Monday, March 08, 2010

Confusion of Epic Proportions

(I haven't had internet for awhile, this was written 03-March.)

You would think after being in Bulgaria nearly 10 months, I’d have a better grasp on things. But that is definitely not always the case.  Let me take you back to last Thursday…

I went to the Folklore Group practice like usual.  During the meeting they were asking me some questions and talking about going to Sandanski on Saturday and Sunday.  I got really frustrated with the language and not being able to answer a question I understood.  I ended up leaving and crying. (I’m fine, just had an emotional day.) 

Saturday morning I meet at the square at 9am and start heading to Sandanski which is about an hour by car from the village.  In true Bulgarian style we stop some place for food and drink.  (This is a practice I don’t understand… why not just go where you’re going. You can wait an hour for coffee and cigarettes.) We get going again and pass Sandanski by a few kilometers and pull off to Rupite – the home of Baba Vanga.  (I’ve written about her before.) Then we stop at some side of the road “Live Fish” place that smelled really gross. I finally ask one of the guys, “When is the festival?”  He just looks at me kinda weird. I ask, “Aren’t we going to a festival in Sandanski?”  Then he starts laughing and said, “No, we’re guests of the Men’s Folklore Group in Sandanski.”  Everyone has a good laugh.

Finally we drive into Sandanski and lo and behold we pull up at a hotel.  I tried to tell myself that maybe they were going to use a room. And then somebody gave me a room key and told me I needed to go write my name down. Please imagine my shock. I had absolutely nothing and just stared at my people and asked if we were sleeping there. Again, they all start cracking up.  And obviously, the answer was yes. 

One of the guys asked me if I was listening to anything they were talking about on Thursday.  The meeting I left because I got really upset at – which no doubt any of them knew.  I tried to tell them that I don’t understand everything.  I get the gist of things but obviously need some clarification often.  That’s why I just smile a lot.  Also, my tendency to tune people out unless I know they’re specifically speaking to me probably isn’t the best technique. 

So my assumption of a Saturday and Sunday festival in Sandanski was actually a “we’re going to sing and dance all night long and spend the night in Sandanski.”  Don’t worry, I went and bought a toothbrush.  All in all, it was a good time. Those folklore groups sure do know how to have a good time!

And have no doubt that we stopped on the drive home Sunday. We went to a café in some town which I assume one of the guys had relatives in. But again, we ate and they sang. Not a bad life. Това е България… This is Bulgaria.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Oh, my sweet Veevsie!! I think you ought to put your hands on your hips and say, (perhaps in Bulgarian...)"Guys!! Maybe yall should pick it up a little bit in your ESL classes so you can communicate with me!!"

Or, I don't know, maybe, walk around with your Bulgarian to English dictionary and maybe they'll notice that you are looking up a few words here and there, and occasionally say, "Slow it down!! Simplify!!"

Also might want to pack the back-up undies and toothbrush in the back pack for the surprise overnighters...