Tag Archive | drinking

Loooooking Myself In the…..Window

Guten Abend fellow followers, precious readers, and whoever else is out there. November 27, 2014. Thursday has come, and it is time for your regular portion of me and my useful (I believe) posts about people’s wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) time in the US as part of the WAT program. This week I am going to put my friend Radoslav Nikolov on the operating table, grab a “scalpel” (I mean pencil, don’t worry- he is still alive) and go through every single layer….of stories he has to share. I don’t know where I am going with the whole Doctor Sexy (for you- Supernatural fans) thing, but we’ll see. Rado is a sophomore at AUBG and comes from a little town in the east part of Bulgaria– Targovishte. He is majoring in Business and Economics and this year-2014- was his first time in the US. What is peculiar about Rado is that unlike most of the people I interviewed, he did not choose one of the big companies to deal with his paperwork and stuff, but put his faith in the hands of GTCE.

did a pretty good research, asked a lot of people, and the only company that nobody had anything bad to say about was GTCE. So I went with that and do not regret my decision.

My story about Rado is not going to be one of those full of emotions and life-changing events. Rather, I would concentrate on the pragmatic side, meaning MONEY. Because, come on… being AUBG students we start appreciating every penny really early in our lives and most of us go on Work and Travel for this reason- to make money and to secure their studies. His journey began on May 12, when arrived on Nantucket Harbor, the state of Massachusetts. Only 15 minutes after his arrival, Rado and some of his other Bulgarian friends found a place to stay…..at another Bulgarian. Overall, in the summer, Nantucket gets flooded with Bulgarians, Rado told me that he met around 30 and that was nothing. He and other three friends stayed at a basement which had nothing to do with the basements we picture. In fact, it was a lot like Skapto rooms (not sure if this is a compliment to Skapto or a way to say how crappy everything is….won’t express my personal opinion) with the only difference that there were 4 guys. Rado’s summer was a hard one. His usual shifts were of 12-14 hours, when summed up equals to more than 80 hours a week. He and his friend Kristiyan (again a sophomore from AUBG) worked as window cleaners which is assumed to be one of the best paid jobs you can find while on Work and Travel. At first when he told me what his job was, I was like “meeeh….every woman is doing that on regular basis.” But daaamn… when he showed me some pictures. No wonder his starting wage was $15…I can guarantee you, one of his jobs requirements was surely “Be Spiderman” or “Circus abilities, such as tightrope walking, necessary.”  They had to climb on ladders up to the 4th, 5th floor of houses. Scaaary… I found it a little sexist when he told me that his boss was only looking for guys…Well, now I get it. His time in the US, though, was not only occupied by work and sleep. Rado and Kristiyan went to a pretty average American party where I have never seen more alcohol in my life, all together. And more drugs. Booze and drugs everywhere. And all the Americans had this stupid look on their faces. It was sooo disappointing and in the meantime- hilarious. They went on a couple of other Bulgarian parties, but Rado told me I almost never let myself get drunk. Cause getting drunk and skipping work meant $300 less…Ain’t nobody can afford that. (By the way, almost all of the WAT participants follow this logic. After all, you can make money and spend it on far cheaper alcohol in your home country, right?) Rado and Kristiyan worked only for two and a half months. After the peak season ended, the need for window cleaners dropped and thus their hours dropped. And you might think “Omg, they had a month left and no second job, what did they do, they probably lost a lot of money!!” Well, no, actually. Those two and a half months were absolutely enough for Rado to save $9000, something most of us can only dream of… Rado, however, did find a second job but it is not like he needed it. He was bored and wanted to work to make time pass by faster, so he found a job as a server, but went to work only 5-6 times. In mid August it was time for Rado and Kristiyan to go and do some travelling. For their surprise, it turned out that some of Kristiyan’s relatives lived in L.A. and they invited them over for a couple of weeks. So the boys went there and Rado says Those two weeks were just amazing. We did not pay FOR ANYTHING and we had such a great time. His brightest memory, the one that made him smile like he had won $100000, was of their stay at one of the most expensive hotels in Las Vegas. The living room was with the size of the balcony on the 3rd floor of Skapto, the bedroom was 3 times bigger than the one in the dorm, and the bathroom….o, the bathroom had a Jacuzzi that had space for 5-6 people. What can I tell you, real Hugh Hefner-s. Only the bunny ladies were missing. (or maybe not?) They spent two weeks in L.A. during which they also went to Hollywood and went on an organized excursion all around Hollywood. They saw The Sign, the expensive houses of Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone etc. and took pictures at the Walk of Fame. (This excursion was also for free, by the way. I wish I had such relatives, you know…) Rado came back to Bulgaria not only with a lot of memories, money and experience in window cleaning, but with a lot of souvenirs and CLOTHES. He told me that basically he renewed his wardrobe completely.

I was amazed how cheap clothes in the US were. Actually, how cheap everything was. Except for vegetables and fruit. Now I know why American women are so fat…McDonald’s is $1, a quarter of a watermelon is $9.

One of his advice to my readers is Buy clothes while you are still in the US. Especially if you are from Bulgaria. Here, the Nike shirts I bought would be 3 times more expensive…at least. Two other advise Rado think might be useful are: Do not go to American parties unless you are looking for trouble…and drugs… and Research. Research well. Research in depth. Know where you are going. Otherwise, it might be really hard for you to adjust and to start having fun. It’s summer…. You gotta…you BETTER have fun! Hasta la vista, people. And follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Merci beaucoup Oh and also- if you LOOOVE to procrastinate (like me), you can check out my thinglink where I ranked the top 10 (typical) American Party movies. http://www.thinglink.com/scene/594313770365353984

Advertisements

V For Vendetta, A For Anonymous

Not many people are usually willing to share some of their deepest emotions, to put their soul out there, where it is vulnerable and everybody can get an insight of it, especially not the way Boyana Atanasova did it. Buuut… there are those people who would share their craziest memories just cause their craziness is what defines them. They are free, have no regrets whatsoever. Such a person I managed to find in the debris of Skaptopara.

Despite the honesty with which this person told HER story, despite the details SHE provided, she decided to stay anonymous (as much as she can stay anonymous because of the video…) So as the story goes on, I am going to be referring to her as Ms. A and probably some other nick names I would figure out later on. Actually, I am not quite sure if “despite” is the exact word to use as most probably BECAUSE of what she told me, is why she wants to stay in the shadows. But nobody said anything about hints…

Ms. A started her story by telling me how she got into the Work and Travel program and how she actually found her job…at a complete accident. She went to a job fair in Sofia, Bulgaria where her initial employer unpleasantly surprised her by telling her that she had to be 21 to work for their company. Basically she “was not their person”. A was so shocked at first, did not what to do, scared that she might end up having no job, thus- all the money she invested in the Work and Travel program would have had gone with the wind. Then, all of a sudden the HR of another company saw her sitting on a chair, with a frustrated look on her face. The woman called her for an interview right away and in the end….instead of going to Alaska, several months later A found herself on the plane to Wisconsin.10527357_813143745376685_5530620480554326974_n

My anonymous “victim” was working for a call center at Mount Olympus Theme Park & Water Park– “a resort for…millions”.  She had to pick up calls, reserve rooms, be at the front desk sometimes. A was living with 2 other girls from AUBG and another girl from Jamaica that “was reading the Bible every day and was probably praying”  for them. In other words, it was Skapto all over again…but even worse. “The contrast that I saw when I first entered my room nearly got me a heart attack. I almost cried…actually, one of my roommates did cry.”  Two bunk beds, four chairs, plastic shelves and nooooo Wi-Fi…. That was what all four of them had to put up with for the whole summer. But despite the “cozy” living conditions, despite the ups and downs, A said that the four months she spent in the US were the best. In fact, not the experience there was so overwhelmingly fascinating, but the people she met were

priceless…so diverse…Jamaicans, Ukrainians, Russians, Americans of course, a lot of Bulgarians… they were the biggest minority.”

Her job at the call center was not her only one, but it was extremely helpful as it was kind of an internship. It taught her marketing skills that no AUBG course can teach her. She was on the field, in the game and had to play all day every day, sometimes up to 14 hours. This she sees as something valuable.  One of the most challenging aspects of her job was not the fact that she had to deal with so many different people, having different issues and demands, but that she had to understand them…them and their accents. She ain’t no racist…but “black women, black guys, have an intriguing way of treating people on the phone.”  In the end she got very good at her job, she was training the new employees and finally felt the appreciation. At some point she “was feeling like a Queen”, feeling like she  “owned that thing.” And that is when she started enjoying it for real.

The second job A found lasted only for half the summer- she had to draw henna tattoos which was something new for her. Then she found a third job. She was “selling pictures of different things that looked like letters and people were really into that, they were inspired by that because it was actually something very original. They were like kids with candy.”

10547586_775719235781750_2780424751036378748_nAnd that is about how much she shared with me about her WORKING EXPERIENCE, because according to her… her jobs is not the thing she finds the most interesting, the most memorable time. It was what was happening after the tiring 12-hour shifts, when she would go back to her “overpriced, disgusting room”, she would go out in the yard, sit around in a circle with people, drink beer, watch the fire burn in front of them and would just have the best time of the day. After one such occasion, though, She-who-must-not-be-named, got herself in trouble.

It all started with her, her boyfriend (yes, she found herself an “American boyfriend-such a cliché, but…yeah” who could “roll a blunt while driving his car”) and a couple of his “retarded friends.”  It was his birthday, music was playing loud, everybody obviously got just a liiiiiiiiittle bit drunk and her, not being 21, not only brought her to Wisconsin, but also got her an underage drinking ticket for $200. The story, however, does not stop here. As the police officers came to see what the fuss was all about, they arrested her and 2 other dudes, put handcuffs on their wrists and threw them in the car as if they were actual criminals. A says that her confrontation with the police was not a big deal, but what happened afterwards was what really got her mad. The police officers were both guys and they were extremely rude to her especially after they realized she was a foreigner. They started making jokes about how she is going to get deported, asking her questions about “how high she was”  to which she responded bravely “160 centimeters, you figure it out on your own how much is that in inches” ….They searched her; they did not even let her go to the restroom because they thought she was “some kind of a terrorist” and that she would try to run away. This was her first clash with Americans who did not like foreigners. Usually, she told me, they were intrigued by them and by the “weird, but cute accent.”

In the end, she was not deported or anything of the sort. So Ms. Underage got her happy ending. She is definitely going to go back to the US because she made good money despite the unpredictably expensive beer she had to pay for and the fine she got for not washing her dishes (yes, the resident assistants there could even fine them for putting their lap top on the bed… bizarreee..)10463979_809616969062696_7843975587062871102_n

A had also the chance to travel a little bit. Her friends rented a car and they went to Chicago for a couple of days, visited Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee– the biggest city there. So…”it was a good summer after all.”

Ms. A’s advice for all of those who have not yet been arrested in the states is:

“Don’t go with a provided housing and…be aware of Jamaicans”

And of course, follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more stories.