Right, here’s the plan; find somewhere to stay tonight for two days and suss out this city tomorrow. See if I want to stay here or rock up to another city or country.
Sounds like a good plan right? In theory yes, except I got off the bus and was surrounded by nothing. It was time for my Lewis instincts to kick in. New country, no money, no place to stay, it’s 8 in the evening and its freezing. I’m gonna hazard a guess and say I’m probably fucked…
Oh wait, fucking hero! I found a place advertising a room in English. I ask, they say 60 Lev (€31) I back away and say “Nooo…” Like Consuela from Family Guy
Then after 10 minutes of walking I find a massive sign that says ‘hostel’. I do a jig and accept the fact I’ve saved a little bit of cash. I go upstairs and the woman behind the counter says they are full, and knows nowhere else in the city.
“Thanks fucker. Have a good day…”
This carries on for five more hostels. All full. No one is friendly either. I begin to think Bulgarians hate the world and am debating to get on a night bus to whatever country is willing to accept a receding Englishman. I end up walking around for an hour and a half. Everything’s closed. I look around the city and realise there’s nothing. I’m so lost, and there’s not even any hotels at this point either. I’m debating on putting on a pencil skirt, lighting up a fag and waiting for a drunk Bulgarian guy to pick me up in his car and probably murder me when I turn around and in the middle of nowhere I see this tiny lit up sign that says ‘hostel’
“NO FUCKING WAY!!!” I shout to myself in pure relief, and run up to the hostel. I ask if they have any beds and she says yes. She leads me up to the room in what can only be described as a brothel. It has two beds, a sofa, a TV and the tiniest floor heater. Bear in mind it’s a couple of degrees above freezing. I write off the fact the private room cost me 35 Lev (£17) and prepare to find a hostel the next day.
I did, but I failed. All the hostels are STILL full! I came back to the original hotel defeated booking another night it was the last bloody room as well! So I spent the day exploring Sofia (Not the lady, that would be such a better story…) So I set out to see the history and shit…
Sofia has a lot or history and not a lot of shit. I’d even go as far as to say there’s more history in Bulgaria than Greece! Bulgaria be spitting out relics from the 3rd and 4th century for fun blood!
Sorry, I got so excited I started talking like a wannabe gangster! So mission of the day was to find a Russian church. I got lost. I seemed to spend the majority of my time in Sofia getting lost. I saw some Bulgarians busking on the streets and gave them some money. It adds so much character to European cities to hear music so I like to encourage them. Then I looked at this building and wondered if it was the big ass church (Or Nicki Minaj church, whatever you prefer to call it…) So I asked a guy with a Polska jacket on if he spoke English while he was taking a legit photo of the building. He smiled and said yes so I asked him if that was the church.
“Nah mate!” He said in a thick Aussie accent.
“Fuck me, it wasn’t expecting that accent!” I blurted out, interrupting him.
“Nah, no worries mate! So yeah just go down this road and you can’t miss it!” He said Australiany.
I did, and after a few wrong turns (yeah, it wasn’t straight…) I found the place. I also found the same guy standing next to the church looking at me like he was a side mission in a computer game. I smiled and went to approach him.
“This isn’t the place you are looking for…” He said as if I’ve just lost the game and he’s asking me if I wanted to replay the mission. “This is the Russian church.”
“Oh, I was looking for the Russian church!” I said excitedly.
“Oh right…” He said in a confused tone. “Well there’s a big ass cathedral (sorry Nicki, please don’t sue me. I actually think you are cute if you want to swap numbers or something…) Right behind this and it’s ten times the size!”
I had no idea, I felt so uneducated and slightly aroused at the same time. “OK cheers mate!” I said in my fake London accent and explored both places. They were cool. I’m cooler for the experience and I was cool because it was fucking cold outside!
I got loads of work done that night then headed out in search of a super hostel that housed 150 people. Hostel Mostel it was called. Not the Mall of Sofia where I’d somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up at. I used their wi-fi and figured out where the hostel was and I McBooked a room.
“How many nights would you like to stay?” Sofiaman asked.
“Two nights please.” I answered.
“We’re actually full tomorrow.” He said.
“In that case I will stay for one night…” I replied confidently.
So I stayed there and the atmosphere was pretty cool. They even supplied free dinner which was medal worthy. One of the blokes that worked there also pointed me towards a local Bulgarian restaurant that served chicken steaks and a salad for 4 Lev (two English pounds) and it was Boom Ba Doom that Boom Ba Doom Boom Bass (no treble…)
I stayed up until early in the morning with the Korean Zombie (I’m not being racist, it was a Korean guy who loved UFC so we called him the Korean Zombie) and a Canadian who’s been living in Bulgaria for a year. The Korean Zombie liked me because I knew the fight words in Korean thanks to my Taekwondoness. We chatted about life and other topics until we got tired enough to fall asleep.
And just like that it’s over! (UFC reference. If you don’t get it then get ugly like Jason Derulo to make up for it…) Next stop, Plovdiv. Rusev’s home town. PLOVDIV CRUSH!!!!