Sometimes travelling pisses you off. There is no specific reason. Things are going well but today you are tired and hungry. You decide you will not walk an extra step and become difficult.

This is what happened in Sofia.

My need for a wee was 3 hours old. The bus continued on its way completely unaware of the fact that every one of its jolts gave my bladder the same fright as an earthquake would. The toilets had been locked the whole 5 hours and no stops had been made. Tim had decided a while back to give me the silent treatment. He got annoyed that my pride prevented me from translating my simple need to the driver.

“Just ask him to stop somewhere, anywhere!”

“No!”

“I’m not speaking with you anymore!”

And that’s how it went.

I looked annoyingly at the Cyrillic characters adorning the door sign. They stared back and I left.

Hence, when we got to Sofia, we were both in a mood. I disappeared toilet-hunting while he picked up the bags. I walked into a small café and went to stand in front of a door at the back of the room with a small sink at its entrance. Thinking that the individual inside was taking his sweet time, my frown intensified. After some time and a few odd looks, I was told I was waiting in front of a broom closet. I looked annoyingly at the Cyrillic characters adorning the door sign. They stared back and I left.

Dashing off again, I found facilities at a charge of 0.60lev. Without any Bulgarian money, the lady looked at me blankly - toilets in Europe are something like those coin-operated rides in supermarkets, they only light up if you stick in the right amount. Saying this, conveniently enough, next door was a currency exchange. “My luck is looking up!” thought I. I strutted in and handed the lady 20 Serbian dinars. I was handed 0.30lev. I had absolutely no knowledge of the conversion rate. My face fell into a deeply sad expression. I considered finding a bush but honestly didn’t think there was time. Shoulders slumped, I ruffled through my bag desperately and handed her another 100 dinars, which came out as 1.20lev. I had felt rich in Serbia. Bulgaria was getting back at me.

I had felt rich in Serbia. Bulgaria was getting back at me.

Midway to the hostel it started to rain. Too little sleep combined with a major lack of food, cold feet and wet socks were too much for me. I stopped walking, hid in a doorway and pouted.

“Stef, there’s a currency exchange across the road. Let’s go take some money and go to this coffee shop you see just there.”

“No.”

“Okay then let’s walk again, we’re very close and we’re already wet anyway.”

“Don’t feel like walking.”

I started to complain just for the sake of it but still refused to walk. I was 25 and having a tantrum. Mature.

Tim sat and smoked a cigarette while I looked at the rain angrily. After a few shady guys started coming in and out of the doorway we were using as cover, I started to reconsider my position of waiting out the rain. I started to complain just for the sake of it but still refused to walk. I was 25 and having a tantrum. Mature.

“Okay, so you don’t want to go into the cafe across the road but you’re hungry, you don’t want to walk to the hostel cuz it’s raining but you don’t want to stay here because you’ve seen some dodgy-looking dudes. You.Are.Being.A.Dick.” I was.

We started on again, Tim ahead with me in tow. My beautifully straight hair curled up in the rain – that’s a lie, my hair is already curly but it would have been annoying wouldn’t it? At the hostel, we sat like wet dogs and served ourselves cold coffee. I lay my head on the table and slept.

             

The Writer

I write stuff for fun, if it was for a living I would be homeless.

Find out more about me, Stefanie, here.

Quotes

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. Truman Capote