Travel

Curtis in the World: Burgas, Bulgaria

“You must hold the fishing rod like this.”

I stared at this older Bulgarian retiree who explained to me in broken English the correct ‘Bulgarian’ way to fish. I was taken aback and slightly annoyed because I knew I was the first black man he had ever seen — the fact that he saw me sitting on the pier from a mile away with his mouth ajar helped me to arrive at that conclusion. After a few minutes of failing to understand the rough Bulgarian he was speaking, I started reaching around for my beer. I was sticking with the fake and uncomfortable smile plastered on my face without breaking eye contact.

But after drinking seven beers in quick succession, the older Bulgarian retiree whose name I never learned became my best friend.

The first couple of days in Burgas, Bulgaria were miserable. It rained nonstop and my wife, daughter and I could not leave our villa. Still, the people were incredibly nice, and they made every attempt to make my family and I feel at home. So when the sun finally emerged and Yana and Julia headed to the beach, I decided to go fishing. The sun was out, the weather was unusually hot for late September, but I finally felt relaxed.

Bulgaria has a lot of history, and everywhere we set foot we were met by many Bulgarians who could not wait to share their culture and food with us. There were many curious people who had never met an American before, so I continued to receive a significant amount of attention wherever we went — I was also the only black man for miles. I found the Bulgarian landscape beautifully overwhelming, but the hotels and other tourist establishments shifted my attention from the wonder of nature to slabs of concrete.

Don’t get me wrong — Bulgaria was amazing and there was a lot to see, but there were more negative moments about that vacation that had nothing to do with the people, food, or culture. For example, Julia, Yana, and I were walking along the beach when suddenly about a hundred seagulls flew overhead, pooping on us. When we finally did reach our destination, we were literally covered in bird droppings.

Curtis Albers is a former abused foster care child survivor turned Army Ranger. He enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures, astronomy and generally enjoys interacting with other human beings who are just as optimistic, interesting, creative and passionate as him.

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Mic-Mac
Member
Mic-Mac

Beautiful scenery

yankeepapausmc
Member
yankeepapausmc

Damn, Curtis…

The Russians might have warned you. (Not sure of the spelling here…) “…Chayki ne imeyut kul’tury …”
(Bulgarian seagulls have no culture…)

-Yankee Papa-

Susan B
Member

lol

Luke Ryan

Not gonna lie, I laughed when they pooped all over you…. lol

susanh
Member
susanh

Will you be going back to Bulgaria, Curtis?

Mason
Member
Mason

Well, a beer friend on a day out, can somewhat offset the poop experience. Thank you for the pictures and culture!

Susan B
Member

Thanks for taking us on your trip, Curtis. Those seagulls were really dirty birds, but I do love the scenery you captured. I’m sorry your family had to suffer that day, but I don’t think that dimmed the rest of the trip for you. At least judging by the scenery and your new found friendship, it didn’t.

georgehand
Member

Great read, Ranger…
I was in Bulgaria for a very short time and remember very little if anything about it. I did get splattered on by a by
some kind of bird immediately as I stepped out of my hotel. I entered a cafe and the owner says: “Welcome, my American friend… ah, I see you come from the beach!”
Ha ha me, I’m just kidding.
geo sends

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