One is supposed to look back on the last year at New Year’s Eve, reminisce about things done, goals achieved and lessons learned. Besides the fireworks, I cannot stand that holiday. So on the eve of starting grad school, I thought I should take a look back at the last 12 months, in order to let them go and move forward. And boy, it has been an interesting one.
September, 2012, I was working at the Welcome Team of Glasgow Uni at Glasgow airport. I genuinely liked almost everyone in the team and meeting the new students (right after I had graduated) brought me back to the excitement of first arriving to Glasgow. And I mean how many people can say they got paid for spending the whole day at the airport in a yellow hoodie, watching people arrive and hug their loved ones, sounds like an old Hugh Grant or Keira Knightley film, doesn’t it?! I still occasionally wear the yellow hoodie, though now it says “Welcome Tea” as the m has worn off. Still quite a welcoming piece of clothing though 😀 .
That month I also finished up my year translating historical German documents for a blind PhD student who also happens to be a DJ. This goes down as one of my most random jobs ever and you can ask my French flatmate, the last day working with him was so sad because I genuinely liked the guy. Yes, the pay was good and made me able to enjoy my final year at university more since I did not have to worry myself sick about money all the time. But he also taught me certain things, for example that being eccentric and getting ahead towards your dreams but also being kind- those are not mutually exclusive attributes in any person.
At the end of September I made the move to Bulgaria to be a teaching assistant for one academic year. Oh and in case you were wondering:
I left Bulgaria on the 1st of July and have been very busy since, in a way that has been good because I have not had the chance to reflect upon the experience cause there is just so much that happened that I am finding it difficult to put into words and if you know me, I definitely ain’t lost for words often hehe.
Bulgaria was beautiful and relaxing and incredibly different, it showed me a completely different way of thinking that often times drove me insane but at the same time…I would do the whole thing again.
The education system is fucked up. It is the truth. I tried a little but often times gave up, I can’t change anything but I genuinely hope that I encouraged at least a few students to use foreign languages and explore the world and cultures outside of their own. It made me realize as well that I do not want to be a teacher! I have all the respect in the world for them but it ain’t for me.
I hope I don’t sound too snobbish but often times I came across situations, for example bugs and lack of proper toilets, or questionable transportation (bus driver enjoying a beer while driving) and I surprised myself by not freaking out haha. I took a lot of things as “Oh ok why not, it is Bulgaria”. The racism and homophobia still suck though.
I was paid OK so I was able to get plenty of sleep and I know that sounds trivial but it has been a while since I was that relaxed and carefree as I was this spring. A friend of mine who came to visit even said that I seemed more content in a small town in Bulgaria than while doing Erasmus at a big university in Prague, Czech Republic…and she was right. Money does not bring happiness but it helps you sleep like a baby.
(Part 1/2, make sure to check out the conclusion)