I can truly say that I am feeling much better now, after a good night’s sleep. I don’t know exactly why I felt so terrible the other day, but Thursday evening was much better. We went to go visit some old friends of Simeon’s; I met them the last time we were here, and now I’m feeling much more comfortable with them. I had a really good time. And yesterdat morning when I woke up, although I was still feeling very tired, my headache was gone and I had a lot more energy. All in all I’d say yesterday was a great day!
We spent all day long just walking around Sofia and shopping. First we took the trolley almost all the way to Starbucks (there’s only one in Sofia, but hundreds of McDonalds!!), then made our way to the Book Bazaar. On the way, we stopped by a tiny food shop normally marked by a sign that says Баничарници and I ordered something called “Banitsa s Tikvi”. Banitsa, spelled like Баница, is a pastry very similar to spanikopita, except it’s not always filled with spinach. Most times it’s only filled with feta cheese. My favorite is banitsa filled with feta cheese and leeks. But Banitsa s Tikvi is banitsa filled with pumpkin, and covered with powdered sugar. Oh my God!!! So good!!!! And to drink, Айран, which is basically yoghurt and water mixed to a perfect liquid. Such an amazing breakfast!
After breakfast, we headed to the book bazaar, where I bought some Bulgarian textbooks for first and second grade and some really easy-to-read (with really big, beautiful pictures) fairytales. That’s how I’m teaching myself how to speak Bulgarian! I’m learning a lot just being here in Sofia, too. There are certain things that I had a difficult time remembering that I will never forget, now. Like тикви, which is pumpkin, and тиквички, which is zucchini, and I knew those words from a while ago, but I was getting them confused because they’re so similar. (“tikvi” is pumpkin while “tikvichki” is zucchini) But because I’ve been ordering баница с тикви every morning, I’ll never forget the difference now!
And the weather has improved vastly. The first day we were here it rained like a ban’shee, and the second day we were here the precipitation eased up a bit, only to convert to snow! But luckily, yesterday and today are both sunny, and even a little warmer. So it’s much nicer walking around the town. We tried to go shopping for shoes. We managed to find a pair that Simeon liked (a tall order!) but for me, I had much less luck. The root of the problem is that my size is somewhere between a 34 and a 35, depending on the make of the shoe, but most stores only carry down to 36, which is too big for me. By the way, in order to find your European size, just take your American size and add 30. If you’re size 7 in America, your European size would be 37. That’s for girls. For guys, you have to take your American size and add 33, therefore a size 9 in America would be a European size 42. Maybe be willing to go up a half a size just to be safe. Anyway, it’s pretty easy! So I have my American size, my European size, and my British size figured out. The only size left for me to figure out would be my Asian size, but since I don’t go to Asia for the first time until next year, I’ve got some time left for that!
And then last night, as we were flipping past the channels, we stumbled upon The Hills Have Eyes, which is a freaky freaky movie!!! Even dubbed over in Bulgarian (by the way, the Bulgarian dubs are TERRIBLE!!!), it’s frickin crazy! Yuck! Will not be watching that movie again! Good thing I was too busy translating my version of Грозното Пате (The Ugly Duckling) to pay much attention, cause Simeon couldn’t stop thinking about it.
One thing that is really funny about Bulgaria is seeing words that you’re used to seeing in English, translated into Cyrillic. Like, for instance, Pizza, which becomes Пица, or the plural which is Пици. Another funny one is Hot Dog, which is Хот-Дог, and the funniest was Rolling Stones, which became Ролинг Стоунс. By the way, anime is very popular here, particularly Ю-Ги-О (Yu-Gi-Oh) and Покемон (Pokemon).
We leave very early tomorrow morning and, after a stop in London and Minneapolis, arrive in Seattle very late tomorrow night. And then we’re only home for 5 weeks before we’re back in Europe, first Paris, then London, then Paris, then London, then Leipzig via Berlin or Dussledorf (depending on the flight we get), then London, then Paris. And even then, we’re only home for three weeks before we’re once again in London for the UK Championships. And by home, I mean on the West Coast, because in November we’re still going up to Vancouver at least once, and possible Whistler for Thanksgiving, and we may be going up to Vancouver for New Years as well. Home just means, basically, the West Coast. But it’s ok, it’s a fun life! Tiring, and with mental breakdowns here and there, but fun in the end!!