First day in Ruse

Zdravey- it means ‘Salam’ in Bulgarian. My new life already started in Ruse, the city I am going to live in, at least, for a year.

In one of my previous posts, I have tried to express how it was difficult for me to choose a path. Now I am already following the one that I chose. I arrived here in 3 am on October 13, slept for a couple of hours, and when I opened my eyes I asked myself ‘What I am doing here?’  I know very well what I am doing here, but I am being extremely sensitive since I came here. I will try to skip that sensitive part of me, and write about my first day in Ruse.

After a confused night and morning, we, me and three other Azeri students, went to walk around the city. One of those students has been living here almost for 20 months, and the other one for a month. So those nice and patient guys took newcomers, me and a married guy, to see the city.

Before moving to my first expressions, I have to say that I felt like I was having a déjà vu.  Yeah, how? I am from Ganja, the second biggest city of Azerbaijan, after school I chose a different path, and decided to go to university in Baku, the capital. So two of my relatives and I began to live together in Baku. Before classes began we were taken to city tour by our relative. On that small tour, I didn’t talk with anybody unless I was asked a question, I was just observing people. Although, it happened already six years ago, I felt the same. Different place.. different people.. different time.. yet, the exact the same feelings.. mixed feelings.. I wish I could dress up those feelings with words.

Today I also found out I haven’t changed that much. Six years ago, I was so silent, just watching people in Baku streets, and today I almost did the same. Kept silent most of the time and observed people, both my friends and local people. I am not kind of person who adapts to a new situation and people in couple of  hours. I need to observe persons first, I need time. Six years ago, my roommates were thinking I am not a social person, maybe in our first meeting new friends thought the same, but I will tell you one thing, there is a certain difference between Sabina six years ago and now; this Sabina doesn’t really care what people think about her.

Let’s go back to my first expressions. Ruse is a small old city; very different from Baku. What I liked here is you don’t need to take crazy bus, and pray to God in your heart to get safe to wherever you are going; you can walk everywhere, and also bike which I loved to see. Seeing people bike everywhere brought me happiness and hope that I can make a year through here.  Then you feel fresh air; fresh air brings you peace from somewhere. I saw so many people, females and males, smoking. I couldn’t understand why they poison themselves instead of enjoying this beautiful air. In cafes, restaurants, almost everywhere people smoking. People who know me already know why I am mentioning it, but for those who haven’t got that chance yet; I cannot stay in  smoky places, I begin choking. So I didn’t like that habit of local people at all!

The city itself is very peaceful with its oldness. After seeing fancy Baku and gorgeous Istanbul for a day, I felt like I am travelling in a time machine to the past. But when I got to see more, I saw although the presentation of this city is not as gorgeous as the presentation of Baku, but you can enjoy life more here; everything is much cheaper. Mostly I liked books and bowling being cheaper. Yeah, on my first day here, we went bowling, and I came in first, if you count backwards.

Life just started here. I don’t know, my sensitive side screams to be back, but I will try to ignore it and go forward. Because I have promised myself one day everything will be much more different. Six years ago I survived; hopefully I will do this time too.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice something, or a lot of things for a bigger goal.

Shte se vidim (See you later)

P.S. To the PCVs who are reading this post, I understand you guys so well now.

P.S. S.  The picture is from the park near the university.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Crystal on October 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Sabina, I love reading your reflections and your thoughts. Much of your writing is extremely poetic and a pleasure to read. The way you articulate you thoughts and feelings often has me nodding along as I read. You express so well what you’re seeing or thinking. I enjoy your blog much. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Great news Sabina! Enjoy your time there. By the way, would you like to write a monthly piece about your impressions of your new home for AZ Magazine? You are really doing that anyway through the blog but this would be for the wider consumption of the Baku ex-pat community. They might feel some empathy for your situation.

    1,200 words, with a few choice photos. No payment I am afraid but lots of exposure in a glossy magazine (and on out new website)…

    Reply

    • Thank you for reading my blog, Steve. I would love to do that. I have been reading yr magazine for a while, and now the idea that i can write for it makes me say my famous sentence; impossible is nothing. I will just write my impressions, and if you see the writings fit the concept of yr magazine, you can publish it.

      I will send you my email address. Talk to you soon.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Eugene Gabrys on October 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Rock it, Girl. ROCK IT!!!

    Reply

  4. Posted by zarif on October 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Haha Sabina, get used to it. In Bulgaria everybody smokes starting from janitors and ending with professors. And even the people who don’t smoke regularly occasionally have
    a cigarette in parties. I was probably extremely lucky one to live with Bulgarians who don’t smoke at all. Just don’t get this bad habit, some of us did. And I see you’re learning some Bulgarian. Good we should practice when you will be in Baku.
    Aide chao, mnogo uspex.

    Reply

    • Thanks Zarif for reading my blog. Hopefully I will also survive, it is really hard for me to live here. I will start to learn Bulgarian, we should definitely practice it. you sould come and visit me.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Mehriban Hajiyeva on October 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    My dear Sabina, first i should mention that you are really very social one, sure you will handle every emerged problem there.
    Wish you good luck and great success.
    You will manage it, i believe in you!!!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Sas Colby on October 16, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Dear Sabina,
    Congratulations on taking the leap to Bulgaria and into the next phase of your life. I love reading your observations. I hope you’ll be riding a bicycle soon. Much love, Sas

    Reply

    • Thanks Sas, today I was thinking to write your niece. I would love to meet PCVs and see what they are doing.
      Yeah, lots of bikes here, but i think i am getting one in spring maybe, Because winter is coming and it is very cold out here.
      I am looking forward to see yr book out.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Gośka on October 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog:) You’ll survive here without any doubt 🙂 The surroundings are really beautiful so you have to vistit Beserbowo and Ivanovo :):)

    Reply

    • Thanks Goska, I am glad that you enjoyed reading my blog. Hope weather will be like this for a few more days, so I can visit those places, but first you should tell me where they are 😉

      Reply

  8. […] date means something else for me; ten months ago I came to Ruse on this date, 13th of October was my first day in Ruse. Our dean used to tell us every evening, and from time to time just take your time to look back and […]

    Reply

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