Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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2012: A Year in Review

2012_blog

It’s hard to believe that 2012 is coming to a close. This year has been very eventful indeed and saw me moving from America to Bulgaria, confronting life (and a fair amount of culture shock) as a new expat, exploring my new home, venturing back to Denali, Alaska for a third summer working for Princess Cruises; time spent at home in Utah with friends and family, another leap across the pond to Bulgaria, and reveling in a ridiculous amount of incredible travels.

While part of me is sad to see such a jam-packed year pass, the rest of me is looking forward to the BIG changes and adventures that 2013 holds. There is already a lot in the works and Vince and I are excited for everything to come.

As I reflect back on 2012 and all that I have experienced, I wanted to share some of the highlights from this year that made their way into blog posts.

(It’s a long one guys!)

January:

February:

March:

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Oh, The Things People Google

Already technically posted for today but I thought I’d live on the edge and put up another incredibly random post.

Us bloggers know a few things to be true:

  • Some people leave rude/crude/crazy comments
  • Sometimes our tone and meaning is completely misconstrued and people feel personally wounded/slighted and freak out
  • When you are inspired to post and have plenty of material you never seem to have the time; however, when you have plenty of time you have no inspiration and can’t come up with any material.
  • There will always be a better blogger out there. Relax.
  • People search for the weirdest stuff and somehow end up on your blog, which totally creeps you out some of the time.

A few examples from the past few months:

  • pick up girls on road in Bulgaria
  • paper marriage with Bulgarian girl
  • Bulgarian girls everything do for money
  • i wish i’d never moved to Bulgaria
  • i am looking for Bulgarian husband
  • Bulgarian feet girls
  • picking up young hookers in sofia, bulgaria
  • call girls Bulgaria
  • fat police girl

Yeah. What? Feet girls?

I am clearly somewhat regretting putting both “girl” and “Bulgaria” in my blog title.

Thankfully, from going through my statistics, it looks as if the vast majority of creepy men people who search weird things and end up here almost immediately leave my site.

What are some of the weirdest search terms people have entered to end up on your blog?

W.

P.S. Yesterday, a commenter accused me of stealing my ‘European alleyway’ photos. Um. Huh? All I could do was laugh and trash the comment. I mean really? They are watermarked, copyrighted with a comment embedded into the EXIF data through my camera, posted on my Flickr, etc. I don’t know what else I could possibly do to prove I took them. Ugh. Some people!

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12-12-12 (a day late…whoops!)

Alright, so it’s 3am now on the 13th, but I figure the rather awesome date of 12-12-12 was just too important to go unrecognized.

Important how? Well, I guess because it’s a so called “last of our lifetime” date.

I would have to live to be 116 years old to see it a date like like this again. Yowza!

(Side note: the world’s oldest woman, an American, just died a few days ago at the age of 116. So I suppose it’s actually possible!)

So on this date (or rather a teensy bit after) I figured I would list 12 {completely} random observations I have had since arriving back in Bulgaria and moving into our apartment in Sofia (many of which will feature in their own dedicated posts in the future, I am sure).

Here we go…

  1. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use our European-style washer and oven. The dials and buttons are pure gibberish and merely jabbing a few and hoping for the best has led to some near catastrophes.
  2. I missed wearing slippers all day, everyday (in the house, of course). It’s been great practically living in them again.
  3. No microwave? What? Turns out I barely miss it.
  4. Oh lyutenitsa…how did I manage to survive without you for so many months? How do American not know about you yet? What is wrong with the world?!
  5. Internet in BG sucks and you throw many little girl tantrums, but then you get it fixed and have wireless again and it’s SO MUCH FASTER than what the rest of you American saps live with. <insert evil laugh here>
  6. Can watching too many episodes of Dexter in a row increase one’s chances of becoming a serial killer?
  7. Bulgarian pizza still {mostly} stinks. But oh! We tried Domino’s tonight and it was almost like pizza at home! Huzzah! (note: I would NEVER eat Domino’s in America. Blech.)
  8. It’s about damn time I learned some Bulgarian.
  9. Can my apartment neighbors see me strutting (not really, more like making a mad dash from the bathroom to our bedroom post-shower) around naked through our sheer curtains? Eff. I sure hope nope–for all our sakes!
  10. I need to take immediate steps to: leave the apartment more, eat less delicious Bulgarian bread, start exercising, and put up vacation blog posts.
  11. MY MOM! VIENNA! ONE WEEK! ahhhhhhhh! 🙂
  12. My husband is a turd sometimes but he’s sweet, charming, and adorable all the time.
  13. (Eh. One more can’t hurt as it’s really 12-13) It’s great to be home.

Hope you all had a great twelve twelve twelve!

Next up: end of the world. 12-21-12. 😉

W.

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Inspiring Blogger Award

It’s always fun (and flattering) to be nominated for an award by a fellow blogger.

This time around, the nomination comes from whatsonyourmindmonkeybutt (gotta love the name!) for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Why, thanks, Monkey Butt!

The “Rules” (I’d rather call them requests; rules seems too bossy!):

  1. Display the aware logo on your blog-Sure thing!
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you-Done
  3. State 7 things about yourself–I’ve done so many “About Me” posts that I don’t know if I have 7 left; I’ll try, though!
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them–I’m lame and don’t want to link up 15 specific blogs (although I certainly read that many), instead I’d like to ”tag” anyone reading this who would like to do it. Let me know if you did a post in the comments and I will swing by to check it out. I’m sure you are rather inspiring yourself!
  5. Notify those bloggers of the award and it’s requirements–See above

7 Things about moi:

  1. It took me nearly 6 years to finish my Bachelors degree because I kept taking time off from school to travel. I don’t regret it one bit. Oh, it also didn’t help that I changed my major three times: started with Business, briefly contemplated Art History or Graphic Design, finally decided on Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (I’m that much of a travel addict!).
  2. I’m addicted to Alka Seltzer. I often take some before bed as a sort of nightly ritual. Love the stuff.
  3. I love spicy food but as I get older I am becoming more and more of a wuss. I still power through it, though, heart burn and all! (Starting to see why my Alka Seltzer addiction came to be).
  4. I cannot parallel park. Period.
  5. When I can’t sleep, I often run through weird scenarios in my mind to pass the time. Many times they are ways to kill people and get away with it. Morbid, I know. I don’t imagine anyone specific, I just think about all the different steps and how to cover my tracks. I think forensics is incredibly interesting and I also watch a lot of crime-based TV shows, so that’s why my imagination is a tad active I think!
  6. I am easily annoyed but also easily entertained.
  7. If you make me laugh, I’m yours for life. If you are a little raunchy and inappropriate, even better! Nothing beats a friend who is witty and doesn’t take life too seriously.

There ya have it! Remember, I am nominating all of my very inspiring readers for this award. link up your own post in the comments so myself and others can stop by and learn 7 things about you!

W.

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A Saturday Afternoon

people watching on a Saturday afternoon

Today I am balancing the urgent need to prepare for our trip with the desire to be completely lazy.

So far, both sides are pretty neck and neck.

(it helps having an ambitious man around to get tasks done!)

I dragged myself out of bed and away from the great book I’ve been reading (A Light Between Oceans) in order to write up a few blog posts. I am setting them to auto-post while we’re away. I hate to have things go completelyquiet around here for 2 weeks. And I’m sitting on some great stuff that I have been dying to share.

But, oh! How very excited I am to be leaving for 2 WHOLE WEEKS! Fourteen days! A fortnight! Etc., etc., etc.

It’s about damn time my husband and I took our honeymoon!

Because it is utterly unromantic, my laptop (and all the time-sucks it contains) is staying at home. But I will be taking my Kindle and iPod. So there may a few short updates and blurbs from me here and there whenever I can snag a few minutes alone with some wi-fi (images of a quaint piazza-side café, espresso/gelato/beer in hand, children laughing and playing–a girl can dream, right?!).

Please keep your lovely comments and emails coming. I won’t be able to approve comments (yep, I still moderate–have had some creeps lately) or reply to everything right away, but I promise I will as soon as I can.

Well, I better get back to editing photos and writing blog posts (not to mention packing). I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday Saturday (cripes, I don’t even know what day it is!) afternoon.

Really. NO sarcasm intended!

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

W.

P.S. If you’d like to see what I’m reading, connect with me on Goodreads. I’m always on the hunt for my next read, so I will definitely follow you back.

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Where You Can Find Me

Today is shameless plug day!

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed sharing myself and my adventures on this blog over the past 2+ years. My readership has grown by leaps and bounds and I truly appreciate every single person who takes the time to stop by and especially those who leave comments.

I am starting to branch out into other areas of the web and would love if you joined me there as well.

-Girl Meets Bulgaria has a Facebook page. I share updates, link to posts, and just generally enjoy chatting with readers. A handy “Like” button is located in the right sidebar. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to!

-My time on Pinterest has certainly gone down, but I still enjoy marathon pinning sessions every so often. I have quite a few boards full of lovelies, so stop on by and check those out.

-I have finally recently figured out how to post pictures from my Flickr feed here on the blog. It certainly came at just the right time as my allotted 2GB storage from WordPress is perilously close to being full. I am getting a lot better about updating my photostream and already have lots of pics posted. I plan on going back in my free time and adding photos for past trips and also my time spent in Bulgaria last winter. My most recent uploads show in the right sidebar.

-Speaking of photography, last winter I started a Tumblr site, Pixels from Afar. This is where I showcase my best photographs in all their high-quality and non-compressed glory. I haven’t updated in a really long time, but I intend to get back into the swing of things once I get settled in BG.

-Finally, my true joy…Twitter. I love Twitter. I can post updates from my crappy ghetto phone, it’s quick, and I like the interaction it provides. I am quite active on the site, so if you have a Twitter account and follow me, I will certainly follow you back!

I am on a mission to surpass 100 “Likes” on Facebook and followers on Twitter. I am so close on both. Help a girl out! I promise you will be dazzled by my witty and charming nature! 😉

Alright. Plug sesh is done. On to bigger and better things tomorrow as I continue to post daily for NoBloPoMo.

Feel free to shamelessly plug your own web stuffs in the comments!

W.

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Welcome, November!

Hello, November!

SO glad to see you! Sit down and stay awhile!

Your arrival brings some pretty cool things for this girl…

First, I am finally heading back to be with my love in our new home in Bulgaria. *Fingers crossed* these past 7 months will be the last we ever spend apart. This month we will be settling into our new apartment, exploring our new home of Sofia, and just generally enjoying being back together. Our relationship has been anything but conventional, but we’re ready to make it just that. No more of this long distance stuff for us!

Second, I’ll be celebrating another year of life. Yep, 27 is coming up fast! I am definitely well on my way to 30 now and, quite frankly, it’s a daunting prospect. BUT, I truly feel like our lives are going along full steam ahead and our long term goals are slowly, but surely, being tackled. The next year holds some incredible journeys for us and we can’t wait!

Third, lots of amazing travels are coming up! Soon after I land in Sofia we’ll be heading down to Smolyan for a quick weekend visit with the parentals. We’ll likely spend some time at our country house in Elhovets as well (I can’t wait to see all the new renovations). As much as I am going to love living on our own, in our own space, in Sofia; I know I am going to miss Smolyan (and my MIL’s cooking) a lot.

The weekend after visiting Smolyan, Vince and I are off on our long awaited honeymoon! We’re going to spend a few days bee-boppin’ around The Eternal City (good ol’ Roma) before setting sail on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise. I’m so excited that I can’t even think about it anymore; it just makes me giddy as a school girl. I had originally hoped to cook Vince an amazing American-style Thanksgiving feast, but we’ll be on the ship over the holiday, so I will just let them do all the cooking (can’t say that I am too put out about that!).  Our last Mediterranean cruise was great, but not romantic in the least as my mom and friend accompanied us. This time…IT’S ALL US! Candlelit dinners over wine, long walks on deserted decks, kissy time in hot tubs…here we come!

November, you’ve always been one of my favorite months and, I have to say, this year…you definitely take the cake!

W.

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NaBloPoMo_image

This year I am participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). The goal is to write and post daily. I am sure that I’ll miss a few days, especially when I’m on the ship, but I’m going to do my best to post as much as I can (even if they are just little daily snippet’s from my iPod or Kindle).

If you are participating, please feel free to post a link in the comments below. I’d love to stop by and check out what you’ve got going!