Thursday, December 11, 2008


One more day in Bulgaria and I would have had a permanent migraine. Why? Because I experienced this compulsion to try and decipher each and every road sign, menu, headline, not accepting that I couldn't read the Cyrillic characters at a glance. It was easy enough with words where you recognised the "A"s and "T"s for example or the international logos next to the sign. It was incredibly difficult when you're trying to read the small white-on-red print of the menu in a Bulgarian fast-food chain that unfortunately wasn't illustrated with pictures of meatballs and chips. Easy enough when there's a queue and you have plenty of time for slowly assembling the letters in your head like some scrabble spin-off. Less so when you're the only customers and the girl behind the counter wants to know what you would like to order straight away. "Well, what do you HAVE?" my Mum asked. The girl 0disappeared behind the shelves and returned with a colleague (possibly the manager of the establishment) who went on to rattle off all the food options. Although we didn't really fancy anything in particular, we felt obliged to eat something since he had gone out of his way to translate for the illiterate foreigners.
By Monday night, I had mastered the alphabet, but still had to test myself on every word I saw, just as I had done when I had learnt to read the Roman alphabet all those years ago.

double cyrillic to me (onemorehandbag)


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