Bulgaria 2019, Travel Notes

I saw a sun dog on my way to the airport.

Airport life still sucks but there's Joe and the Juice at SFO.

Lufthansa never disappoints: hot towels, metal utensils, and free liquor. There are cameras outside of the plane and I can watch the flight in real time.

I'm watching ten different movies at the same time on other people's screens, with no sound (The Favourite is great).

I love turbulence.

Europe is dark green.

Everyone has their ringtones on?!

Frankfurt airport is fancy.  I haven’t seen the Joop brand in years...

Why are so many Americans flying to Sofia?

Over Bulgaria there are 5 different kinds of clouds.  I must learn their names.

The Balkan (Old Mountain) from above is spectacular.

The music playing in Bulgaria is always from 2011.

The sidewalks are one big obstacle course.  The goal is not to twist your ankle while dodging dog poop and illegally parked cars. 

There's no hot water in Lulin... (my old neighborhood).

Since when are there seagulls in Lulin?!

I had to get a hotel room in my own hometown.  I checked in at 1 am and outside they were washing the streets with these big old trucks.  Hot pavement smells nice when wet.

I'm starting to remember old Bulgarian bands I used to listen as a teen (Kontrol, Wickeda).

Bulgarian intonation is...different.

The Hisar brand mineral water smells like sulfur.

People used to say “have an easy day” now they say “have a nice day”.

Oh, here it is.  The hooligan culture (“Levski or death”).

People gather in the shade under the trees.  The heat is absolute and I LOVE it.

I always remember Bulgaria either worse or better than it actually is.

There are many more street signs than before — misspelled, but there.

July Morning is a thing?

Radio ads in rhymes are hilariously infantile, but I guess they target the common denominator (remind me of TV ads for local used car dealerships in the US).

Satellite dish on every block balcony.

Day 3: In Bulgaria I turn into a magic woman; I can will things into happening, I can wield my power secretly as I wish, and even if I’m not omnipotent I know I am very strong and I can change things for the better.  How could I possibly retain this power when I return home?! (Home is now America)

Drivers give each other signs (flashing headlights) to warn for police ahead.

Are all good melodies already played and sung?

"Cross my heart"-- people use so many proverbs.  I must collect them all.

Lovech: Mine. This place is all mine, just mine.

I have a cold sore because I don't sleep.  I can't sleep here, because I don't want to miss anything.

People launch fireworks for no apparent reason at random times of the night.  Life is one huge party here.

My mom can tell the weather by the bird songs!

To write about Bulgaria I need to be able to remember how it feels here.  How I feel here.  I use too much energy to adapt and be American, and I can’t remember how it is here.

Zabradki — head scarves.  Old women still wear them.

They also still ask: "Whose child are you?"  To figure you out they need to know your lineage.

We used to have a dog named Misha.

The stones on the wall are warm in the evening, and radiate heat as the day cools off.

My parents are aging...

My mom never stops talking about plants, and doesn’t stop talking in general.

I miss the boys and the cats too much.

The nature here can not be tamed by people.  They try but they can only reach so far.  

Bulgarian nature is strong... but soft.  Wide leaves, deep green, gentle flowers, potent soil, delicious fruit.

My sister loves me very much!  It's a wonderful feeling, to be loved.  I love her back, more than I could say.

Thunder storms!  Summer rain with no wind, falling down in big drops, unmitigated, pure.

Карагьоз (Karagioz) means "черно око" (Black Eyes) in Turkish.

I want to do things slower, always. 
Trees and plants:

Бъз-Elder tree


Лешник-Hazelnut tree


(Шушулки! Shushulki--what a funny word!) 

Явор-Sycamore maple

Ясен-Ash tree

I watch the day begin every morning. 

Bulgarian cucumbers are sweet.  American cucumbers taste like nothing.

There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like Lovech.

I don’t have real problems. I’ve really made it.  Don’t forget that.

My mom has inhered verbosity from grandma and a cutting tongue from grandpa.

Reservations are made on word and trust.  I have no idea how businesses succeed here...

I know all the sounds of the house.  I can tell which door opens by the noise it makes.

Fuzzy Potato found us (that's a kitten). How serendipitous... Baby cats are amazing!

I should learn to dissect my own character and figure out my own issues with the clarity and righteousness I do it for my family.  (That’s what the book is about.)

Rational fears are worse than the irrational ones because they can actually, really happen.  Bravery is not lack of fear, it’s acting despite the fear.  

I love being alone but I hate being away from my family...

Swallows dive into the river to pick up water and mud to build nests!  Nothing more glorious than their flight.

A mulberry tree grew from a seed brought by the wind in place of the old the pear tree we had in the yard.

I arrived at the beginning of summer, when everything is lush and new.  I'm leaving in midsummer, when it’s the hottest and slowest.  A month flew by like a dream, but so much has changed.

Много е жега. То е от времето.  (Me: It's very hot! A stranger: That's because of the weather... I can't with the Bulgarian sense of humor...

So many architectural ghosts in Sofia.  They are demolishing the old communist buildings one by one.

I saw a rainbow on my way out.

There was only one cab waiting at the bust station at 5 AM, just for me. The Beatles played on the radio.

Earned a business class meal because my inflight screen was not working.

John waited for me with flowers!

I am sad for leaving, but happy for coming back.  How can I hold those two contradictory emotions inside without letting them destroy me?

I wish Bulgaria was closer...


  1. Много хубаво написано, има настроение, създава настроение и усещане за присъствие и общо пътешествие с теб по света ...


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