Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


Pernik Surva Festival 2013

22nd Suva/Kukeri Festival in Pernik, Bulgaria

Last weekend Vince and I drove about 40 minutes outside of Sofia to the nearby town of Pernik.

Each year the city plays host to the largest Surva Festival in not only Bulgaria but all of Eastern Europe (according to the event’s website). Kukeri/Mummer groups from all over Europe attend the event and parade through the city center in their costumes and masks before performing a short routine before a panel of judges.

Kukeri Festival--Pernik, BulgariaParticipants of all ages

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On Rotation

It’s been quite awhile since my last On Rotation post, so I figured I’d update you all on the music I’ve been enjoying lately.

I love reading posts like these from other bloggers because there is nothing better then being turned on to new bands or rediscovering old loves. Hopefully you find something here that is right up your alley!

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

Absolutely my favorite song and music video of the moment (those hats, white shirts, and suspenders? SEXY AS HELL!). I instantly think of my cute husband when I hear it because he calls me “sweetheart.”

Phoenix – 1901

This is one of those songs you here everywhere for awhile and you find yourself humming or singing it under your breath randomly. Then it goes away and you forget about it…until hearing it playing full blast in the mall and it’s stuck in your head again!

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A Roman Cat Fight

Hello, all!

I am slowly but surely going through all my photos from our vacation, so expect lots of posts soon.

Tonight, however, I had to put up a quick post about the infamous feline residents of Sacra di Largo Argentina or Torre Argentina, an area of important ruins in central Rome.

Wide shot of  Sacra di Largo Argentina, Rome

Why did I have to? Well, today as I was working I was listening to NPR on my computer (fairly typical daily activity). I saw the headline for a recent story they did on Morning Edition called Cat Fight In Rome: Beloved Shelter Faces Closure. (Give it a listen!)

The second the audio started I knew they were talking about an area Vince and I happened upon during our walk about the city a few weeks ago. At first glance the spot is typically Roman: ruined temples, crumbling walls, column remnants, etc. But then…BAM! You suddenly begin to notice one cat after another. I’m talking about dozens upon dozens of cats in a one block area. Spotting them was almost like playing an odd version of Where’s Waldo. They were mostly napping (some in a clump under a tree) on this particular day, but a few were stalking the darker recesses of the ruins, no doubt on the hunt for some rodent snacks.

Pile o' cats at  Sacra di Largo Argentina, Rome Continue reading

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Little Luxembourg

Hello, friends!

Sorry the posts have been so few and far between the past few weeks.

I am so overwhelmed lately with all I have to get done before leaving for BG that most areas of my life are suffering a bit. I am so overwhelmed, in fact, that I usually just end up ignoring all the pressing issues and doing something else; like shopping at Target or watching far too much YouTube.

Blogging hasn’t even been a blip on my radar; BUT that will soon change as I get back into daily life in Bulgaria with my hubs. We have some amazing things planned, so expect lots of posts in the near future.

My YouTube obsession does have some perks; it enables me to find little gems like the one I want to share with you today…

Another interesting tilt shift photography time-lapse video. This time on Luxembourg.

You might remember a similar video that I shared on Kiev, Ukraine awhile back.

I am completely enamored with these miniaturized views of such quaint and bustling cities.

I think someone should do one on Sofia!

(I know I certainly would if I had the time, expensive camera equipment, patience, and bird’s-eye view shooting locations).

Anywho, please enjoy this unique look at Luxembourg by Joerg Daiber (or LittleBigWorld, on YouTube).

LittleBigWorld has many other cool tilt shift videos posted on their YouTube channel.

My favorites include Thailand, Brooklyn, Spain, and Ardennes.

Check ’em out and let me know what you think!


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Hey Sexy Lady…Oppan Gangnam Style!

Alright. It had to be done…

A Gangnam Style post.

If you haven’t at least heard about this crazy popular internet meme, then I have to assume you are living under a rock. A fun hating rock.

Gangnam Style is the catchy song and A.W.E.S.O.M.E music video by the South Korean rapper, PSY.

It was released in mid-July and has since gone on to become one of the most recognized songs of the year. PSY and his iconic dance moves have taken over the world!

If you haven’t seen it (perhaps you were busy writing your memoir or were volunteering in the International Space Station and had no internet), here’s the vid-jeo:

Oh my. It’s just too amazing (hilarious) for words!

I have no clue what he’s saying, but it doesn’t matter. Not one bit.

The bright colors. Those thrusting dance moves.

Be still, my heart! 😉

And, of course, with any popular video, the parodies are cropping up left and right. Here are a few of my faves:

Gangnam Style Babies!

Gangnam Style w/ The Oregon Duck

I really want to learn the dance. It looks like it would be a great work out!

Oh, and my love for South Korea and desire to move there has grown even stronger!

Do you Gangnam Style?


P.S. I am fairly sure even the astronauts on the Space Station have seen it. That’s how IT it is.

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Who Do You Think You Are?: In Bulgaria

In my attempt to catch up on some of my favorite TV shows on Hulu, I came across this episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Rita Wilson (actress, producer, and Tom Hanks’ wife).

I love the show so I decided to watch her episode. Little did I know that not only did she visit Bulgaria to learn more about her father’s past, but much of her father’s early life was spent in and around Smolyan.

And some of her father’s history is very similar to that of Vince’s family.

Seeing her driving and walking around places I am very familiar with made me miss Bulgaria and Smolyan all the more.

Her father’s history is very interesting and I learned many new things about Bulgaria. For instance, I had no idea that there were labor camps in the country. The camps, modeled after Soviet labor camps, were very harsh and many people died within their walls.

I wonder now about Vince’s own family history and whether or not his grandparents, great-grandparents, and other family members suffered through some of the same things. I want our children to know about both sides of their family history, so learning about Vince’s roots in Bulgaria is very important to me.

If you have some time, I really recommend you sit down and watch this episode of the show. It’s very interesting and I guarantee you will learn something new. I sure did!

(The video may not be available to viewers outside of America. BOO!)