Jim Trainer


In Uncategorized on July 26, 2018 at 12:02 pm

A local greeting in any number of cold countries used by a foreigner to indicate she or he has lost grip of reality and all appending realms.
Urban Dictionary

It’s 143 miles to the Black Sea and 4,772 to Newark, New Jersey. I’ll be in EWR next Wednesday night and just long enough to get the fuck out of there, but I won’t be this close to the черно море for some time.  My partner thinks that Plovdiv will be booked to the gills and with nowhere to stay due to the Hills of Rock Festival in town this weekend, and a cursory glance on AirB&B reveals he ain’t wrong. I’m sitting on the foldup bed at the Eco Village, high on instant coffee with sugar and blasting Steady Diet of Nothing into my brain via earbuds I bought in Sofia for 3 leva before we headed for the country.

We been here 4 days and hosts Adam and Michelle couldn’t be sweeter. Adam took us to the lake last night, about a 20-minute walk from here. They threw their lines in but I left them there to snap pics of the crescent moon through the walnut trees, walk a while past shuttered factories and a chained up mare. The pace isn’t so slow in Varzulitsa, Russian built trucks are as likely to barrel past me on these dirt stone roads as a black Mercedes or family in a horse drawn cart. Twigs the dog came out of the dusk to greet me on my way back to Adam’s, following me when I had to double back after discovering I was locked out without the key. Looks like they’re preparing dinner now.  I see Michelle walk past my window with a large, white bowl.  The sunflowers in the garden rock in the hot sun glowering.

Such a generosity of spirit these good folks have shown me and my partner since we pulled in behind the Blues Bus last Wednesday and unloaded on the town square. Blato Zlato played to the general and varied fanfare of the village and even the mayor herself crewed up with some lady friends to sing authentic Bulgarian folk songs and give each member of the band a rose. Rose water is a major export of Bulgaria—and sunflower oil, judging by the endless rolling fields of them, with their heads heavy and bowing down in the July heat. They drink their beer here, and Rakia (pronounced rock yeah), a whisky made from grapes that smells like West Philly corn liquor. These are a hearty and authentic people. They don’t waste time on a smile in the village but are curious and interested and willing to talk. Bulgaria’s had a hard time of history and is scrappy because of it. All of the people we met hate Russia and Trump and in that order. They know what’s up and there’s no bullshit on their faces—just hard lines from smoking, worn smooth and sun-browned.

We decided to stay another day at least. My partner’s out of money but the rental’s due back to Sofia Thursday. I think we can make the drive in under 3 hours but we might go to Vargas or Plovdiv after all.  We’ve been traveling somewhere between suitable and lean but leaning on the austere side for this, our village leg. I’m hoping for the best on Friday. I got an $80 room somewhere in Berlin and it will be the beginning of my solo journey. I’m looking forward to luxuriating in the singular chaos of my own mind, writing in cafes where I don’t speak the language, remaining outside the America and at large on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested….Aho.

See you in Germany, motherfucker.



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