my first police station

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March 20th 2007
Published: March 20th 2007
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Sleeper cabinSleeper cabinSleeper cabin

The only photo i could get was from above, i tried every corner (literally putting the camera not me right in the corner) and only in this photo can you just make out all three beds
i just spent 3 hours in a bulgarian police station - which is kinda funny because it happened 10 hours after i left my aussie chaperones/accent mockers... (yeah yeah lets hear it, at least i have a sense of direction)
i arrived at 6.30am on a sleeper train, first things first went to change some money at the currency exchange office in the train station... and got ripped off by about a third, despite the big words printed on the office 'no commission', and the fact that it was in a train station, which you'd think would be the official place. well that will be the last time i change money without knowing how much roughly i should get...

luckily i only lost out on about NZ$80. but i told the lady who runs the hostel after i worked it out, and she said to go to the police... easier said than done. i decided it would be a good thing to get a quote from the internet so i could show that and my receipt together (which i had to demand - and lucky i did!) to a copper and hope theyd work it out with a little
Beautiful SofiaBeautiful SofiaBeautiful Sofia

the view just as i realised id been massively ripped off
sign language. extra help was necessary seeing as i quickly worked out bulgarians dont speak english or german almost at all, and the few words they can manage they do their very best not to let on. even if you make train actions with your arms and choo choo away half of them just turn away and walk off. the other half are just super unconfident, but do understand a bit, and who knew pointing was so expressive!

(on another note damn DAMN the cyrillic alphabet, and wouldnt it make sense for tourist maps to be printed with street names in cyrillic - all very well knowing what its called in english letters but that just means when you get to the right street you dont know it because its not marked in english letters!!!)

anyway, the hostel has internet but no printer. there are about 2 internet cafes in the whole of the reasonably large city, plus a whole lot that have closed, so i spent all day trying to follow wrong directions for internet cafes that have closed down. in total with a little shopping interspersed i managed to find one by just before 5 (yes that would be about 6 hours hunting) and went to the police station. which i got two wrong and one right set of directions respectively. then the fun started. they taxid in an interpreter just for me and my $80 and my anti-corruption principles.

it was fascinating, real hole of a place, scummy (so ive never been a police station, what about it?), not marked save for the police car outside, and plenty of comings and goings, including one guy who got dragged in i assumed drunk and comatose but then they tried to feed him some kind of pill and saying a word that sounded like the german for paralysed, and then an ambulance came and took him away. there was a bench in there with a bar along the wall and about 10 sets of handcuffs attatched. i thought it probably wasnt the best idea to ask for a photo. tempting though.

after about 2 hours they worked out that because the place was in the train station they didnt have jurisdiction and i have to go to the train station police. however they still made me give a statement through the interpreter. so three hours later one of the 'cops' offers me a ride home, which im glad to accept. hes been sitting there on and off for the whole time ive been there, helping out and flirting with me, which im not ashamed to say definately can have its uses. so we finish up and me and the interpreter and the 'cop' start to leave, at which point the real cops have a fit, and it turns out that the 'plainclothes cop' (there were a few in the station) is actually a whoknowswhat only none of the cops thought to tell us he wasnt (the interpreter thought he was a cop too) or kick him out during the whole three hours. im still in the dark as to what he was doing there at all. so there you go. (breathe ma and pa, just breathe... im still safe)


21st March 2007

Hey Ems, That is the funniest travel blog I've read! But hey, I'm just glad you're safe. Can't wait to catch up with you when you get back.
25th March 2007

Hi Emma, glad you are having so much fun. Sounds a bit hair raising at times. Wait with baited breath for next story.

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