I'm sitting in my apartment with the window open, as the weather has turned warm. I love the location of my apartment, right in the center of Sofia. As a friend said, I live "в пъпа на София" or "in the bellybutton of Sofia." It's a bit loud when the windows are open. Not much honking, and though there's a hospital across the street, only rare sirens, but loud muscle cars revving up and frequent squealing of brakes. Demonstrations of power, I guess.
I happily take public transport. I have no interest in driving in Sofia (or in any foreign country). I've taken the bus and train around Bulgaria. In Sofia, it's easy to get around by walking or by bus, tram, trolleybus and metro. I've bookmarked the website of public transport maps so I can plan trips around the city. When I go to the archives, I take the trolleybus or the metro. Some are brand new, some not. This tag on a metro car says it was manufactured in the USSR!
Never mind, it ran perfectly well.
When my friends Marie and Annika were here, they drew my attention to some rules regarding behavior on public transport.
The admonitions not to eat or drink on the bus and not to speak loudly are normal:
But this one, no trumpet playing, was new for me. I remember reading that etiquette books only offer rules for existing issues, so I'm assuming there has been a problem in the past.
A memory filters down...the first time I came to Bulgaria, in 1982, I attended a summer seminar in Veliko Turnovo. The program included excursions on chartered buses. One day, while going from one tourist site to another town, our bus picked up a brass band that was hitchhiking to our destination. They began to play for us on the bus, accompanied by some of the seminar participants dancing and most of us clapping. It was loud, yes (and also fun).
So, yes, I guess there is a reason for that graphic. Really, no trumpet playing on the trolleybus!
Disclaimer: This is not an official Fulbright Program publication. The views expressed here are entirely my own and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.