Sunday, June 17, 2007

Arrived in Bulgaria

I'm in Bulgaria now - staying at a great hostel in a village outside of Varna, on the Black Sea coast. I wanted to make it to the Black Sea, but even Romanians were recommending that I bypass the coast in their country for another, so here I am. Getting here involved an overnight train that made lengthy stops at the border on each side, and then I had a long wait in a town called Russe on the border (from 1 am to 6 am). I spent it wandering around town with a Kiwi guy and we were invited by two Bulgarian fellows, one of whom spoke a little English, to play pool.

If I said that Hungary and Romania were cheap before, well Bulgaria beats them still. I had a decent, filling meal last night that cost me 3 Euro (4 bucks). I can hardly buy food from the grocery store and cook something for less than that, at least not without eating the same thing for days on end. So I'm living like a king here.

The local gas stations have specials on - get a 500ml can of Becks beer and a bag of Lays chips for something like a Euro. Quite different than Canada's Coke and chips combos.

They sell beer here in two litre plastic bottles, which I've never seen before but maybe I didn't look, practically everywhere (the above mentioned gas stations, the train stations). Around Europe, alcohol is much more available than in Canada (especially PEI where it's all government controlled), but Eastern Europe has it available more than anywhere I've been.

Toilets here lack a bowl, so are basically a hole in the ground. Those where there is a bowl you can't flush toilet paper (I guess the plumbing can't handle it) so there's a bin next to the toilet to dispose of the paper in. And you know what: here's a picture (a friend took this).

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