Sunday, August 30, 2009

Keep Off!

Day 535
I'd had some crazy dreams the night before, including one that I thought I was awake at 4 pm. It was actually 8 when I got up. After showering and some breakfast I headed out to see the town.

My first stop was the city art gallery. It was a nice collection, but really quite small. All of the paintings were by Bulgarian artists. I actually hadn't meant to go there, I thought it was the icon gallery. That turned out to be a few doors up the road. The nice woman working there let me take pictures even though it wasn't really allowed. It was a small collection, but really quite nice.

I then popped into the St. Constantine and St. Elena Church. A little girl was being baptized and she was not happy. They stripped her down to nothing and then stuck her right in the baptismal font. I would have been just as unhappy as she was if someone did that to me. The most interesting bits were the fresco's, but no photos were allowed.

It was hot out and I had been walking uphill all day. I was really happy when it as time to head back down the hill. I spent some more time online before going back to the hostel. I had them call me a cab and it cost 3 leva, that guy the day before was really trying to rip me off!

The train was packed and I worried that I wouldn't get a seat, but I managed to find one. Once in Sofia I bought a ticket to Nis, Serbia. I tried to spend the rest of my Bulgarian money but couldn't. I should have exchanged it, but hindsight is 20/20. When I boarded the train and went to my assigned seat there were two men in the compartment who had obviously been drinking. The bigger of the two men did not want me in that compartment for some reason or another and shoved me out of it several times. I just started screaming, I don't know what. Well it was probably something like that's my seat and you can't touch me with profanities thrown in. A woman from a near by compartment came first and then the conductor. He made the man let me sit down. I was getting really dirty looks and feeling uncomfortable when the guy lit up a cigarette. I pointed to the no smoking sign. He didn't care. The conductor walked by outside and I motioned to him that the man was smoking. The conductor made him go outside and then moved them to a different compartment. The train wasn't even in motion and it was an eventful ride for me.

Once I crossed the boarder into Serbia a mother and her 10 year old daughter got on the train. I don't think that the little girl had ever seen an ipod before (I was watching a movie) and sat next to me and screamed "tv" when she saw what was on the screen. I gave her one of the ear phones and put on Shrek, she liked that for a while but wanted to play with it herself. We ended up watch the Simpsons before she wanted to listen to music. She was very disappointed with my collection though, she asked if I had any Hannah Montana!

When I got to Nis it was one am. The near by atm didn't work and it took me about 30 minute to get a cab. At least the guy understood that I needed to go to an atm first. He didn't know where the hostel was though and wasted quite a bit of money looking for it. At one point he was even looking on the wrong street. I didn't tip him. I was happy to finally get to where I was going after such an eventful evening. I was even happier when I found out that I had the room to myself again!

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