last night, after wandering around sofia, we decided to buy a bunch of snacks, beers, red bull etc, so that we could wake up at 4am and watch the presidential election. i’ve been reading newsweek and time for a bit now and was getting more and more worried about bush’s lead in the polls. well, unfortunately, all my fears came true. when i sat down, tired and bleary eyed, in front of the tv, it was already pretty clear that kerry wasn’t going to win. the map of the us was practically bursting w/ red colored states. unbelievable. i am just shocked that he was elected again after the totally horrible way that he ran this country for the last 4 years. clinton lied about monica, and the whole country shat themselves for the next year. bush lied about weapons of mass destruction, sending our country to war… but hey, that’s not as important right? *sigh*

anyways, after watching all this on tv, we checked out of our apt, and spent some more time checking out sofia. there’s some pretty cool stuff downtown… a bunch of really old churches, an old mosque and even a synagogue. we ate at this bulgarian reastaurant and were totally psyched as to how cheap it was!! our meal cost only like 5$ for both of us together, and that was for a soup, salad, 2 main courses and a 22 ounce beer. shweet!! all of the food was really good too. it was pretty funny, 2 of the dishes we ate were *exactly* like dishes that my mom used to make when we were kids. i began to wonder if my mom was hiding in the kitchen, and cooking up a storm! it definitely made me nostalgic for back home.

so, tonight we take a bus to istanbul and we’ll be spending roughly two weeks in turkey. i’m pretty excited to once again be going to somewhere that’s extremely different from back home. i definitely enjoy traveling around europe etc, but i am much more excited by the more exotic and different places.



ok, so maybe we’re not *actually* in russia… but we’re here in bulgaria and n so many ways, it’s extremely similar. first off, the language is very similar. if i talk to people in russian, the often will more or less understand what i’m telling them. it’s interesting how similar a lot of the languages are around here. first off, croatian, serbian and bulgarian are extremely similar. it looks like people from any of those countries can understand each other, but not exactly perfectly. out of the three, bulgarian is similar to the other two, but kind of leaning towards russian. also, a lot of people here actually speak russian, so i’ve been using my russian a lot! who knew that my russian would come in useful outside of russia? also, other than the language (and the fact that everything is written in cyrillic), this place just has a russian kind of vibe to it. i’ve really been enjoying that.

yesterday, i got into sophia, the capital of bulgaria, and after traveling like crazy for 2 days straight, i was really excited to have a place to just chill for a while. i rented an apt from this nice bulgarian lady and then waited for caryn to get into town. there was some craziness trying to find each other since the original plan was to stay at this other apartment which fell through… but eventually, finally caryn’s taxi pulled up! it was so cool to be reunited! dont get me wrong, traveling on my own was hella fun and i had a really good time, but i was hellza psyched to see caryn again.

we’re both pretty exhausted from all the buses and trains, so we’re just gonna take it easy for a couple of days before we head on to turkey. heh, today we went out to chinese food which was actually really good and pretty similar to the chinese food we have back home. chinese is one of my favorite foods, and i was really craving it.

tonight we plan to wake up around 3 or 4 am so we can watch the lection coverage on our tiny little tv. to our surprise, the tv actually gets cnn in english, so we’ll be able to understand it. i guess we’ll see what happens…