9/5/15 – Exploring Sofia

Woke up at about four o’clock with a migraine, urgh. Why do my holidays abroad always seem to start out this way? You suck sometimes, head. Thankfully the meds cleared it up and I managed to sleep off most of their usual side effects. Tone: 1, Migraine: 0. We got up and dressed lazily to go down and check out breakfast. I do love the whole complimentary thing – I felt like I was back in America! Sadly no waffle iron though. Instead I had toast, scrambled eggs, cold cuts and cheese and some delicious pieces of frankfurta. They even supplied us with pudding type options – the best thing being that they had tinned strawberries in syrup. I used to have that at my Nan and Grandad’s all the time as a kid. Nan used to give me the whole tin in a giant fruit bowl and I’d eat the entire thing myself. Didn’t think I could have got away with just picking up the whole bowl here though, so I had to make do with a small portion. Sad times.

Slowly showered and got ready after that. The shower’s nice and powerful, but it tends to spray around the whole room as the flimsy shower curtain doesn’t reach all the way to the floor. I hate shower curtains anyway. They always stick to you and feel really gross. But then maybe my ass is just too big for the dimensions of the shower… Decided to suncream my arms up a little for the possibility of good weather – here’s hoping – and just take the bottle with me. Emi messaged Kel bang on eleven and told us to meet her just a bit down the road. It was lovely and sunny, so I was happy to be in shorts and a flimsy pineapple top.

Emi took us on the subway into Sofia city centre – only one lev per ticket (that equates to about 50p; take note, Travel West Midlands!) She took us through the main town and pointed out her apartment block, where she went to school and where her sister used to work, as well as some typical Bulgarian statues and architectures – all of which she reckoned were fugly anyway. Whilst we were walking I thought some Bulgarian man had tried to go for my bag. He hadn’t; instead he’d had the cheek to grab my ass. I couldn’t exactly rave at him because he wouldn’t have understood and I wasn’t sure if slapping a very tall Bulgarian man would be a good idea or not, so I had to settle for just giving him a dirty look. As you do. Sadly I don’t think it had the same effect when I was wearing giant sunglasses. Not only was he a chauvinistic, presumptuous dick, he also interrupted me mid happy Impractical Jokers rant. Screw you, tall guy.

We stopped to sit down a little further up and had a good natter. Nearly two years is a long time to build the need for a serious catch-up. We talked about work and stupid dramas and various silly things before heading back out for food. I have no idea what any of these places are called because even Bulgarian letters make no sense to me. Thankfully the menu had English translations so I ordered a cloudy lemonade and what was described as a baked potato with cheese, bacon, onion and parsley. What I actually got was what looked more like a lasagne. It was a tray of mushed up potato with all the described ingredients and a thick layer of melted cheese covering the whole thing. Not that I was disappointed though – it was lovely; albeit the oddest baked potato I’ve ever had!

We walked back through town afterwards and stopped again, this time for ice cream at a place Emi described only as the best. She wasn’t lying. Genuinely the best ice cream I’ve ever had. They had a very unique variety of flavours too – I had a forest fruits type of frozen yoghurt, blueberry ice cream with jam and mango ice cream. They were all delicious, but the mango especially was to die for. I will happily trust Emi’s judgement for the rest of my life.

We had another sit down in a little mini park type area whilst we – and by we, I mean Emi – finished eating. Bulgaria really is a strange but pretty place. It reminds me of Greece only with much bigger buildings and big, very American-like roads. What’s even stranger is if you look one way you can see the snow on top of the mountains. It just doesn’t feel right when it’s as warm as it is where we are! We got the subway back to by Emi’s place and checked into the supermarket opposite to invest in drinks and things for our room. Apparently if you spend fifteen lev you get a free Frozen glass, so of course we made sure we spent at least fifteen lev by getting a variety of Red Bull, alcohol, pop, crisps and popcorn. It’s surprisingly hard to spend fifteen lev here.

Emi walked us back to our hotel so that she could pick up the makeup that Kel had technically personally imported for her so she wouldn’t have to pay the outrageous shipping prices. On the way she pointed out several cars that had lots of big dents in the bonnets, apparently caused by a crazy hailstorm with golf ball sized chunks of hail! Maybe I won’t be complaining about the British rain so much anymore. We showed her the dresses we were planning to wear later so she could pre-plan what makeup to do on us. It’s an unwritten law that when we’re with Emi she has to do both our nails and also our makeup if we go clubbing. We have no choice. Not that we’re complaining of course.

She went back to her place so we could meet up again later. Had a bit of downtime – I did some writing and started reading my next Cassie Palmer book whilst Kel had a little snooze, then we went down to the restaurant to get some grub. The English in the menu wasn’t laid out particularly well so I played it safe and just ordered a margarita pizza. It was alright, I guess. Just a bit samey. Like any plain pizza would be. Came back up to the room after to finish getting ready – bar the eye makeup of course – then headed over to Emi’s again.

She met us halfway, this time with her friend Daisy who’d come to visit. We all hung out in her room for a few hours whilst she did each of our eye makeup in turn. As always, she did it flawlessly! We got carried away having a natter – at one point I went off on a happy little Ralph Macchio tangent, which amazingly was instigated by Emi, not me – so we didn’t get out till coming up to midnight. We’d originally been meaning to go to a cocktail bar first, but since it was later than we’d intended we decided to get a cab straight to the club. One of the things I’ve learnt about Bulgaria is that their drivers are absolutely batshit crazy. Another is that all Bulgarian doors open outwards (I never even realised most British doors open inwards until now).

We got to Morgan’s Bar, which was kitted out with a full awesome pirate theme. The cocktails were an absolute bargain, working out at about two quid a pop with the exchange. That’s like student night at Nightingales! I had an apple Cosmo and a couple of Lime Daiquiris, which were nice but very sour. Another of Emi’s friends, Galia, met us there for the remainder of the night. Both her and Daisy were nice, but of course it was tough to actually make conversation with the language barrier. We couldn’t really make Emi play translator all night when we were technically out as a belated birthday thing for her. I’d passed on her half of the Harley Quinn friendship necklaces I’d got for her (I haven’t given anything like that since I was a kid and didn’t know if you were supposed to initially give both halves or keep one and give the other, so I just had to wing it), which she loved!

They played some general club music and also a lot of songs in all kings of various languages, not just Bulgarian. We got some of the good stuff in there too though. Got to have a boogie to some of our favourites like Bruno Mars, Macklemore, Robin Thicke, T. Swizzle, Eminem and even the Bloodhound Gang! It then felt like we may as well have been in Popworld when they started plaing Right Said Fred and Mambo No. 5. Definitely wasn’t expecting that. Another odd thing was that every so many songs in they’d suddenly blare a proper big ship style foghorn. It’s very offputting to be really in the groove to your favourite song and then you’re suddenly being warned of oncoming sea traffic. Kel then ruined pretty much every song ever for me by pointing out how often you could relatively get away with doing a Joe Gatto style ‘display your crotch in a grand fashion’ move. Thanks Kel – I’ll never be able to listen to LMFAO the same again.

There weren’t any food places open when we left, so Galia hit a little 24-hour off license type place and very nicely bought us each a little chocolate cake bar thing that tasted very much like jaffa cakes. Yummy! We got a taxi back and Emi gave us the lowdown of the plan for tomorrow when she dropped us off at the hotel. I somehow managed to let the taxi door shut on my knee as I was about to get out, right on the funny bone. Ah well, I guess it’s not a holiday without me doing myself a stupid injury.

Ready to get out on the Bulgarian town in my favourite little red dress!

Ready to get out on the Bulgarian town in my favourite little red dress!

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