I woke up like a bear with a sore groin and limped off to the shower. My soak in the bath never happened in the end last night. I wrote the blog update and was about to put the taps on, dials turned to red hot, when Hristina knocked my door and asked if I was sleeping. It had just turned midnight, which meant it was now her birthday and she wanted the three of us to have a glass of wine together to celebrate. I’m not sure if it’s Bulgarian tradition, or if she’s just been here too long and has gotten a taste for the old alcohol. Either way, I agreed to have a quick drink. It’s the first night since we’ve been here that we’ve all sat in the communal area together. It’s just a big, mirrored room with a dining table in the middle, and below it is Hristinas door-less bedroom so we don’t really go in there much. With wine drank and the time getting away from us, I decided against the bath and had the most painful shower known to man. If the water had been scalding hot and a couple of people were beating me with sticks I doubt it would’ve hurt anymore.
Today’s shower hurt but not as much. I was stiff and sore from my first taste of football for a while and so it was tram, tube again for the journey to work. It took me just as long to get to the tram stop as it does to get to the tube though. I was like some robot who’s batteries were coming to an end. I need some WD40 I think. One of my favourite things about the journey to work is the announcement for the tube station before mine. ‘I P Pavlova’ which is pronounced ‘E Bay Pafloafer’. I got an audio recording of it this morning so I can take it back home with me. The little things in life eh.
Every Wednesday in my last job, there would be a fire alarm test. Here, in the street outside, they have an air raid siren going off. “Don’t worry” said Lenka, “It’s just a test they do every week to make sure the speakers work”. I wasn’t worried; I thought the noise was coming from the printer.
I took a walk to the sandwich shop for lunch again. It’s cheap and very cheerful. I opted for a sausage sandwich and a sausage roll: sausages two ways. The guy behind the counter put my sandwich in the microwave, an odd thing to do I thought as it also contained lettuce, tomatoes and peppers, and then smothered it in ketchup and mustard without me even asking him too. I wasn’t complaining though. I love a bit of mustard and the guy had done well. It was a beast and messy to eat. Lunch was good.
When work was over I went to meet my flat mates and a few others for some birthday drinks in a wine bar ten minutes away by tram from my office. It meant I had to cancel the works drinks, but I was pretty relieved I didn’t have to limp up that hill to my tube, it would’ve taken me all night. The tram was OK but I got lost the other side and obviously my phone died as soon as I got Google maps on the go. I got by with a little help from a hotel receptionist and got to the bar before anyone else. It was an ace little place, like a really colourful cave, with a downstairs bar that had swinging chairs hanging from the ceiling and a dark, little room upstairs. An old little lady manned the pumps single-handedly. I’ve no idea how she managed to stay on top of everything but she did. They only do table service here so the wait in between drinks was a little frustrating but I’ll be thankful in the morning as I only had five pints in the five hours I was there and only spent £5.24. Bargain!
With birthday cake eaten, beers drunk and the world put to rights it was time for home. We caught the last tubes by the skin of our teeth, avoiding the confusion of the late night trams and the possibility of wandering the streets once more. It was late though. A bit later than I wanted really as I’ve got an early start in the morning. Ah well. You can’t win them all.