Sunday, October 22, 2006

My 1st Vandy Homecoming

Friday evening, when you were restlessly sleeping in anticipation of Vandy vs. South Carolina, I was restlessly tossing too.

while some of you were anxiously anticipating every move made by those courageous 'dores, I was fighting off a terrible chill whilst trying to get comfy on a steel bench in macedonia.


I missed my first homecoming last year, and with the prospect of missing NEXT year's homecoming as well, there was NO WAY I was going to miss this one! So I packed my bags for the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia to see the fabulous Cindy Wasserman! In order to make this trip even more exciting, David Marbury was also part of this little band of VUCCers looking for a fellow choirite with whom to share our love of the 'dores.

after a great few days in Bulgaria, David and I packed our backpacks, grabbed our passports, and headed to Sofia to catch a midnight bus to Skopje, the captial city of Macedonia. Though I'd only travled to macedonia once, a quick perusal of bus schedules seemed to indicate that our 6am arrival in Skopje would give us plenty of time to catch a bus to Cindy's city, get a place in a hotel, and spend a few hours with Cindy before returning to Bulgaria the next day. I had no clear idea of how long a bus ride to her city, Negotino, would take...but I was confidant that my lingustical skillz and our die-hard love for Cindy would get the job done!

so how exactly did I wind up shivering to death on a metal bench in skopje? was it a communication breakdown? did David lose his passport? did we forget Cindy's phone number? Did we get kicked out of our bus at customs? NO!!!!! whew...wouldn't that have been scary?

So after several hours of (im)patiently waiting for our bus to skopje, David and I were looking forward to our 6 hour bus snooze fest to macedonia. 12am came and went...we were starting to get worried when a tiny little red "marshrutka" pulled up to our bus sector. Judging by the number of people waiting in the bus station and the number of buses at the station, we made a quick judgement call and RAN to the little minibus. We were able to secure two cramped spots in the back of this little over-sold van. There was so little room that the entire "walkway" of the bus was covered in bags and suitcases...we were SO thankful that our little backpacks fit above our seats, and that we weren't going to stand for the next 6 hours.

Now a big downside of these little buses is that you feel EVERY bump in the road. This particular road was so bad that most of the passengers were flying out of their seats every minute of so. sleep had clearly been ruled out at this point... a quick 3 1/2 hours, I reckognized the skopje bus station. WHAT?! our 6 hour trip had suddenly ended 2 1/3 hours earlier...meaning that our bus to cindy's town wasn't leaving for 5 hours and that the only open building in the city was this very bus station!!! So after a few mintues of trying to convince david that this trip had, in fact, been a good idea, I slowly gave into the fate that the only sleep i'd get in the next 20 hours was on the steely cold benches within the bus station. I spent the next 5 hours either camped out on this bench with my hood pulled tight around my face, in the smokers room (theere was a heater!), or roaming around the top floor (until the employees yelled at us and made us go back downstairs) until it was time for our bus.

okay, this blog is ridiculous. Long story short, I got to see two of my favorite vandy grads, and we were able to celebrate our "first" homecoming (abroad) together! Cindy is doing amazing in macedonia...everyone from macedonians to fellow PCVs love and adore her. (of course!) Her Macedonian skills are BEYOND amazing for 4 weeks...she actually speaks macedonian better than lots of volunteers from my group speak Bulgarian...after 4 weeks people! This quick trip was incredibly refreshing to me, as its always amazing to be surrounded by people who know you so well, and with whom you've shared amazing moments in your life. i am so thankful that david was able to come and visit, and that we made our crazy trip to macedonia. I love my friends!!!! GO 'DORES!


At 10:42 PM, Blogger -bio-olga said...

cool trip! and I love my friends too!!!

At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, all teasing aside, that was a great story and worth the wait Tones! i'm glad you guys could be together, and it almost makes me jealous of your time in Macedonia (a little - even though it's 35 degrees in MN, we have heat). much love! ~ Keith


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