Entering the green fields and toilet paper of Bulgaria

In the morning, from the train the land is green and misty. We've escaped the city for the village, just by waking up. Old cars, old buildings, old people. It reminds me strangely of Nebraska: corn rows, level land, the intermittent silhouette of a lone oak. Then the small shops come into view and the signs in Cyrillic--which, for the record, was created in Bulgaria and borrowed by the Russians.

We're definitely not headed for Nebraska. One shopowner is setting out her wares for the day. A store entirely devoted to the selling of toilet paper. Yellows and pinks and blues and small mountains of what turns out to be typically Bulgarian TP: a thin, singly-ply natural beige, not soft or scratchy. How much she sells is anyone's guess. Seeing that much toilet paper in one spot does fill one with a sense of urgency. Is TP hard to come by? Should I stock up now... you know, just in case?

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