April 27, 2015

Sofia, Bulgaria

I woke up at 10:50, showered, dressed, and packed my bags. I then checked out at noon and hung around the hostel, typing away on some neglected journal entries. I worked until 17:50 and caught up on all my journal entries and I also updated the website. I then left the hostel and walked to the nearby metro station, where I took the metro train to the Central railway Station. From there, I walked to the bus stations and bought my bus ticket to Istanbul with a scheduled departure time of 20:30. While waiting, I had dinner (a lamb/pork moussaka with potatoes and sour cream, kavarma with chicken and vegetables, and a beer) and exchanged my leftover Romanian money for Euros. Finally, at 20:30, the bus showed up and I loaded my bags and my body up in to it. The bus then departed Sofia and drove southward to Istanbul. The bus made a rest stop at Plovdiv and picked up some passengers at 22:30, and then stopped at Haskova at 23:36 to pick up some more passengers. I tried to get some sleep at this time, but an oblivious man sitting behind me made it very difficult since he was listening to music on his headphones so loud that everyone around him could hear it very clearly; I was annoyed; annoyed that his taste in music was absolutely atrocious (it sounded like a sped up recording of a cheese grater on a chalkboard that was then electronically processed and converted in to a generic pop track). Then, at 00:50, the bus reached the border and we were stamped out of Bulgaria. The bus then drove on a short distance at 01:05 to the duty free building, where I bought some iced tea and water at a restaurant inside. At 01:27, we drove to the Turkish checkpoint, where we exited the bus and walked up to passport control; I needed a Visa, so I was directed where to go and I walked through a police building, to the other side of a fence, and then walked up to one of the booths at the border (#58) where I was able to purchase a Visa; I then returned to the booth on the other side, my Visa was attached to my passport and I was stamped in. I returned to the bus and we continued on our journey at 01:45 . . . stopping immediately at a W.C. at the border. Finally, at 01:55, we really continued on our journey and drove southeastward to Constantinople Istanbul. I was able to get about two hours of sleep at this point, which was very nice.

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An open journal or an exercise in narcissism.