Thursday, July 24, 2008


I'm going to a Metallica concert tomorrow. It's interesting. I've never been that much into Metallica. They have one song that I really like and a few others that I enjoy all right, but I'm just not a fan of heavy metal. I have to respect their longevity, and I do think they're talented musicians. They're just not for me. It turns out that a friend's husband works for them. When she found out from him that they were coming to Sofia, she suggested that I go and invite some friends. He was able to get me eight tickets to the show. So, I'm bringing eight very random people along. Just about everyone I had originally got the tickets for ended up making other plans, but it wasn't hard for more than enough people to find me and snatch them up. Now, I'm just worried about finding these tickets. Hopefully, they'll be in an obvious spot, and I won't have too much trouble tracking them down.
Otherwise, I talked to my friend's husband, and he says the band has been based in Italy - just flying out to other, nearby countries to perform a concert here and there. Ah, the life of a rockstar. At first there was talk of meeting the band to interpret for some fans, but it looks like that's not going to happen. Most diehard fans know how to say, "I love you! You're the best band on the planet! Your music rocks! Etc." at least in broken English. Smile and take a few pictures. They don't need me. It's good - otherwise I probably would be star struck, even though I'm not a fan myself.
The weather has been crazy as of late. It's decided to thunder and rain. I absolutely love it. It just screws up my whole day, though. I couldn't go to baseball, and one of my kids said that he was waiting for me - in spite of the rain.
Yanko and I were up at a restaurant on the foresty outskirts of Rakitovo. We had been invited up by one of the pastors because a group from California were there visiting and carrying out evangelical seminars. I met a man who said he's given sermons at my alma mater. I was also asked to do some work for them. They'd like me to go along with a girl to the doctor to determine what can be done for an eye injury she has. We'll see if that pans out. Otherwise, they were very nice, and I had a great time "practicing my English" with some of the Roma boys who were up there.
When Yanko and I came back, the clouds looked threatening and were grumbling. I heard the downpour before it reached us. It was crazy. It sounded like it was on top of us, but I wasn't feeling any drops yet. I turned to my right, and there it was: a downpour of rain about 20 meters away and gaining on us. I don't know if you've ever seen rain come for you, but it's an amazing sight. It's rare when someone gets to see the edge of rain, and I only had a moment to appreciate it before I yelled to Yanko, "Run!" We were able to duck under a shelter right as it came on top of us. We stayed there for about 10 minutes - along with a shepherd and about 10 sheep. Then, it finally cleared up enough for us to get to my home before it started pouring again.
Today, I had a good time playing baseball. The stadium was covered in water from the rain earlier in the day, but we didn't let that stop us. At first, only five of us took to the field, but we were soon joined by a bunch of others. We had fun sliding all around the bases. All of us got wet, and probably the majority of us fell down at some point. One guy swung the bat so hard, he spun around, slipped, and fell on his back.
I wonder if anyone has injuries like mine - or maybe mine hurt more 'cause I'm the oldest one there. I ran up to catch a flyball and stopped suddenly as I was just about to reach it. I totally crashed. The ball came down on my chest, and I dropped it. My back and neck are out of whack, and I'm wishing I had a hot tub and an awesome masseuse on hand... or even a hot masseur!
My English classes are going well. I have one class that wants to continue on and on without taking a break. I have another class where a few are trying to figure out how to take a break 'cause they have a lot going on this summer. I'm trying to get everyone to hang on as long as they can since I'm leaving in November, and I don't know how they'll continue learning English afterwards. Otherwise, I would love to say, "The heck with it all," and just take a break from myself.
I feel ultra-lazy. I keep myself occupied with translating projects, teaching classes, playing baseball, and hanging out late with kids in the Mahala, but laziness breeds laziness. Today, I stayed home under the pretense of translating a project in the quietness of my own home (we had another fight in the office yesterday), but I didn't get much done. Bad Apryl.
Yesterday, I made my favorite Bulgarian dish "pulneni chushki" (peppers stuffed with seasoned rice) at my boss' house. They turned out well, and I definitely want to make them for my grandfather when I get back to the states. Did you read that Grandpa? He's always hinting that he would like me to make some Bulgarian food for him.
I got a great answer to a question I was pondering in my last post. I'm going to just go ahead and post the whole thing here for you - I like it so much.

"It makes me wonder about people who immigrate to the states. Being this submersed in a culture reminds me constantly about how different I am and how uncomfortable and lonely that is for me. What about those people who go and live out their lives in the states? Are they honestly comfortable in their own skins or do most of them do it just for the sake of a "better" life? Is it that they weren't comfortable in their own culture to begin with?"

"Yes, living in a different culture than your own is an uncomfortable and lonely experience. You've lived in Bulgaria for 3 years. I've lived in US for 13. That's 10 more years of loneliness. True, I was not comfortable in my own skin while living in Bulgaria, but it took all those years of struggle and loneliness in US to "find myself" and to want to return to Bulgaria and make a difference there. True, most Bulgarians leave Bulgaria looking for a better life. Sadly, they don't find it abroad. A "better life" is an internal state, which we can't find outside ourselves, let alone in another country. I appreciate your exploring and expressing all these issues in your blog. feels great to know that you're a kindred spirit."

So, that's it for me at this time. I'll be back to talk about the concert and my weekend adventures in the next round.


Anonymous said...

I'm already anxious to try your "pulneni chushki" when you return. I love rice stuffed peppers. Spices?? Yummy!

Brandy said...

dangit! you weren't able to get the hug I sent him with!! :( i miss you!