Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot Lips

I have a new alias. We'll get to that. So, I told you all that I've been ill with bronchitis. At least, we think it's bronchitis 'cause it fits all our pretty definitions at the moment. So far, my phlegm has seemed to loosen up a bit, and I don't cough nearly as much. I suppose that's a good thing, right? The weather has turned rather peculiar, and it hasn't helped with the illness. We've had rain and flooding. There were fires in other parts of the country, but now we've got rain and flooding. I don't want to go outside. I'm sick, and everything is gray, blue, and sopping in water.
After hanging out in Sofia, I went to Dolna Banya to hang with Thomas for the weekend. He was hosting a hash. I've mentioned the hash before, but I've only ever gone with Thomas. I'll refresh your memory. Basically, a "hare" marks a trail that other runners have to follow. It's mostly made up of ex-patriates. In the end you eat food, drink beer, trade contacts, tell jokes, and generally socialize. They say hashing, or "Hash House Harriers" is "a drinking club with a running problem," but we don't really do THAT much drinking. Anyway, Thomas organized a fabulous hash, except that he forgot to tell me about it. I didn't have any running shoes or clothes with me, but that worked out great 'cause Thomas thought I could lead the walkers - basically, the people who don't run the hash. A group of walkers goes off somewhere else to get some exercise. I've never gone with the walkers before. The problem was, it was literally pouring that day. Thomas went out to lay the running trail and then came back, soaking wet, to find that I had used up all the hot water. I'm nice. So, we go out to meet everyone for the hash, and the walkers don't quite know who to turn to. And I don't know what to do because I have about as much a clue as to where we're going as they do. But they still look to me because... I'm the girl who hangs out with Thomas.
So we start walking. We make a lovely stroll through some gardens Thomas told us to go to. Then, we come to a dead end. We take another path. The path leads us to a beautiful stream without any walking trails. We decide to go back. I was ready to go back to the starting point of the walk, but someone suggested we take another trail. It was a good suggestion because the terrain was beautiful, but we kind of got out of our way and ended up getting slightly confused as to how to get back. Well, at least I did 'cause I can have a pretty awful sense of direction at times. The runners were calling us 'cause they were back already, and... where were we? The kicker was when I suggested a final trail that was off the beaten path. Yes, it would have taken us back to the starting point, but it wasn't the trail we had come in on, so they probably figured I had lost my mind by then. Actually, they probably thought that in the beginning when they saw me wearing flip-flops. It was all I had!(sigh)
We finally met up with the rest of the group, and we gathered in a circle (as tradition) to drink refreshments and take care of "hash business." Basically, if you're thrown in the middle of the circle, they talk about you, sing a song, and then you're expected to chug a cup of beer. Thomas and I were first in circle as the "hares" or organizers of the hash. Thomas did all the work. I just helped the walkers get semi-lost. I felt silly being there. Then, I was called back in the circle 'cause I'd been missing from recent hashes. So, there goes another cup of beer. Finally, I was called in one last time to be given a name. All hash regulars have an alias. Thomas' name, for example, is "Dirty Waters." It's supposed to be based on something to do with you - a hobby, a dark past, a dirty secret, etc. The racier, the better. There was talk of naming me "Child Molester" because I work with kids, but I'm really relieved they didn't name me that. Finally, after an awkward Q&A session, I decided to throw out a "juicy" piece of information and see what they did with it. No, I'm not telling you what I said. I'll let your imagination save me the trouble. They settled on the name "Hot Lips." I'm relieved. It could have been much worse. So, I went in the center of the circle, I was "christened" with beer, and I was given the name "Hot Lips," and then I had to chug another beer. Good times.
Afterwards, we had a huge, excellent, delicious meal organized by Thomas' friends and acquaintances up at the hija in Dolna Banya, and then we caught a ride back to Thomas' place while the rest continued onto Sofia. We tried as much as we could to dodge the rain, but I was soaked. I'm sure that was just super for the bronchitis. Oh well. I ended up staying an extra day in Dolna Banya because the flooding was insane. I came back early today, and the train to Velingrad was full. As that's never happened to me before, it makes me wonder if the train was running yesterday. Well, the weather is supposed to get better from here on out.
My boss was surprised that I was in the office, and he pretty much sent me home. I'm cooped up, and I'm a little stir-crazy, but I'm also liking the excuse to relax. I think I really wore myself out last month, and I'm taking the opportunity to be a lazy slug so far for this month. In other news, volunteers are starting to slowly trickle away. Thomas leaves next week. New volunteers arrived yesterday. I'm going to be a resource volunteer for them, so I've got to go to their orientation site (Dupnitsa) to meet them at their official dinner before heading out to meet their host families. The wheel just keeps on turning.... I think I'll go listen to some "Wheel in the Sky" by Journey or "Wheel" by John Mayer. Whatever. Bronchitis sucks.
Ah, I posted pictures! Check them out... you know, if you want....
Ah! And Future Foundation's website went live. Blame me for the English version... the words - not the web site layout! Check out the pictures in the gallery link at the bottom of the page.


Anonymous said...

сигурно правиш хубави свирки.

Lyrpa said...

Yes, that MUST be it! (wink)

Anonymous said...

възбудих се от инсинуациите ти. :)