This is the top of a Bulgarian Taxi. I received this in exchange for a pair of men’s shoes, which were given to me in exchange for a blue leather wallet. All of this trading took place in a flea market in Sofia. I took my own things that I didn’t need anymore in a suitcase and proposed trades with people in the market there.
The blue wallet was a Christmas gift from a student, whose parents were rumored to own the Empire State Building.
All of the trades are taking place as part of my project Plums for Trash.
— hand delivered in New York City via Bulgaria
This light from a Bulgarian can immediately caught my interest on a number of levels and I felt some of my stories of travel in Eastern Europe immediately merging with the original story. We traveled extensively in Romania 5 years ago and as is usual for us we made no plants other than a one-way flight to Bucharest. We left Bucharest for Sigashora with, as always, no accommodations. We arrived and just started meeting and talking to people and just figured all else would emerge. Within and hour we met someone living there who does work with the Roma people and serves as a human rights advocate on their behalf to the Romanian government. We ended up staying with friends of her family and exchanging numerous things.
We continued to travel like this all through the Carpathian mountains. We returned to Bucharest after three incredibly exhilarating but quite exhausting weeks. That evening included perhaps the craziest bus ride ever, which included a shirtless, very friendly bus driver who careened through busy evening streets at high, nearly out-of-control speeds.
This all leads to our intention to immediately travel to Bulgaria– I had already purchased our tickets to Istanbul via Bulgaria. But after the intense prior three weeks, and the prospect of hours on a crowded train, my wife just looked at me with eyes of sheer fatigue and said “I can’t do it.” I trained vainly to convince her otherwise but realized it just wasn’t in her.
Sooo- though we didn’t make it that time (and haven not made it yet) we have a little bit of Bulgaria on our home now, that I’m sure will eventually be passed on again sometime.