Travel blog

Love and Marriage, Sofian Styles

By on December 6, 2013

Some of you know us, some of you don’t. But after 2 days at the Greek border, trying to get me, the American, through- we’ve come to a decision that seems to suit us: to get officially together.

To put a long story into few sentences, we had problems at the Greek border. My passport- American- says I have overstayed. I have my last stamp (in France)- while I was still ‘officially’ an EU member.

It harkens back to a time when I got married to someone from the EU for all the right reasons, it didn’t work out for all the typical reasons, and he disappeared. I was married for 5 years, finally getting a much wanted and needed divorce in the CZ in the fall of this year.

Unfortunately, they don’t stamp ‘divorced recently from an EU citizen in order to marry another’ in your passport. Grin.

I didn’t have proof of my divorce (translated from the Czech into Greek by Official State Translators*), which meant they didn’t let me across the border.

The two days involved to get papers, etc. is a great and epic tale for another day. Thank you, our Brno people. You are- and have always been- fantabulous at helping. Hugs, hugs, hugs. (Anne, Danny, David, Aaron, James and Pavel- grazie/merci/diky mnohokrat.)

Stuck in Bulgaria, Armando looked at me and said: ‘I can see just one option for us, Mel. To get married.’

It wasn’t the first conversation we’d had about it. The getting hitched thing. We just thought we’d have more time to sort things out. It seems as if the Greeks have decided our next steps in our adventures. Ha.

We made the most of our time near the border for those two days in the same way we try to always do: make the best of it.

We found- via my Auntie Cherryl (mwah Cherryl from both of us-!)- a beautiful, natural hot springs called Rupite where we spent our evening gazing at the stars, soaking in cozy heated water and drinking wine. Talking. Pure relaxation.

Finally, the romantic evening we’d tried to find twice in Tuscany and failed- and fell into our laps in Bulgaria. Go figure, life- no complaints.

The next day was equally good there, as the springs are unusually beautiful and we met fellow long-time campers that ‘live’ there during the winter. A sweet and genuine couple.

The atmosphere of Rupita was eerily calm, with breaths and wisps of steam coursing over the autumnal landscape. Local villagers came by to gather water, ride by on horse-drawn wagons or have a morning soak to start their day. Armando dipped twice that morning.

It was a really nice 24 hours together. It calmed us from the terrific stress of the border police. It melted away so many concerns, especially for me. It gave us back appreciation for simplicity and goodness. For each other, which can be so easy to lose sight of. It coalesced us.

So… we’re back in Sofia. We get* to do loads of paperwork at 2 embassies, a BG municipality, a doctor’s for blood, more waiting and all sorts of other entertaining things to do to get married. Plus, we have a limited time (right before the holidays) to do it in. “Nothing is ever easy,” as my old favorite fantasy author Terry Goodkind wrote.

As far as our emotions go, we’ve already been married for ages. And we’re still going strong. We, quite simply, are. A piece of paper doesn’t alter that; it just makes multiple bureaucracies feel satiated.

Convincing the paper police will take a little time, funds and oomphs of energy right now. But I suppose that just goes to prove our commitment. Grin.

Our marriage will be fun and short for sure. 

Wish us luck, from Sofia with affection- M & A



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