Things you, hypothetical reader, could know about me:
1. My name is not Gogo, but "Waiting for Godot" is one of my favorite plays. My Didi is currently in the U.S., thousands of miles from her hometown in Bulgaria. We'll Skype each other if Godot ever shows up.
2. I grew up in a suburb outside Cincinnati, but I was born in Beijing and I went to college at a school in North Carolina known for its gratuitous greek life. Actually, this is every school in NC.
3. I'm a teaching assistant in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria for the 2012-2013 school year. My exchange program sends Americans like me all over the world to teach English. I've never been to Bulgaria before. Upon boarding my flight to Sofia, I will know only two sentences in Bulgarian: Обичам те ("I love you") and ти си кучка ("You're a bitch"). Thanks, Didi.
4. Just to be clear, this blog is my individual account of my life during a year abroad. Its purpose is for personal documentation and communication, and I don't speak for anyone else.
5. This is a blog about my experience in Bulgaria, but it's also a blog about other things, too, because I want to have a decent record of what it was like to be a Gogo for a year. As the great Ron Swanson once said, "Don't half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
(6. I lied. I actually half-ass two blogs. My less personal, more media-dump blog is here: tornbread.tumblr.com.)
Yeah, I dunno, okay? I think maybe the lesson here is that poop is everywhere.
This is the last time I will wait for a flight out of Sofia before I wait for the flight that will take me home to Chicago in July. (Well, it’s not that simple — I have a connection in Munich, but now my entire sentiment is ruined.)
I’m going to China, meeting my parents and brother in Guangzhou and traveling around the city and then visiting my grandparents in Changsha. Two weeks total, which lands me back in Bulgaria at the beginning of June, which will be my last full month in Bulgaria.
A month ago, I dealt with a nightmare of a situation at the Chinese Embassy in Sofia in which a Chinese representative not much older than I am gave me a hard time, I suspect, because she saw my American passport and hated me. And then there were frantic phone calls between my parents and me in which we discussed how to trump her petty little power trip by appealing to a higher authority, and then to a higher-er authority, and then maybe even calling up a family friend who holds some hierarchy-important position in the national government. Through this I remembered that there are certain aspects of China that I do not enjoy much — namely the arbitrary assholery of some people in positions of authority and the summer weather, which resembles a wet towel someone decided to throw in the oven — and whenever I go back, I always pray that I will like it more this time around.
My brother, on the phone two days ago: “I’m excited to see you, but why do we have to go to China to see you? I’d rather not go to China and not see you than go to China and see you.” We are both such beautifully assimilated Asian-American children.