Tag Archive | L.A.

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

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1519–1522/ 2013-2014

Hello from me- your WAT expert- for the 12th time now.

My last post I dedicated to my friend Tzvetan and his wonderful first time in the US. However, I did not finish the story of his adventures, as they were so many and all so different that presenting them in one post was going to be too much. Not only for me, a sophomore (suffer more), but for all of you, my faithful readers.

I promised that I am going to finish what I started last time, so let me introduce you Tzvetan Romanski..for the second time.

This post is going to be about Ceco’s second (and probably last) time in the US, when he travelled to…wait for it….10 MORE STATES and visited numerous attractions, went on numerous excursions, drank numerous shots of numerous types of alcohol…. And so on.

For his WAT in 2014, Ceco chose the same destination- Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. He worked for the same employers- Aramarck and Princess, had basically the same responsibilities, so I am not going to go in depth about this. What comes after his final days in Denali, I believe, is more intriguing.

(Seriously, I am staring at the notes I took during the interview and I really do not know where to start from…)

After they left Denali, Tzvetan and his friend Ralitsa (you remember Ralitsa, right? The girl that was working with him, the one that had the guts to fly with a helicopter and ride on a roller coaster? Yup, that Ralitsa) went to the wonderful state of San Diego. 3 days on the beach on Coronado Island, where Ceco says “The sand was so yellow, at some point I was hallucinating that it was gold” and everything was just so magnifique. They visited the famous zoo- Balboa Park, where several of the biggest museums in the world are positioned.

Then it was time for the notorious  New Orleans– the birthplace of Jazz where it is not very safe to walk the streets alone…at night.  New Orleans Ceco compared to Sofia, giving a really picturesque example of how “it smelled like the garbage cans, in the summer, when they have been under sunlight for the whole day. You can only imagine HOW that smells!” Other than the stinky air they literally had to make their way through, Ceco and Ralitsa had a pretty nice time there. They went on a tour to the gothic cemeteries, to the film set of American Horror Story (the creepy American TV series that for some reason a lot of my friends find super amazing.) Actually, while they were walking around the old neighborhoods in the French part of New Orleans, they stumbled upon a movie shooting of NCIS. Ceco told me that for some time he felt like he was actually in the movie, because everywhere around him people were wearing masks, “shooting” each other, running like crazy..you know..like in a real movie. Aaaaand because you cannot be in New Orleans and not go to a Jazz club, on the last night of their stay, Ralitsa and Ceco went downtown to listen to some real music, drank shots from cuvettes and even took a video of a black woman dancing on the bar and pouring booze over them. His memories of what happened afterwards are pretty blurry ….wonder why….

After their adventures in New Orleans, our travelers went on a journey to Orlando where they spent 8 days. “It was more of a vacation there. We went to so many places that it is hard for me to remember all of them” Ceco says. Despite the fact that during those 8 days, it did not stop raining, they really did manage to go and visit a lot of places First, they started from Epcot Park, which is one of the parks in Disneyland. Number second on their list was Wet and Wild– an Aquapark where Ceco almost drowned. Number third, according to Tzvetan, was the place most worth visiting- Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In fact, by going to this place, he made one of his dreams come true. The park was one of the most crowded ones, people everywhere. Ralitsa and Ceco had a tour on a rollercoaster, for which they waited 2 hours in a queue. After this, it got time for Universal Studios, Orlando where they got on Hogwarts Express and went to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts .

Their time in Orlando flew away real fast and it was Florida’s tuuurn to try and impress our conquerors. Their first destination was Busch Gardens– a place which Ceco defines as “for older people, not so appropriate for children.” Even though their tummies were still feeling dizzy from the last experiences on the rollercoaster, they just had to try the longest rollercoaster in the world. Ceco told me that Ralitsa almost died up there, she was screaming like crazy and he thought she won’t make it. Thank God, they are both still alive, good job, Rali! The next two places they visited were Islands of Adventures where they tried their luck again and hopped on Incredible Hulk’s Roller Coaster and Sea World which was kind of a zoo with a lot of marine animals.

The next 4 days Ceco and Rali spent in MiamiMiami….can I just go there and never come back? Ceco’s most bright memory of those 4 days in Miami was of the storms that hit the islands every night…every single night, no exceptions. He told me it was actually something really beautiful to see, because you could really see the storm coming your way. They went on a cruise around the islands and experienced in person what we all see in Florida’s video clips.

After Miami, our two friends had only one day in Chicago so they were in a bit of a rush, but still got to check out a lot from Chicago. Starting from museums, Millenium Park, the Buckingham Fountain of Married… with Children (the series, you know), ending with (as Ceco described it) The Glass Statue that looked like a bean.

Their next flight got them to West Virginia where they had a friend- a Bulgarian girl, who just got married. She and her husband took good care of them, showed them around, even went together to Kentucky and Ohio where Ceco remembers the sushi..Gosh, that sushi, I will never forget.

The end is near…the end of this veeery loooong, but so amazing journey. Their last destination was Washington DC where they accidentally crashed on a homecoming dance (that is by the way one of MY dreams…) Cute cheerleaders, sexy football players, cheap booze everywhere. After the parade and the party, they ended up in a bar with all the other college students. It looked like I was in the 80s. It was a hippie party, with all the wigs and bright colors, pot and mixed vodka. The sun was just about to set, when they “woke up” in the most famous club in town..which happened to be a gay bar. They spent 2 hours there, “enjoying” a transvestites’ shows while trying to get themselves drunk (again) so that they won’t have to remember all the nudity…

From Washington, Ralitsa and Ceco got on the plane which brought them to Amsterdam….and then to Sofia, Bulgaria.

All in all, Ceco came back with a hand full of…. $70, but with a heart full of ….memories…

And that is what is worth living for.

I have to admit, I really am envious of my friend Ceco, but in the meantime- I am so happy about him. I am happy because most of us go on Work and Travel to make money and spend it on clothes, food and clubs. Ceco did something worth his 4-month-torture. He saw the world. Even though it is just a tiny bit of it…he still saw something. Which one of us can say that for themselves? Not a lot, I can assure you of that. I really wish you, dear readers, that you, one day, will get the chance and will go and see. Will go and explore…and feel the fear to be on top of the world.

I am gonna.

Check out the storify on Twitter…It will help you picture Tzvetan’s adventures better :))

https://storify.com/ViktoriaGeo/year-2-part-2