This weekend I rented a car again, and on Saturday, we made a day trip out to some small towns east of Plovdiv. We came across a vegetable bazaar, and upon learning that potatoes were only 38 stotinki a kilo, Mirena bought a 20 kg bag—which I am carrying back to the car in this pic.2
After returning to Sofia that evening, we went to the first of three of Barbara’s farewell dinners (the final farewell is tonight.) Barbara is Italian and works for an Italian child-welfare NGO; she was asked to move from the Bulgarian office to Ukraine—we will all miss her, especially Mirena.
The same evening, we went to the Marine Ball, because Ryan had two extra tickets from people that couldn’t come. I found it rather boring, but if I get a nice picture of us all dolled up, I will post it here for you. That’s what I’m reduced to now that I don’t have a working camera—begging others to email me their pictures.
And then there were two
On Friday, I arranged for all current and former MBAEC volunteers living in Sofia to have dinner together before Ryan and I leave this month. Most were able to attend (including Tom, who was a volunteer here in 1993, and never left.) As Americans, we are always craving spicy food here, so we met at Taj Mahal—an Indian restaurant. Sunday afternoon, our smaller group of 2005 and 2006 Corps met at the Radisson for Sunday brunch as a send off for Ryan, who is leaving today.
Life of Joel
Many of you have been wondering what my life is like now that my assignment is over. Well, many times it involves sleeping til a noonish hour, getting up and having a cup of tea or coffee3, checking my email & surfing the WWW, and then thinking about lunch. I usually bum off for the rest of the afternoon—usually reading—until Mirena gets off work. We eat out just about every day, sometimes with friends or at some kind of party or other gathering, and that’s a day!
1 Homer Simpson uses the expression “potato man” to gain entrance to the U2 concert in episode 5F09.
2 Photo credit: Mirena.
3 After years of experimenting with the gateway drugs of cola (34mg of caffeine) and tea (60mg), and resisting the entireties of family and friends to try the hard stuff—coffee (100+ mg)—I have started to drink Nescafé “3 in 1.” This is an easy to prepare, single serving package of a precision mixture of instant coffee, powdered milk, and sugar that I now use to get my caffeine kick and/or treat headaches, since I don’t have any ibuprofen anymore.