“Bulgarian people just make eye contact with you” Ben whispered on the way back to the hotel. I wasn’t paying that much attention to people on the street I thought. Maybe it’s a good time to start.
We had an early schedule today, waking up at eight and preparing for the short trip to the American University of Bulgaria. Despite my conscious effort to stay awake and enjoy the conversation in the car, I still fell asleep in front of the hospitable lady from America for Bulgaria Foundation. On the way, we stopped by a gas station, watching the Bulgarians getting coffees/teas, I suddenly realize that drinking caffeinated drink is more than just an individual habit in Bulgaria.
Car ride to the University was about 90 minutes. The campus is like a finch, small but incorporates everything. Cafeteria with the balcony, small stores inside different buildings that resemble the “Hoot” at Rice, and facilities such as gyms, nice auditoriums and dorms. We met up with the Dean of student body, who came to Bulgaria twenty years ago and has stayed here ever since. Through her, we learned that the University is actually really diverse in its student population, having students coming from 40 something countries. Having met the students was also a great opportunity to meet these elites of the future society and learn about what they have been up to. Ranging from volunteering helping the children from social homes to establishing justice in other countries, the activities that the student here in AUBG has been involved in are stunning and makes me think out puny my effort is to the Houston community. Its okay though, because it is the small drops of water that make up the ocean.
The monastery was huge, with a wall of residential rooms surrounding the church in the middle. From the outside, the monastery was painted with distinct color patterns such as the black and white stripes pattern that they use in the prison in US. In appropriate analogy but explains the intensity of color. On all sides of the churches, inside or outside, elaborate paintings cover the entire surfaces. As I walk inside, the shear amount of decoration dropped my lower chin. Paintings, chandeliers, statues and golden looking fanciness. Personally I was amazed by the ostrich egg that are used to decorate the large corona looking object hanging down from the ceiling that is at least 5 storage high up.
As day eventually goes by, some of us stayed at the hostel and cooked (fyi really delicious Chinese noodles) and the others went to the mall and got sim cards. I was distracted by the 10 luv H&M shirts that they were selling at the mall.
This is only Day two