Mosquito trumps & incompetence
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
There have been better starts to the day.
Having shivered all night under scratchy blankets, whilst being woken every 8 minutes by a screeching tram outside our hostel window (which didn't close) - we realised there had been a feast after dusk.
Us. The mosquitoes of Sofia had enjoyed a tasty English meal in the night.
The Boyfriend and I compared the damage. I had swellings on the nose and chin. He, however, looked a lot like (a bearded) Angelina Jolie as the evil imps had bitten him on the lip.
He won mosquito trumps. Albeit, not a competition you're going to put on your CV.
After breakfast, we set off to the tourist information centre to enquire about the country's highlights and how to hire a car. Upon entering the office, the assistant waved us over with a defeated look on her face.
I got as far as saying about renting a car to see Bulgaria, when she interrupted to forcefully say, 'I no competent. I work in Sofia. I only know Sofia.' and then she threw a city map in our face.
Persevering, The Boyfriend asked if she was from Bulgaria. Yes, indeed she was. Sooooo, could she possibly suggest places to..... NO! She furiously tells us again, 'I no competent'.
Pointedly, we ask if there is another tourist office around but then we are pointedly told that no one in any of the other tourist offices knows about anything outside of Sofia. With one more 'I no competent' thrown in for good measure.
Finally, we agreed with her self-analysis, admitted defeat and took the metro to the airport to ask in person about hiring a car.
Thankfully, the day ended much better than it had started: firstly, we got a great deal on a little Citroen C3 with toprentacar.bg . The sales adviser was a local chap and happily gave some good suggestions about places to visit on the way to Plovdiv.
Secondly, in the evening, I remembered that I'd packed one of those Jungle Mosquito plug-in insect repellents before leaving the UK (doh!).
The following morning we happily returned to the airport to pick up our hire car, bite-free, and pootled off to visit the Rila Monastery.