Thursday, September 30, 2010

Razbirate Bulgarski?

So the last few days have been kind of hectic. And a lot has happened in the last week or so. I went to Greece last weekend. But more on that later. Yesterday I decided that I was going to move out of my apartment and into a different one. I had been thinking this over for a while (I was unhappy with the location, the furniture, and my landlord, among other things at this one) but it finally came to a head when my bathroom ceiling sprang a leak and it took over a week to replace the moldy ceiling tiles. Maybe I complain too much, but this place still doesn't have a washing machine and I've slowly come to realize that it's a really inconvenient location for me to get to school. Yesterday another teacher helped me find a new place and I met a woman who had rented her flat to a Spanish teacher at my school last year. Bizarre coincidence? Maybe. Pleven is a really small town. This new flat is actually a bit older but I like it so much more than this one that I'm willing to put myself through yet another packing and moving day just to get the heck out of here. The only problem was that I had signed a contract with the other landlord, but after some negotiating (no small feat for me, passive aggressive extraordinaire!) he agreed to have me pay a portion of next month's rent but not all of it. To be fair, I didn't give him much notice. So I'm still losing some cash but it'll be worth it in the long run. Actually, because this new place is just ever so slightly cheaper, the difference in rent will make up for the extra money in nine months. Win! I'll put up some pictures of the new place when I get settled in.

Thessaloniki and the Aegean Sea
In other news, I love Greece! I just went to Thessaloniki for the weekend with another American Fulbrighter and I wish I could live there. It's a great city, but small. I think I'm going to love Athens. The price difference between there and Bulgaria (only a few hours away by train) however, is ridiculous. Most things (food, beer, you know, the essentials) cost at least twice as much in Euro as they would have in levs. That means they were quadruple the price! We had to stop mentally converting everything because it was getting depressing. The hotel we stayed in was so cute and in a perfect location, and I really liked just walking around all day and enjoying the sea views. It was almost like going home, really, because Thessaloniki has so many American chains that don't exist in Bulgaria (at least not in Pleven). So it was a nice little diversion to get out of the country and I appreciated my life here so much more when I got back. The Cyrillic alphabet is starting to look more like something I can actually read and understand, though I still have some difficulty pronouncing it. But at least it's not Greek to me anymore!

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