Driving school

So then.  First Bg trip since me and K were no more.

The plan was to sort house stuff and that was it.

The flight was fine but I have now definitely decided that I don’t enjoy flying.  Not particularly phased by it but the whole process is just unpleasant.  The mental pushing to get on, the hanging around, the morons standing up and getting their stuff whilst being yelled at by the stewards to bloody sit down as the plane hasn’t stopped yet, the moronic football fans, the stewards coming to sell you stuff.  Just nasty.

We had a late flight so ended up in Sofia at 2am.  The next bus was at 6am.  So a lovely 4 hours on a hard chair at Sofia bus station.  There are SO many places to sit that would be far more enjoyable and comfortable.

But eventually to VT and I actually managed to sleep on the coach which reduced a tedious 3 hour journey to a couple of moments of waking up at random towns on the way.  Marvellous.

Straight to the village and arrived sort of midday Wednesday.  Slept for a bit and then to work.

To the house to meet with the guys doing the work.  Things are coming on and the main work completed is a central heating system and improved fireplace bit downstairs.  Still bathroom stuff to do and some decor and a kitchen.  But things are looking alright.

Round to the neighbours (who originally sold us the place) for food and chat.  And then to a new couple in the village’s house.  I was tired and not keen but this was an English couple just moved in.  Met them and sat inside for a bit and got beer so they seemed friendly enough.

Later we had food with them and Maiko and chatted.  A nice end to a long couple of days.

The rest of the time passed in a blur of doing nothing, playing with animals, eating out and shopping.  Oh and I bumped into a 4 club juggler in the city park in VT.  Sadly he wasn’t a passer but he was most impressed to meet someone who could at least have a good crack at 4 clubs.  First club juggler I’ve met in Bg (and on possibly my last regular trip there.  Ah well.  Shit isn’t it?)

We picked stuff for house, not much else to do now.

The other place I saw was K’s new flat.  She has a garage in the city which someone has built a 1 bed flat on top of.  And it’s now hers.  Not quite finished but looking good.  Bachelor pad in the city for some young bloke I’m sure.  Tiny but perfectly good enough for a young ‘un.

One night we had the regulars over for music and food.  As fun as usual.  A good evening.

Coming home was rather interesting.  It was a late night bus to Sofia and my first bus trip journey to Sofia on my own.  K asked a bloke looking like he was off to the airport whether he’d sort me a taxi (I’m sure I could have anyway) and he spoke good English so we chatted a bit on the bus.  Nice chap.

As we were just about to set off a brit a few seats along was getting hassle off the “conductor”.  Apparently his ticket was for the following day.  My new friend went to translate and it went sort of

-“But the seat is paid for.”

“No I can’t let you on.”

-“How about I buy a new ticket then?”

“I can’t sell you a ticket.  You need to buy one at the office.  It’s over there.”

-“It’s closed now.”

“I can’t sell you a ticket.”

-“What does this situation need?” (with hand going to wallet in pocket).

“I can’t sell you a ticket”.

-“I’ll miss my bus.”

“I can’t sell you a ticket.”

And that was that.  Bulgarian customer service in all its glory.  Guy had to get off and the only way he was getting to Sofia was by getting a taxi.  Poor sod.

Then my new pal started getting really ill and threw up on the bus.

Finally to Sofia.  Taxi driver was a mental.  90mph up the backside of a huge 4×4 that you couldn’t see past was the least of his indiscretions.  New pal threw up on the pavement when the cab finally pulled up at the airport.  I was in what can only be described as minor shock/terror as well.  My word!

Anyway once in the airport we met the guy who’d been thrown off the bus.  He’d commandeered a taxi and made it there before us and came over to say “ta” to the Bg guy for trying and helping back in VT.

I ended up sat next to this bloke on the plane and it turned out he’s moved near to VT with his wife and lives in Derby (well nearish anyway).  So we ended up on the same train.

His travel day was shocking.  Starting in VT he’d been thrown off the bus and had to get a cab.  Back in the UK we got on our first train an hour before the one I was expecting to meet, so that was ok.  But that was only to Bedford.  Once in Bedford (at 8.30) we discovered that Midland trains only ran from 9.50.  So a cool hour and a half to wait, in Bedford.  The coffee place was expensive, the cash machine was broken so we couldn’t have had food or coffee (or whatever) anyway, the loos were closed due to vandalism.  The train also appeared not to go to Derby.  He went to find out whether he was allowed to go to Nottingham as he could get a bus from there.  Answer “no” but also “there are no trains to Derby today, engineering work”.  So he had to go to Beeston.  But then another hope!  His sister lives in Beeston so he’d stop there for a bit and then ask them to give him a lift.  Hurrah!

5 minutes later “Bugger!”  What?  “My sister’s on holiday.  Doesn’t come back for a week.”

Ah well.

And the train we got on was called “The Pride of Derby”.  Lovely timing.

Home now.

Photos good.  House good.  Glad to be back.  Glad house is sorting.

Perhaps I can concentrate more on life again now.

We’ll see.

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