събота, 27 август 2011 г.

3 Things I'll Have to Get Used To in the States

Soo... I'm finally here. I won't say that the journey was easy, but all was well and I'm finally here, safe and sound, at least for now. I've been adjusting to things these last couple of days and let me tell you, that's not as easy as it sounds. I live on the other side of the world, so it was natural that I would come across certain things that are different around these parts. Of course, people warned me about the customs and the traditions, as well as the different laws and rules, so I won't say that it was all unexpected, but some differences caught me by surprise. Some things like...


Let's talk about the squirrels, people. The squirrels… are everywhere. Are they meant to be like the pigeons of Penn's campus - in that there are a lot of them, they're not at all scared of you and you don't pay any attention to them? How is it that no one cares that a squirrel is sitting there and eating its food like a boss right next to him? Am I just supposed to believe you don't consider those furry bastards a big deal? That would never happen in my country. My home town has a huge park in it and I think we have, like, two squirrels at the most. Two. If you notice a group of people standing in one place and looking up a tree, chances are someone probably saw a squirrel and strangers passing by wanted to see it as well.

Awkward Social Interactions with Strangers

In the past couple of days I've been walking around campus a lot, which meant that I came across a lot of people - in stores and restaurants, asking for directions or simply passing by them on the streets. In this time, I've found out something interesting about Americans - almost all of them will say hello to you, and almost all of those will ask you how you are. Now, when I was leaving, I was warned about this - should they ask you, don't bother answering because they don't really care, they're just being polite. But here I am now, feeling like a jerk for not answering this poor woman who wants to know how I'm feeling, stuck in this awkward smile that probably creeps her out. On top of that, this social interaction makes me nervous and my already unintelligible English gets worse.

- Hello, how are you?

- Hello, I'm… gh.

- Um.. Just let me know if you need any help, alright?

- Agheet, I leel et y oh.

- …

Coins with no numbers on them

Seriously, America? Y u no have coins that tell you how much they're worth? I know you can tell them apart by size and color at this point, but I've never seen one before, so I have to stare at the fine print in the bottom and remind myself of how much a dime or a quarter is every time I go to pay. I now have a wallet full of at least $5 worth of coins just because I feel uncomfortable rummaging through my money and getting the quantity right. I feel like I will have to spend an hour at home one day, just looking at those coins and doing exercises on paying with them. This shouldn't be this hard, people!

събота, 20 август 2011 г.

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

So there it is, folks - my last Bulgarian post for the year.

I'm off for the US in 5 hours and I thought that now is the perfect time to pour my heart out, I guess.

God, saying goodbye is a bitch. I hate saying goodbye to people - those whom you don't know that well get overly emotional and those who you truly care about are so sad that it makes you reconsider going whereever you're going. I'm feeling fine now but, my God, was I a wreck today - and I didn't, didn't, didn't want to leave. The best strategy was to constantly keep myself busy so that I wouldn't have to stay alone with my own thoughts and emotions. It seems to be working for now, but then again, maybe I'll break down in the middle of my flight. I guess we'll see.

I'm also terrified of flying for 12 hours, but that, too, is something easily fixable by constant distractions and maybe just a couple of sedatives. I'm not the most outgoing person when it comes to communicating with strangers so I guess small talk with the passangers nearby will be limited to a short and awkward exchange about our home countries.

"Oh, you're from Bulgaria? Such an exotic country"

"It really isn't."

"Well, you have you own sea, right? That has to be interesting."

"Not in the way you think of it."

I think I'll just stick to eating and drinking on that plane, thank you.

The good news is, I did manage to pack my suitcase, so for those of you who held your breath for that, you can all relax now. Fitting all of my shit into 23kg was apparently possible, who knew.