So I decided to start sharing my stories with that one. Not because of chronology and not because it’s the most exciting one but because I wrote it the day after it happened – which is what I believe is the best time to write a story – without forgetting important details and without adding too much fiction to it
So here comes my first travel blog post…
I spent a week at the sea with my best friend at the beginning of August. We had a great time that could fill several other stories. But it was time to go.
We left our apartment in Sozopol, Bulgaria at noon and went to the beach where we met friends, that we had made earlier during our stay at the seaside. It was Sunday so for many people including us it was the last day there and the vibe was more chilled than high-energy. You can imagine a relaxing afternoon at the beach, with the sound of funky house and nu-disco in the background. The feeling after some good time spent at the sea, contentedness, people that were around you for the past few days and have become your friends are going to fade away and you know it.
My friend had to catch a flight from Sofia the next day, and I had to go to Varna the same night.
Of course, it was hard to leave the beach, so we waited until the last bus from Burgas. My friend dropped me at the bus station in Burgas and left to Sofia.
Weird thing number 1 – in the middle of the active season, the last bus connecting the 2 big cities on the Bulgarian coast was at 19.00h.
I went and found the bus – it was (weird thing number 2) – a small van-like vehicle. I asked the driver if it was the bus to Varna, he confirmed and asked me if I already had a ticket. I didn’t have it. It was ten minutes to 19.00. The driver told me in a not-so-polite manner to go and buy a ticket inside the building, so I went inside and while I was walking in the building I saw through the window that the bus left.
This was let’s say weird thing number 3.
I asked at the office inside the building and they confirmed it was the last bus.
I called my friend and told him what happened. He was actually really concerned about me and offered to come back to Burgas with his car and drive me somewhere else if there’s a bus to Varna from that place, but I knew he had to pick his parents from the airport later that evening and I didn’t want to mess his plans up. So I told him I’ll figure out something.
I was once again outside and I saw a group of people discussing something at the place where the bus left 5 minutes ago.
It turned out they also wanted to go to Varna, but there were no more seats in the bus.
I kinda thought that the driver could have said that instead of “Go inside and buy a ticket”.
There were like 10 people in that group, but it turned out that only 5, including me, are going to Varna, and the others are their friends. It also turned out that they didn’t know each other from earlier. They met at the bus station like 10 minutes before I arrived there.
One of the friends who was not leaving for Varna turned out to be a taxi driver. A tall bearded guy who looked calm and chilled. He offered to drop us at Sunny beach, where we could take another bus to Varna later. He also said he’s going to charge us only the price of the bus ticket from Burgas to Sunny beach. And that was more than just a kind gesture, cause usually, the taxi would charge at least 5 times that price.
But we were still 5 travellers – 2 guys and 3 girls and together with the driver that meant 6 people in a car that only fits 5. Or at least it should in normal circumstances fit only 5.
So after a little bit of discussion, it was decided – that was the plan. We were going with the taxi to Sunny beach and then we would take the bus from there.
I and the 3 girls were packed at the backseat of the taxi like sardines in a can.
The car was old and it didn’t seem very reliable, actually it was quite the opposite – as I was closing the back door, the handle almost detached from the door.
The girl next to me suggested that I also lock the door – just in case, cause it doesn’t really look very stable.
At the backseat, of course, we were not strapped with the safety belts, if there were even any safety belts there, for the obvious reason that it was not physically possible. But at some point in time, I also noticed that neither the driver nor the guy at the front seat has his belt on.
I didn’t like that.
The driver was very fast and aggressive on the road. Driving with at least 30 km/h above the speed limit at any point of the trip is also not my favourite, and I didn’t like how the car felt on the road – I mean if we had to stop quickly in case of some emergency in front of us – it wouldn’t be possible.
I saw the two girls further away from me on the seat were frightened. They kinda lost all of the nice complexion they worked so hard for earlier on the beach. So was I but no one said anything. After all, that guy was doing us a favour and he was driving that way all day long.
The girl right next to me was actually quite excited as if it was some kind of a rollercoaster drive.
There were some weird coincidences as well.
All four of us at the backseat were previously that day at the same beach bar, but we didn’t see each other there.
Two of the girls which turned out to be 22 and 20 and were cousins were actually from the city I was heading to – Dobrich since Varna was not my (no pun intended) final destination.
The guy at the front seat turned out to be my age and he had never driven a car – same as me, which is weird when you’re around 30 and both of us had considered going to driving courses that same summer, both of us wanted to do it in under a month if possible, but the difference was that I gave up on that idea when I realised that it can’t be done in under a month, and he decided to start anyway.
The girl next to me was a big fan of house music, and we had a lot to talk about.
At some point, the guys in the front asked us if anybody wants to smoke and I assumed it was a question about having a smoke break somewhere, so I politely rejected the offer.
Next moment I see the guys – the driver and the other guy helping each other roll a joint.
And this was still while driving well above the speed limits.
Well, I was seriously concerned about my life, and in 2 seconds, lots of possible scenarios including me in a wheelchair with a punctured lung and liver.
Then I realised that I’m more afraid of what my life would be as a disabled person, than what it would be if I just die. And here’s the moment to say – respect for all those people who were unfortunate enough to be in this situation, and who are strong enough to continue with their lives and have fun with friends.
The guys in front of us were passing each other the joint. And I know it was irresponsible, but we were on a highway (did you see that? HIGH-way) and there was no stopping on that highway it was not possible to just say “screw you, guys, I’m going home”.
Next moment I remember – I was cool with the situation, and no, I didn’t smoke from the joint.
I just realised that if something is going to happen – well fuck, but I took the ride and it was too late. If I was nervous or scared it wouldn’t change anything so I became the coolest calm guy in the car.
By the way, tell me in the comments section what do you think, should I have tried to get out of the car or something.
We arrived with no accidents at the Sunny beach bus station and it turned out there are plenty of seats in the bus that was coming from Plovdiv and going to Varna in a little more than an hour.
So we went and had some beers/juice/coffee at a place nearby.
We connected really well, it was a real adventure.
I had to say even though the guys seemed very irresponsible because of the trip they were actually really nice and cool.
We talked about what we do, have we found our true passion in life and how do we hustle or not, how do we like to party where do we live. It was not a regular boring interview conversation. We were quite a vibing group.
We left the place and had some goodbye hugs with our taxi driver, the taller and bearded version of De Niro, and we went on the bus.
And here’s a song from that summer, just like that: