May 24, 2006
Aug 02, 2006
I know they want the easy money by tricking a tourist. But it's not doing anything good for the tourism industry if they do that. These stories will get around. So I ran and hid but they didn't follow. Now I'm at the local telecommunications building and using their internet cheap and I found a well recommended hostel for about 9 euros. Not as cheap but looked more hospitable and happening. I know Bulgarians aren't like this though. If I didn't know nice ones, I truly would've gotten back on the train and left elsewhere - it was so frustrating. All for five bucks too. I didn't want to pay and the police won't bother just for five bucks. And the tram lady doesn't get paid enough to deal with this. It all worked out. Except for that cop car that passed by once and it looked like she was in the back seat. That didn't work out. But now I'm far away from that place and I'll be staying somewhere safe.Edit: Please, PLEASE, read the addendum below.
This experience was a minor blip upon my stay in Sofia. It was not a reflection on my view of the city. I said that in the paragraph above too. I had a wonderful time in Sofia - especially in its nightlife. I repeat, I will never
say "I had a bad time in Sofia" because I actually had a good time overall.
I had a bad experience upon landing in Sofia. I was half awake, I'm fairly lost and trying to find out if I have any accomodations or if I have to find my own. So I was lucky enough to bargain a guy to 7 euros a night at a hostel, but I have to check my email first. So I decided to go to the place in my lonely planet guide. So I took the tram. No one spoke English to me when I bought my ticket, but I wanted a day pass really. But she couldn't understand so I ended up with a single ticket. I get on the tram and this lady starts taking tickets. No problem. But she's pretending to check tickets but she keeps looking at me. She's headed straight to me but ignores other "locals" on the tram. She gets to me and sees my ticket and takes it away. She never turned it over and makes it seem like I just gave her a purple piece of paper. Then she demands five levya. I say no. She tries to explain but I said I don't understand. A yelling match between people on the tram and her ensues. Only one lady ended up helping her out. But I keep saying I don't understand. I get off and they get off too. I was hoping just to get away from them but they wanted to take me to policija. They show me a pamphlet about how to validate tickets. I didn't even see the validation machines on the tram. It looks like a handle to hold onto. Not validation things. Furthermore I just entered the city, the backpack should show that. A yelling match ensues. I tell them I just got here and I don't like them or the city. She keeps demanding five levya and even pulls out her wallet. I think maybe, she's wanting a bribe or something. But the brochure did say five levya. I tell her I'm lost I don't know and I want English. They don't try to explain further. Eventually some ladies on the street get at her too. I sensed that one lady was telling me just to leave. So I did. I mean I did tell the tram lady I was going to leave her country if she was going to be inhospitable and targetting tourists and backpackers.