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Europe Travel Cannabis Drugs

Balkan Weed 2

The second in my series of posts on Balkan weed… and rakija.

Bulgaria

Bulgarian Weed

I am told that I am not trying the best weed in Bulgaria, yet still I am sure that the best weed in Bulgaria is on the same spectrum as what I do try. 

It isn’t good. 

It’s clean enough, at least, not full of chem – but it’s not cured right and wasn’t dried right and I am just wholly unimpressed.

I haven’t been high in two months when I get high in Bulgaria. Considering where my tolerance is, it should be more potent.  

The man who gets me high, though, damn does he himself get me high.

He’s a tightly wound, beautiful, wise, curious, hot, young, masculine, vulnerable, honest, intense human. I feel him far more than I do the weed. My hot Bulgarian coworker with benefits.

I vape the weed first. Vaporizing has advantages and drawbacks. In my book, it’s a good thing that various chemistry and bacteria/fungus will spark off if you take fire to the weed. Vaporizing runs the risk that whatever elements are included in the weed that have a similar temperature for their own vaporization will also vaporize, and that instead of destroying them you will inhale them.

It isn’t fully clean. As I said: it’s clean enough. 

I don’t know the strain. I think he says it a few times, but I’m not sure I believe him. He’s smoked a ton of weed. He smokes it compulsively. Regardless of his high. If it’s there, he goes through it until it’s gone. It’s one of my least favorite things about him. 

I recognize this compulsive behavior. I’ve wrestled with it myself. Seeing it in him reminds me that he is younger than I am. I’ve won these matches. He has yet to do so.

I try a couple different batches of Bulgarian weed. It all seems terrible to me whether vaporized or smoked. 

Weed isn’t legal in Bulgaria. It’s a harsh penalty. Definitely goes on your criminal record, and my host doesn’t want that, but he also definitely wants to get high. He sprays the inside of his mouth with some awful tasting substance that will beat a drug test before he drives. He’s a good driver. Doesn’t matter whether he’s high.

I am also a good driver. Better sometimes when I am high.

I can remember that kind of care and concern, when I lived and existed in places that it was so illegal. But these days, I either do it in legal or tolerant places, or I don’t do it at all. It’s been a long time since I’ve harshly broken the law by smoking weed. 

I alternate between smoking his crappy weed and refusing to smoke it. 

He’s rolled out the red carpet for me in many other ways, but he admits he has access to better weed in Bulgaria. For some reason I’m annoyed about this and push the subject. He should have prepared better for me. I am worth it. 

This is before we’ve started being intimate.

He mentions we could go to another town and he could get it there. But traveling with it is a huge no-no in Bulgaria. 

“Soooo… I could just use nature’s compartment.” I suggest. “We could drive there and back in a day, and I’d be the one to take the fall if it was inside me”

“How much could you fit, anyway, 20 grams? It’s not worth it. We’d go through that in three days.” he says quickly, without pause.

I take a drag off the joint rolled way too neatly and excellently for the quality of weed that is within it. 

“Did you just estimate the volume of my vagina?” I ask, nonchalantly.

“Yes. No. I meant, like, women in general, not you.” he backtracks.

“You totally just estimated the volume of my vagina.”

Kosovo

I am pleasantly surprised by Pristina. I thought because there’s no sights to see that it would be boring. It isn’t. It’s warm and welcoming and Kosovar men are smoking hot. I am happy just sitting and watching them go by. 

People greet each other with hugs and kisses. My little European-frozen heart begins to melt.

The history of war and triumph moves me. As well my heart saddens learning that Kosovo is such an isolated country. It’s not recognized by many others, and visas are difficult for the Kosovar.

I see the presence of Albanian nationalism and the haughty air of the ethnic Serbians. I’m glad no one is currently killing one another.

I try to play Tinder for a minute before realizing I’m too hung up on my hot Bulgarcian CWB to do so. But I do run across a profile that says nothing much more than “420”. So I message him.

I tell him first thing that I am not in the mood for fucking or dating, but that I want some weed and will pay him for his time as well as hooking me up. 

He responds instantly, and when I tell him my sob story of multiple deaths in my family, he texts me that he will be there in 10 minutes. 

He’s a cute young man, just 24 years old. He pulls up in a car with his friend, and gives me a big hug. Tells me he’s sorry to hear about my losses. Hands me a few nice, tight nugs and I hand him something like $10. He offers to take me on a tour with his friend and though it seems fun I decline. I don’t know why. Again, I am hung up on the new lover and just want to get high and write.

He does tell me he thought I was a cop at first. I laugh. He laughs. He gives me another hug and then walks out of my life. Cute weed fairy.

I go home and roll a few joints and smoke them. The weed is better than Bulgarian weed, but it has bud hardeners that have been added. It’s too dense for nature. I feel the sting in my throat of whatever chem has been used to get it to where it is now. Yet still, it is potent, and lovely, and does the job. 

It is not the first or last time I use Tinder to buy drugs.

Serbia

The moment I land in Belgrade, I get the news that my mom is having an extreme episode. At first I think it’s a panic attack but then we realize it’s a brain bleed. She goes into the hospital and dies later that day. It’s the day of her wedding anniversary with my father, who died five months earlier. 

Dazed, I discover Belgrade. I wander around trying to take it all in amidst waves of grief.

I have been here before. In 1988, when it was a part of Yugoslavia. I remember very little. The only thing I see in this modern visit to Belgrade as the capital of the country of Serbia that I think I may have seen before is in the Museum of Yugoslavia. They have items worn and possessed by Tito, and among them are his ties. The ties spark memory of me seeing those same ties before. Of all the things. Tito’s ties.

Eventually, I ask my Croatian friend if he can help score me some weed. He’s been playing concierge to me all throughout my trip to the Balkans. I miss him and my other Croatian friends, but don’t manage to get back to Zagreb this trip.

He hooks me up with his friend, a Serbian rockstar. I go to his house and he sells me some weed. It’s good. The best I’ve had in the Balkans. It’s roughly trimmed, but well-cured and potent. 

On hearing that my mother has just died, the Serbian rockstar invites me over to day drink rakija before work. What could possibly go wrong?

He and I polish off most of the bottle while debating Marxism vs. individualistic capitalism. We share stories of drugs and culture. He is a privileged man, but still argues for the working class. I find his anti-USAmericanism adorable, considering that he, like so many others of his ilk, sucks up US culture, music, and products – including Coca-Cola. 

He tells me that he’s unwilling to avoid the pleasures in life to stand for his belief system, and that me saying that I have never eaten at McDonald’s is the ultimate proof of my individualism. 

I say to him that he has been brainwashed into thinking that these empty brands, this sugar water, is actually providing him pleasure. That they are cheap nothings surrounded in a capitalist narrative and by consuming them he is perpetuating the very system he hates on not by the money he spends, but by the way he allows his consciousness to be subsumed. 

He takes my point. I take his. We drink to it.

Everyone in the rakija belt praises Serbia. There’s some sort of odd superiority thing. I’m told by Macedonians, Croatians, and Bulgarians that Serbia has the best rakija. It does not (North Macedonia for the rakija win). 

To me, Serbia will always be the bully of the Balkans. Too much war at their hands. The history of feeling as though every country around them owes them, because of the sacrifices they have made. Because of the blood that has been spilled. And, moreover, because Tito was Serbian.

The weed though, it is the best of Balkan weed. And so I tip my hat to Serbia for that.


Part 1 of Balkan Weed

Hot Bulgarian Coworker

On Rakija and other fruity spirits


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