Talk about a late blog post. I apologise for breaking my self-imposed schedule of profound looks back at weeks but the week between October 5 and 11 was excessively eventful, which left me drained by Sunday when I usually write this post. So you get two weeks in the space of one, whether you like it or not.
The shortest road to misanthropy
That would be the queue in front of any migration agency anywhere, I imagine. It certainly is here. I had to partake in the queue the week before last to verify that Big C. lives where he lives with my very presence. Did he have all the documents he needed to verify this? Yes, he did. Did he get advised at the municipal office to bring me along? Yes, he did. Do the authorities have computers? Yes, they do. Which is apparently irrelevant and we spent millions on an e-government platform.
My husband’s been a permanent resident of Bulgaria for the last 25 years. Now he has to renew his ID but a couple of years ago the local zoning authorities changed the numbers on our street. That was the reason why we spent two hours in the rain and wind in front of the migration agency Friday before last. There were about 25 people before us on the queue (on the street) when we arrived around 12:15. At 2 pm, there were about 20. Because all the EU citizens needing to do anything with Bulgarian identification documents there are serviced by two (2) desks. That’s students, expats, and permanent residents all rolled into one mass of clients for desks 3 and 4.
Correction, a week later: I was wrong. Desks 3 and 4 are exclusively for EU citizens with permanent residence in Bulgaria. Meaning, no students and no migrants. Which makes things even worse.
It’s truly amazing how spending two hours on a queue in bad weather can make you despise pretty much everyone. The people in the queue because for some unfathomable reason they’ve chosen this place and not another one to study/do business/live. What is wrong with them? And then there’s the clerks. Can they really not process a person in under half an hour? What is wrong with them? People are a sad excuse for a dominant species.
This week, on Thursday, we were there at five to eight, 35 minutes before the place opened. And we were first in line. After a mere forty-five minutes and one signed statement by me that yes, I allow my husband to live at my flat without charging him rent (This is not a joke, there were two options to pick from, “In exchange of rent” and “For free”) we were out again. We’re now good for 10 years. One can only wonder what they will think of in that time to make it even more interesting to be a permanent resident in the country. Or married to one.
The pain drain
We got a cat. Just like that. We picked one ad for kittens seeking a new home, we talked with the owner, and we went to pick it up. Him. Vlad. And, as was probably to be expected, the person happiest about was, yes, Big C. He’s been doting over Vlad since hour one. He’s even offered him our bed and that has been off limits for all our cats, always. But Vlad’s a baby and Big C. is a father. It appears that it’s not just motherhood that could become chronic. Fatherhood can also progress to a chronic condition.
Vlad’s been great, meanwhile. In fact, if we had ordered him created we couldn’t have done better. He’s the first cat I know who is quiet in a car. Totally quiet. He just sits and looks around. Sure, he tries to escape and explore but that’s nothing. He’s also the calmest cat I’ve known. Not one for drama, this cat. Not one for overexertion, either. I even worried he might be sick because he wasn’t ravaging the house from floor to ceiling. I mean, Victor tore down the curtains before he was four months, which is how old Vlad is right now.
I think I know why the Egyptians worshipped cats. It was because they are cats. Forget about mouse catching. Cats are a marvelous stress reliever with universal effect. Except when they have the runs because they overate on new food and when you put them on a dry diet for a day things start getting better but then your doting husband feeds the bloody animal half a pouch of wet food and by 4 am it’s all “Here we go again!” when I’m supposed to be writing a blood-curdling thriller, not cleaning liquid cat crap. No wonder I dreamed about strangling Vlad one night. I didn’t plan for diarrhea.
He’s doing better now, thanks to some probiotics and he has also revealed himself as an animal that shall not be caged for more than a couple of minutes at a time. He tried to claw and bite his way out of his cage while we had to wait for the results of some tests. My respect for him grew immensely in that time. I mean, you can’t just take people sticking test sticks up your ass calmly, can you? You need to make it known It Was Uncomfortable.
Basically, having a new cat is like having a new child, only the cat came toilet trained. Sort of. He likes the weeping fig’s pot a little too much. Which is why the weeping fig’s pot now has a cover. Which he managed to dig under. But couldn’t get into it to do his business in the soil. And that is why we are the dominant species. Because we’re cunning.
P.S. He’s the first cat I’ve had that attacks not the curtains but the windows. No idea what he sees through them.
Social life in a pandemic
…is the same for me as it was before the pandemic. I met with some friends yesterday for beers and besides the fact I tried to keep a greater distance from everyone than usual, it was the same as always. Except, of course, that the virus was what we talked about for a while. Then we moved on to other topics such as aging and its effect on the body. It was fun. No, really, it was. Aches and pains (we even had an arthritis sufferer in the company) are one more way to make fun of yourself and laughter, as we know, cures all.
This would probably be my last social life event for this year. It’s getting cold and although most pubs have equipped themselves with gas heaters for their outdoor sections (where all the smokers crowd) it won’t be worth it this year. Not in the context of the pandemic situation. Do I care? Not really. Like I said, it’s social life as usual for me. But I seem to have developed a taste for museums now, for going out and visiting places. So next week I’m taking Little C. to the Museum of Geology. Next, it would be the Natural History Museum. Then I’ll need to do some research to find some more museums.
Why museums? Because they are never, ever crowded. Everyone spends their weekends at the malls so the only people we’ve ever met at museums are either parent-child wanderers like us or, occasionally, a student group from out of town. But I’m guessing out-of-town trips are being canceled now so the places will be empty, which is exactly the way I like them.