Monday, November 17, 2008

The Aftermath

This post will consist of chaotic ramblings. I blame in on the Coca-Cola Blak. More on that later. I am still in Bulgaria. I've made it out of Rakitovo, but I've only made it so far as Sofia, and there's no definite date for departure. Basically, I've got to hit that magic number of days between getting done what I need to get done and not wearing out my welcome. It's a bit difficult falling in that role between house guest and "squatter." I am slowly trying to get out of here, and it honestly sucks. Getting questions like, "So, when are you leaving Bulgaria?" from my friends in Rakitovo are difficult (like Maria just asked me on Skype.) Everyone asks me - whether it's on the phone or Skype - and I just don't know. Maybe they wonder why I'm dragging my feet. Maybe they wonder why I'm not with them. I just don't know. Argh!
I was in Rakitovo until Friday of last week. It took me that long to get all my stuff together, clean up the apartment, and say final good-byes. The weirdest/most awkward part was running into people I had told that I would be leaving on Monday. "Oh, Apryl. You're still here." That look of confusion was something I just didn't want to deal with. The explanation was that I needed to be home in my apartment and get my stuff together. I just couldn't do it in those weeks leading up to my COS. I was too busy running around doing other stuff and trying to get my "good-byes" out of the way. Then, after saying good-bye, I was still there. (sigh)
My colleagues said that they would help me pack, but I just couldn't figure out how exactly they could help. Yanko got mad at me that I wasn't calling him for more help, but I just didn't know how they could help me out exactly. I did call him a few times to help me get rid of items I no longer wanted. I gave away tons of stuff, and then I still had too much stuff. I looked at everything and got mad. But then I realized that all this stuff was an accumulation of things people had sent me because they cared about me. I didn't want to let it go. I still have way too much stuff.
Angel did come and help me clean on Friday. I was so grateful to have someone vacuum my apartment/clean my fridge/make me brunch. It was a huge load off my shoulders while I was trying to get other stuff done. Those are good friends.
A few more coffees, a few more dinners, a bunch more hugs and kisses, a few more gifts, and then I was finally able to say, "Okay. I'm leaving on Friday." Yanko arranged some type of transportation with Enyo. We used his taxi, and my luggage and I caught a free ride to Greg's apartment. Before leaving Rakitovo, however, I was driven up to the Educational Center for last hugs with my colleagues and some of my girls. Breath-taking hugs, tears, promises of return. Ужас! Several people have told me that they have a feeling that we'll see each other again. I have that feeling, too. It's hard to deal with it, however, when I'm still in Bulgaria.
So, I've come to Sofia, and my bags are still too big. I'm waiting for Greg to get another bag for me so that I can repack my belongings - maybe give some more stuff away. It's going to be expensive to ship home. Why do I have to be so attached to stuff? Other than that, I've been trying to plan out my route for travel after I finally do get my act together. For now, I'm drinking a Coca-Cola Blak - which is basically Coke mixed with coffee. It's awful. Ah, Bulgaria. I just can't leave you, can I? Every couple hours or so, I get a call or a message on Skype, "Where are you? When are you leaving Bulgaria?" Augh!
Have I ever felt so lost? I'm not sure. I was talking to a friend the other night, and she said, "I envy you. You are a free-floater with no obligations." She's right. I need to see the bright side of this. They also have other terms for such people: "slacker" and "bum" are a few that come to mind.
Other images are coming to the mind that I want to share with you. Bulgaria has been good to me. I'd just like to leave so that I can appreciate her a bit more. Maybe I should just leave my luggage here with Greg and buy a ticket for the next train out of the country. Grow up, Apryl. Stop whining. Anyway, as I was saying, I will never forget some of the images of Bulgaria that are burned in my mind. Along with the people and the warm memories, I will remember trucks spilling over with cabbage, horses and carts running down the middle of the road, donkeys bathing in dirty rivers, and old man dragging an old refrigerator down the street - he was pulling it along by a rope tied around its middle, and it was making the most horrible scraping sound, getting caught in the middle of a herd of goats.... These are the images that might come to mind when people think of Eastern Europe, but I hope you've gotten a more "accurate" picture of Bulgaria from my blog. This is part of the reason why the address is "aprylsbulgaria." It's not your Bulgaria. It's not even an accurate view of this beautiful country. It's my view of things here.
Living in Bulgaria has given me a clearer picture of life in my native homeland. I will always be grateful for the good and bad. I've grown, I've learned, I've experienced a wide range of emotions. I wonder who I would have been had I never come. There's no way of knowing that girl anymore.
I'm rambling. I'm going to go. I'm just frustrated with my circumstances right now, but I have no one to be frustrated with except for myself.
P.S. Oh yeah. We had an earthquake the other day. Well, either we had a couple earthquakes, or we had an earthquake with an aftershock. I didn't feel the first one, but I woke up in the middle of the night when the earth shook again. Greg lives on the eighth floor, so the couch I was sleeping on was bouncing when it hit. Whew! I've never felt an earthquake in Bulgaria before. That'll give you goosebumps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're coming home. I can't believe it. I would love to hear more of your stories when you arrive in California. You've accomplished a great feat. I'm very proud of you.
- Krasi (in LA)