Miss Sofia 2010

I suppose the highlight of my recent trip to Bulgaria may have been something that I didn’t do. After several days of art exhibits, parties, and performances, I wanted to experience some REAL culture. I had spotted a billboard for the Miss Sofia 2010 Contest at Sin City and convinced some of my more adventurous (non-Bulgarian) friends to go.

Sin Cityis, to put it plainly, a mafia club. Having been there a couple times before to see Azis and other chalga shows, I knew that the clientel would be riddled with silicone and guns. Even though there a a sign outside the club which clearly states NO GUNS, I believe that is there just to appease the local police. I had told the people I was with what to expect, and our Bulgarian hosts kept saying things like, “I would only go there with tourists, it is disgusting.” Even the taxi driver told us that he expected a big tip because he didn’t like to go there because he doesn’t like the people, “with their guns and fake bras–they are not very nice or smart people.” But this only made everyone all the more curious.

The problem was, one of our group, in some misguided attempt to be stylish, wore a long skirt with hippy sandals. I think if this person was a woman we still would have gotten in (despite not being up to chalga standards) The problem was that this was a man. As soon as he exited the cab, the 7 foot tall doormen started shaking their heads and looking at him with a “What were you thinking?” glance. Needless to say, they would not let us in. We went en masse to another, more tolerant, bar and spent the night rolling our eyes as he complained about how unenlightened these mafia men are. I guess I should know to expect that from a Swede.

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