“Travels to a Different Time” : 26July1973: Sofia, Bulgaria: Dodging the Haircut Police and the Unknown Green Soft Drink

Today was my first full day in Sofia so I took the tram into the city centre and had breakfast of a slab of bread and some strange green soft drink without a label. The green Blob Juice seems to be the only soft drink in Bulgaria. The architecture in the city centre was beautiful as opposed to the drab and ugly high rises that predominate in the suburbs. I went to a supermarket to get some milk but it tasted sour and I could only drink half of it. Hopefully the other soft drinks were going to be better. While walking to the tram stop I ran into some greasy type looking guy that wanted to change western money with me giving me a song and dance how his mother was ill and needed Western money to buy medicine. No thank you. I said I would meet him later tomorrow at 6 for the deal but was just saying that to get him off my back. I realized after that I actually have no western money but American Express Traveller’s cheques.

I ran into 3 European guys from the west and their mouths dropped when they saw me, They asked how I entered the country with such long hair. They had come in by train and were told get your haircut here and now if you want to come into the country. Not only that the police could stop you in the street and pull you into a barber shop. So I quickly pony tailed up and tucked it under my collar. Having to dodge the haircut police is a new game for me. Talk about hippie hate! So I made it home and had some pear nectar I bought. It was just like the Fructal pear nectar in Yugoslavia. I went down to the cafeteria and had a salami sandwich for dinner. I walked around the ugly suburb getting many stares and I should change my name to Mr. Martian. It is very cold here at night. I came back to my dormitory and read until the power went out so there be nothing to do I went to bed. Being an uncultured beach bum it is off to the Black Sea beach scene to check it out.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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