Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I have made a lot of observations about Bulgaria the last three times I have been here.  I would like to tell you what I have learned…. (or observed actually.. lol)

  • I am pretty positive there is not an even piece of concrete in the entire country.  You would think you’d see people on crutches all the time from turning their ankles while they walk anywhere!
  • In relation to the above… it is difficult to look down and up at the same time to see where you are going and to weave in and out of people as you walk.  No one moves for you, so unless you want to literally rub shoulders with everyone… you watch where you are going.
  • People definitely have the right of way here too.  People just step out in traffic and expect that the cars will stop.  I am not that trusting.  I can picture it now… “Get that American!” BAM… SPLAT!!!!!!!!!!!
  • When you walk into a little bodega (tiny shop that sells snacks, soda, beer and some other small little things,) and you ask if they speak English, they immediately stop everything you are doing…..everyone looks at you….and listens as you tell them what you want, or if they don’t speak English, you do that point and “dah” shopping. 
  • Though they speak Bulgarian here… they say “Merci” for Thank You (which is FRENCH) and Chow Chow for Goodbye (which is Italian)…..WHAT???
  • They shake their heads opposite of us.  So someone is saying yes (dah) with their mouth and shaking their head no.  It’s pretty difficult to keep straight.  You just never know.  Messes with you really.  I am TRYING to just hear the words and not pay attention to the head movement.  IT IS HARD!
  • The food here tastes soooo much better than at home and I have noticed this the last two times I have traveled.  I asked Toni about it because even at McDonalds the food is so much better.  She says that the US has preservatives in their food that aren’t allowed in any foods here.  She said the name, but I can’t remember it right now.  That would explain it.  I went to Kentucky Fried chicken here today and it tasted so good!
  • I have yet to figure out where all the people work that are walking on the streets during the day.  I would think that during lunch times or dinner times these numbers would be higher, but no.  There are tons of people walking everywhere.  It’s not just older people either… school is out for the summer here so maybe that is some of them, but others are like my age just strolling along…. seeming to have no where to go.  Strange.  Since I live in a small town and haven’t walked downtown New York or something maybe it’s like that, but not really in Grundy Center.  LOL
  • There is perpetual construction here… most of the places on the roads in Sofia have been under construction since the very first time I came here.  Literally the same exact stretch of the same highway.  Don’t they ever finish those things?
  • Women here don’t dress quite as revealing as they do in Ukraine.  There are women my age that are my size, which is reassuring however I have yet to see a place where I could buy clothes.  I have been by several stores today and I think I saw like three racks in each one.  Maybe there is another room in the back??  Not sure, didn’t go into any.
  • The municipality hires a company to have people to clean the streets.  I don’t mean with a street cleaning machine either.  I mean with a broom and dust pan.  They wear bright orange or yellow vests and they are everywhere.  It’s nice, but I think they should put their focus on fixing the sidewalks (more so maybe the large gaping holes that are along the sidewalks with no barriers around them or anything) before they worry about cleaning them?  NO??
  • People DRIVE NUTS here.  I know that the same can be said for other Eastern European countries.  Motorcycles weave in and out and between cars….. scares me.  Though no matter how badly I think they drive, they know what they are doing and I have yet to see an accident in any of the time I have been here. 

That’s all for today.  I am sure that I will be posting more as the days go on. 

My visit with Landon was great this morning and I will post about both of them later on after my second visit!

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