Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Bulgaria

Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Bulgaria. Today I picked up my debit card from the bank. Of course it wasn’t just as simple as walking in and getting my card. No, the guard at the front door first wanted to know what I came to do there so I signed the shape of a card while saying “debit card”. Then I was guided to a desk where the first thing they wanted was my passport. Didn’t I do all this stuff a week before already when I filled out a dozen papers just to open a bank account? I guess not as the clerk needed more from me.

After filling out 5 more papers I finally got my debit card and internet banking. Granted the internet banking was set up a whole lot faster than in Ireland (it took about a month and a half!!) Then I wanted to activate it, the guard saw me “lurking” about the ATM so he told the clerk. The clerk then proceeded to come out and tell me my card wouldn’t be active for another four hours. Bummer. Not that there was a whole lot in my account anyways, try the amount of 0.

Anyways, that was an interesting experience. S and I haven’t been doing a whole bunch of touristy stuff because of the weather at the moment. Apparently May and June are the wettest months here and we are definitely noticing that. We did however, finally find a big supermarket with things we have been looking for ever since we got here. One of the most frustrating things is not being able to find what you need in a store cause a. you don’t know what it’s called, b. it’s all in Cyrillic. But we are starting to learn what certain things are in Bulgarian and it’s getting easier and easier.

I am definitely looking forward to summer time though. It can get extremely hot here and I really need to start working on my tan already.

Work’s been interesting, I haven’t quite made up my mind yet about it. But then again, I didn’t exactly come here for the job. I came for the country and to relax mostly. Unlike a lot of people, I really don’t care much for a career, never have and never will. My environment is the most important and this here is a great environment but I certainly miss my friends. My colleagues at work are mostly Dutch and I just don’t gel very well with other Dutchies. Kinda weird but it is what it is.

Next weekend S and I will be attending the team building for a day and a half. That should break the ice more between me and my colleagues. Hopefully we’ll make some connections with other people because at this point that’s really the only thing missing.

So not too much of exciting news but I am sure that’ll change soon enough.

Thanks for reading :).

 

So the weather hasn’t been all that the last week. Going from 29 celcius, cloudless skies to 10 celcius, cloudy and rainy makes it a hard adjustment. It also makes me want to stay in this weekend! As said previously, we live in the mountains and we pretty much have the clouds nearly floating into our door. It’s a beautiful sight and I don’t mind it much but I am ready for summer to come. It gives us an indication of how cold it can already get here, so we really have to get prepared come winter-time. Thermal underwear comes to mind. Thankfully, we have a wood-stove and even though I don’t know how to make a fire (yet) I am so wicked excited to use it. But I am getting carried away, summer needs to happen first. 😀

(above: view from our front porch)

It’s been nearly a month since we moved to Bulgaria, and everything so far has been extremely positive and awesome. I am doing the same kind of work I did in Ireland, mainly inbound. But this time I am a Customer care-agent and I have other tasks besides just inbound-calls. This suits me much better as inbound tends to get boring after a few hours.
Anywho, we finished training this Friday and went “live” in the afternoon. The knot in my stomach went away pretty fast once I had taken a few calls. The atmosphere at work is the same as life in Bulgaria is; relaxed. I love that about this country, nothing goes particularly fast and that’s just fine by me. Who needs stress?

The bus I take to work goes once every hour and it’s when I see some of the most colourful people come out. Little old ladies with homegrown vegetables and herbs on their way to the vegetable market to make a few extra Leva a month, the shepherd with his goats/sheep/cows walking about, donkeys grazing by the side of the road. It’s like I stepped 60 years back in time and it makes me smile EVERY time. Who knew a place like this still existed?

Our landlord lives right next to us and does not speak a single word of English, which makes communication interesting to say the least. It mainly consists of charades, phrasebook sentences and guessing. He’s a nice guy though, he fixes everything straight away and makes sure we have everything we need. Last time he saw we had our clothes out to dry on the chairs, so he provided us with a drying rack. We never even had to ask. And this is more and more what I see from Bulgarians; they want to help you out.
Some of my colleagues complain that Bulgarians are just out to get your money and whatnot, and frankly, that shit just rubs me wrong way. I haven’t had ONE single bad thing happen with Bulgarians. Maybe I am just flexible and adaptable but they seem to like me just fine.
What I know by now, is that no country is perfect, let alone the people living in that country. All we can do is just to help each other out whenever we can and not judge. For some people however, that’s just asking way too much.

I have no clue what life here is going to bring but whatever it is, I embrace it fully. I really don’t want to leave here anymore. This feels like my safe haven. With that said, I do miss the people I’ve left behind and wish I would have made smarter decisions. But I’ve never been a very rational person, always more of a emotional one and just do what I feel. And I feel everything x 10, whether it’s a happy emotion or a dark one. Sometimes it’s just a bit of a curse and I do wish people would stop thinking that I am too sweet of a person, as I definitely am not.

My colleague the other day told me that he loves the way I am always so positive, and that I have a very calming energy. He has heart problems/is very temperamental and said that whenever he is around me, he calms right down. It’s nice to know that I can have that kind of impact on someone who I don’t even know that well. Sometimes I wonder who else I might have had an impact on..

“People will forget what you say, people will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

And with those words, I bid you all good night (Leka nosht/Лека нощ)

10 Day-You Challenge; day 2

Nine.
Traveling and Nature; I love wandering around the world exploring one country at a time. I haven’t been too nearly as many countries as I’d like to and especially now I feel like I have found my spot, so from now on it’ll just be vacationing!

Eight.
Playing video games;  ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved arcade-games but my parents usually didn’t give me money to play so I’d just watch others and play the demo. Now if I want something I just buy it!

Seven.
The Supernatural; anything mystical, scary  or spiritual. I’ve always been into Vampires when they were still cool (e.g. Twilight..yuck!!). I count myself as a spiritual person and believe that there’s more on this earthly plane than just us humans. Something that has been proved to me time and time again.

Six.
Snow; fresh fallen snow always puts a smile on my face. The way it blankets the entire world under a white cover is beautiful. My favorite thing to do then, is to take my dogs (if I have any) out for a long walk. The best thing is to see their paw prints on fresh snow. That and the sound it makes when you walk! Chrispy!!! I love anything Nordic anyways, Finland, Sweden, Norway are all countries that I love to visit.

Five.
Sun; as much as I love snow, I possibly like the sun even more. I’ve learned that I really need sunny weather in order to feel good. When I don’t I get sulky and depressed. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sun in the winter-time or summer-time. Of course, occasionally I love a good rainstorm, just not 365 days out of the year. Extreme weather is something that intrigues me as well and living here in the mountains of Bulgaria, we get to see that plenty so far!

Four.
Music; I love all sorts of music, but mostly the kind that moves me deeply.

Three.
Samoyeds; I LOVE LOVE these dogs. They are the best dog-breed in my opinion, loving, caring, clown-like and extremely intelligent. The best dog I ever had was a Sammy :).

Two.
Movies; I am a big movie-buff and I watch for the most part anything except for chick-flicks. Trailers alone can get me really happy and going to the movies is something I try to do on a frequent basis.

One.
My loved ones, of course. The people that have come and gone in my life who impacted me, are always in my heart.

 

Life in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria so far

Well, I’ve been gone a while but with good reason. I’ve been in training for my work for nearly 2 weeks now and haven’t exactly had the time to blog about my experiences thus far. My other half has done much better when it comes to blogging and you can find her on Daily Visual Inspiration.

So we arrived in Sofia on the 26th of April, for me personally it was the day from Hell as I missed my connecting flight from Charles de Gaulle Airport due to a lady who had misplaced her passport and made us all late for departure. I then had to rush through Paris to even catch the new flight I was booked on and ended up paying 50 euro for my second piece of hand luggage which was really my laptop-bag, even though I had no problems when flying from Dublin to Paris… Enfin, nothing could’ve been done about that, all I cared about at that point was catching my plane. But of course, that flight was an hour late.

And all of this was going on without S knowing where the hell I was, see, she was already waiting for me at Sofia as she had come in on a different flight. In the end I arrived safe and sound and met a very nice Bulgarian woman who lives in Colorado. We talked a lot and she was probably the first Bulgarian person I met. The flight itself was perfect, the cabin crew was gorgeous ( I don’t know if I am even allowed to say that LOL) and the plane itself was very modern.
When I landed at Sofia however, my suitcase ended up missing.. In Paris they had forgotten to put it on my connecting flight and so I had to wait a week to eventually have it delivered to me at my workplace.

Sofia is a great city even though we only stayed for one night. We had a great dinner at Happy Bar & Grill. The people here in Bulgaria are so nice. I don’t exactly know what I was expecting but it’s so far exceeding all my expectations. The weather is great and the nature is overwhelmingly beautiful. I do have to say that I am happy I made the decision to go for Veliko Tarnovo, this city is amazing and so pitoresque and yet it has ALL the things we need.   We don’t live in the center of VT but just outside in a village called Belyakovets in a gorgeous 3 bedroom house with lots of space. It’s like finally all of our dreams are coming true. All the things we ever wanted and asked for, are being given to us now. And that’s overwhelming, when like us, you’ve been struggling for over 3 years  financially. Now I just have to learn to enjoy the Bulgarian pace of life, everything is much slower and a lot more bureaucratic.

What S and I really want to do now, is get a Samoyed or two. After losing the first one, both our hearts broke and it still hurts so much. I never though I could love an animal so much but I can’t seem to let him go.
But of course, first we have to get settled in!

Other than that, everything is wonderful here and I recommend anybody to come to Bulgaria to see for themself!!

It’s coming down to it… :)

So..the last night already in this cosy, beautiful apartment here in Cork, Ireland. I am not going to lie when I say I will miss it dearly, but I am not the kind of person to stay in one place. Unfortunately for my loved ones that means that they have to endure my restlessness and wanderlust when it arises (usually after 6 months the itching starts).

Either way, Cork has been such a great experience. The people are awesome, the city itself has great charm and is unique in it’s authenticity. So I am hoping that Veliko Tarnovo will have at least 1/3rd of that. I’ve met some pretty wonderful people, who will be in my heart forever.

This time packing wasn’t nearly as stressful as the times before, probably because I started about a week early haha. Sending things over beforehand was a big help as well.
Bulgaria, here we come. A little (okay not gonna lie, A LOT) nervous, sweaty palms, upset stomache but at the same time extremely excited! Not knowing the language is going to be quite the hurdle and it’s where most of the nerves come from. That and never been to the country before…well it’s all a little overwhelming.

That being said, I feel like this is going to be one of the biggest changes in my life. It’s hard to explain but it’s a gut-feeling I get.. and my instincts usually are quite dead-on.
I am lucky to be undertaking this adventure with the person I love the most in this world, without her it would be just be pointless.

Anyways, I’ll be spending the night at Dublin Airport tomorrow as we are on separate flights (she flies tomorrow-night, and I the morning after), don’t ask. I always enjoy and dread overnighting at an airport at the same time; just me and my laptop, kindle, mp3 and a quiet terminal, there’s just something about it. I won’t be able to sleep much but that’s okay. I am sure I’ll make up for it plenty on the plane ride.

This change couldn’t come at a more opportune time; I lost my dog who I had the most crazy bond with and even though people will probably laugh at me, it helped spiral me into a depression. That dog was the most awesome, happiest dog in this world. But things happen for a reason and I trust that things will work out. They always have :).

Thanks for reading and catch you on the flip-side ;)!

Велико Търново a.k.a. Veliko Tarnovo

Well since Veliko Turnovo is going to be the place to call home for hopefully some time to come, I thought I would post about it. From what I have read and seen, it comes across as the perfect place for me at this stage in my life. It’s beautiful and dramatic.

Велико Търново a.k.a. Veliko Tarnovo is situated in Central Bulgaria and is the country’s former capital city (Second Bulgarian Empire). It is one of the oldest settlements in Bulgaria and is known also as the ‘City of the Tsars’. Until 1965 the name of the town was Tarnovo, and this is still the common name. The old city is situated on three hills, Tsarevetz, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora raising amidst the meanders of the Yantra.  Tsarevets housed the palaces of the Bulgarian Emperors and the Patriarchate with the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls.  Trapezitsa was known for its many churches and as the main residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages it was among the main European centres of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature.

So there is a lot of history and culture there, two things I definitely am into. Combine that with stunning nature surrounding the city and I am sold.

Initially I was offered by my employer to either live and work in Sofia OR Veliko Tarnovo, needless to say the choice wasn’t that hard for me to make. I am very much a nature-lover and only moderately like big cities. Being a country-boy by heart I just couldn’t bring myself to live in such a place again. After having moved around a lot already in my life, I am really hoping to settle down. Bulgaria might just be it for me and my fiancee. Neither of us speaks the language but we have already started in learning. We will be opting for a teacher as soon as we arrive next week. Right now we are still living in Cork, Ireland and even though the country is gorgeous and grand, the weather is really putting us off and the expenses of every day life is so much higher compared to Bulgaria.

The choice to move to Bulgaria was one that came quite quickly, within the span of a week I was contacted, interviewed and hired by my new employer. I had hardly even heard of Bulgaria which makes this double the adventure. The people that know me, know I love adventure.

So even though I don’t speak any Bulgarski yet and I don’t know exactly what to expect, I just cannot wait!!

I am very open to meeting different expats and friendly Bulgarians. I will definitely not be one of those foreigners who refuses to learn the language and just stays in familiar surroundings.

3 days and counting till we fly! Whooo hoo!

Enjoy some pictures of Veliko Tarnovo on your way out :).