I’m finally back in Shumen after an (accidental) extended holiday in Sofia. Days (and days) of crazy winter weather and travel plans kept me a way, but I’m happy to back home! As I’m writing this, it is -5°C outside but never fear– inside, it’s a balmy 10C (23F and 50F, respectively, for all you Fahrenheit folks out there). And that’s an improvement!
As a Louisiana girl, I’ve visited snow now and again. This, however, will be my first real winter of living it. I asked lots of questions in the beginning, and was assured time and time again I needed to brace for the worst. Many people described the plateaus south of Shumen, made a whooshing noise, and swirled their fingers around and around, describing the winds that soar in from the flat north and buffet Shumen in some sort of windy whirlpool. And in October, I believed them. That was a cold, cold, cold, cold month. I impulse-bought a puffy coat. I refused to turn on my space heater, knowing that if I broke down in October, I’d never survive the winter. I trekked out to Ikea in Sofia and came home the proud owner of an extra comforter. And, for the first time, I thought I might finally appreciate the utility of a snuggy. November, however, was miraculously pleasant. And in December and January, guests kept me so busy I barely remember the temperature.
Until this came in overnight. And stayed.
Then, after a few days’ break, it came back with a vengeance. The return of the snow coincided with a weekend trip to Sofia for a Kukeri festival (more on that later).
And, long story short, the snow kept falling, school was canceled, and I found myself stranded in Sofia for an extra week.
It was a great week full of company, coffee, and good food. I even managed a small amount of productivity, spending lots of hours studying Turkish and Bulgarian again. And it was beautiful.
The snow also provided a perfect backdrop to my first ski trip in 11 years.
Sadly, it was way, way to cold to take any other pictures. I don’t think my hands have ever been quite so frozen.
Even though we stuck to the Greens, it was a great time! And as far as I know, we all stayed vertical and didn’t cause any major accidents. What more can you ask for?
All in all, it was a good week away from the world, but I’m glad to be back. In my absence, Shumen has turned into one giant, treacherous ice cube, but it’s pretty, too.
So for now, you can normally find me buried in blankets, curled up next to my space heater. And I reckon I’ll make it ’til Spring.