since Autumn came too suddenly. On Saturday I went for a walk in my t-shirt and on Sunday I woke up in the middle of Autumn. from +24 to +8 in one night is too shoking for me, so the very first thing I wanted to do was make a lot of hot tea and never leave my bed. However need to get used to this weather as in Latvia it won't be better and it's less than two weeks left till I will meet with my home country after this long trip.
Lots of plans, no time and lots of work to do. That's the life I like.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Some updates

- Hey, how are you?
- Great.
Really, there are always some negative sides in life, but in general everything is going great. Last weekend we went to Istanbul and I just cannot describe this trip, because my emotions are so huge, that there are no words to include all of them. Firstly, it was great to meet erasmus people with whom we spent half a year of our lives in Sweden. Secon, the city itself is the most amazing and increadible city that I have ever seen and could ever imagine. And now if you mix this, add +27 degrees weather, amazing food, increadible culture, lots and lots of fun and multiply by 100 maybe you will understand how I feel about the trip to Istanbul.
And tomorrow another trip is waiting for us, but this time around Bulgaria.
And I have only 3 weeks left here in Varna, after that I am going back to Latvia to continue my studies.
Today I understood one thing, that was missing. There was something missing in the air, in the environment, in things around, and it was yellow leaves. I mean, it's quite strange for me, from the one hand, it's still warm weather, so the trees are green and everyone is still wearing flip flops, but from the other hand I know that it's been already one month of autumn, and for me autumn is scarf, coat, and long walks in the park, full of golden leaves. II'm not sure how is it going to be here the following three weeks, but I know that when I come back to Latvia, there will already be no leaves on the trees, so if trees will not start becoming gold urgently I'm gonna miss my autumn this year. Even though it's not my favourite season, it still feels strange.
However, life still goes on the way it wants. Neighbours are still being assholes, work is still being a bit stressfull, free time is still being too short to do everything. And in this context I already need to start thinking about studies and meanwhile planning meeting with my friends in Latvia after I come back. First weekend is already fully-planned and I am even already planning a small trip to Lithuania after coming back, since I promised my friend in Vilnius to visit her in November. Actually, usually autumn is quite a melancholic season, but it seems to me that this year there's no time to be melancholic.