New Roommate and other updates

Yep, I’m no longer living alone. Last Tuesday, I bought a television. It’s a very nice one and it cost me a half month stipend which I had be saving up. It’s a Bulgarian brand, “Elite” but the sales dude told me it was made with Philips components. It also has a three month warranty. Not too shabby. I paid for it entirely in cash, and 10 leva notes at that. I felt a bit shady throwing town that much paper. My tutor helped me with asking for the specifics. She called her son, who was returning home from Plovdiv, and he agreed to help me move it back to my apartment. The timing couldn’t have been better; as soon as I sat down on the curb, he pulled up. He dropped off at my bloc. I plugged it in and turn it on, just to see if I had cable. Nishto. The next day, I went to the cable provider and entered a contract. I bought the TV to help me with my Bulgarian (and for the Summer Games. I’m hopelessly addicted to the Olympics) but as soon as I paid for two months of cable, I felt like I had betrayed myself. That I had, in a flash, lost my sanctuary. I had gone eight months with very little TV exposure. (sidenote: I feel so much healthier without the 24/7 media in the US bombarding me with trivial political “coverage”).

I met the cable guys in my apartment. Four of them showed up. Yep, four. I just stood by as I they looked around. I had a cable in my apartment and I just thought they had to turn it on some how. Turns out, when the grill gate was installed in my apartment (a Peace Corps requirement), the had to cut the cable. So, three men drilled a hole in my door frame, with the other standing on my balcony. This, of course, was when the representative from European Union called me about my hospital project. After the chaos died down and I found out there was little that the EU could do for my project (too small of a project), I surfed the channels. I have 107. However when you take into effect that I have about four of every channel, it’s more like 30. I have several Bulgarian networks, at least seven music channels (VH1, City Radio, The Voice and four chalga, traditional Bulgarian folk and Balkan music channels. Sadly, no MTV.) The Discovery Channel, Via-Sat Explorer (a British Discovery Channel), Eurosport, and Euronews (no CNN International). I have Bulgarian, English, Russian and Greek(?). Everything comes subtitled in BG but it sometimes moves too fast for me. But already I can see how the translations differ and getting a much better idea of the sentence structure. I still feel a little guilty about buying at TV, but I’m sure as my Bulgarian improves, I’ll feel better about it.

Other updates:

This weekend has been pretty wet. I wasn’t really looking forward to it, considering my previous problems. And, lo and behold, my kitchen was running like Niagara Falls. When I went into work this morning, I got a phone call from Peace Corps to see if my leaking kitchen problem had been fixed. My colleague told me that a repairman would come to my apartment after lunch to take a look. This is the same co-worker that helped me clean my apartment. So, of course, during my lunch break, I scurbed my kitchen as clean as I could in an hour while still making lunch. After I returned to work and had a meeting about the football tournament this weekend, I was told that I would be meeting with my land lady. Great, now I’m going to have to clean the entire apartment. So after the meeting, I raced home to clean. I got the kitchen and living in better condition but didn’t do much with the bedroom. She, of course, looks over the entire apartment. On the plus side, I didn’t have to use the excuse “I am a man living alone” and I think the problem I have with my porous roof will be fixed soon.

After she left, I headed to baba’s to buy some onions. Leaving the bloc, I was greeted by her husband tending their goats on the run-down play ground outside the entrance. I had a nice conversation with her. On Thursday, she invited me to her home village (I think, Bulgarian still needs improvement). I bought three onions but she refused payment, even after I insisted. She told me watch her store and ran into her house. As I waited for her, I played with her dog, Billy. She returned with some makista. Out of the blue. I thanked her profusely for her generosity. I’ll bake come chocolate chip cookies for her later this week.

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One Response to “New Roommate and other updates”

  1. Michele H Says:

    Jimmy, this is so awesome! this is really inspiring…even if you succumbed to the temptation of TV. 😉

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