Last few weeks were really crazy for me, but I don’t mind because everything happening is really amazing and interesting. One of the amazing things done this month is my first CouchSurfing experience as a host. I was looking forward to this moment for a long time and it was even better than expected.
I hosted two really nice girls from Berlin. D. who studied in Turkey in the past half year and her roommate and friend H. who went to pick her up. They decided to have a long trip through Eastern Europe on their way back to Berlin and the reason they cited was “We just don’t know this part of Europe, which is so sad and stupid”.
Their arrival wasn’t packed with good luck because this Sunday was the rainiest day in Sofia since May. All day long it rained with some pauses. Actually it wasn’t raining while we had local meals at Divaka and during our coffee break. But it rained on our way from the station to my flat, while we tried to have a walk after our lunch and we almost drowned on our way to zbl and Ru’s home. There we played some cards, drank few beers and talked about almost everything from music and card games to politics and psychology.
The second day was sunny and really nice for walks. We had plan to visit the Museum of Socialistic Art but when we arrived the guard told me it wasn’t working in Mondays. Something they forgot to mention on the website which says working time 10 to 17:30. Aside from that the girls were really surprised when we stopped in front of a random building and I told them it was the museum. Actually there’s only one big label saying Ministry of Culture written in Bulgarian. If you go there make sure you’re with someone local.
After this failure we went to buy bus tickets from the station and to the Women’s market. That’s one of the dirtiest and most colourful areas in Sofia. Friends of mine asked me why I want to take foreigners to this ugly place. My answer was and will always be – that’s one of the most amazing areas in my city. The biggest reason is that’s the oldest area of Sofia with some of the most beautiful old buildings. I’m really sad because most of those buildings are ruining and are actually dangerous. My second reason are the people you can see at this market.
The biggest part are the gypsies. There are all versions of them – poor, traders, thieves, old, young, dirty, clean. The second biggest group are older people who are going there because of the prices. They are really interesting to see too, although kinda sad. The smallest part of the people are these strange people who would fit better in a shopping mall.
H. and D. told me that Women’s Market was their favourite place we visited, and that’s my first proof that Women’s market is a must-visit for every tourist in Sofia. From the market we walked for awhile to the National Palace of Culture where we met Ru and had some pizza. Then we went to the National Theatre’s Garden to drink beers with another friends of mine. There we stumbled upon one really amazing show mixing theatre, dance and swirling fire. It ended with amazing fireworks after which we had another bunch of nice conversations. Before we went home we passed by Soviet’s Army Monument for another beer and little more time for chatting.
H. and D. told me they had really good time and invited me in Berlin. I think they were honest, because I had amazing time, too. This CS experience was just another proof for me that people are meant to communicate with each other regardless their nationality, colour, language or cultural differences. I really hope that was just the beginning of one amazing trip for these girls. Meanwhile I’m preparing for my next surfers who are coming next monday.