Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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Tell Me About Yourself Award

I know I do a lot of these “About Me” types of posts, but I can’t resist adding another to the pile when I am nominated for a blogging award!

A big thanks to Sara over on The Daily Visual Inspiration for the shout out.

Sara, like myself, is a recent Bulgarian transplant. Check out her blog for lots of great posts on Veliko Tarnovo, her love of the Samoyed dog breed, fashion finds, music, and much more!

Here are the “rules”:

1. Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog. (check!)

2. Tell the world 7 things about yourself that you have not shared, yet. (below)

3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers and let them know.

(I may be a rule follower but I’m going to break this one… I nominate everyone! If you are reading this and have a blog you want me and others to check out, please “tell me about yourself” and post a link to your post in the comments). 

So… 7 things no one knows about me. Hmm. I am not a super private person (hence the blog), and I’m not about to go Post Secret on ya’ll, so these are 7 things about me  that are not well known to those outside my close friends and family.

1. I am mildly allergic to bananas and avocados. I eat both, but often regret it. Bananas cause me to have a little trouble breathing and give me headaches. Avocados give me Angelina Jolie lips.

2. I already have names, first and middle, picked out for my future children. I am wondering how to go about the Bulgarian tradition of using the father’s first name as the children’s middle. So our kids’ middle names should be Ventsislavov (boy) and Ventsislavova (girl). Yeaaaah. I don’t know about that! Sorry, hun! 😉

3. I can’t stand Beyonce. No idea why. It started back in her Destiny’s Child days and continues on. She makes my skin crawl.

4. My biggest attraction in a male is nice hands. I love ’em. For the record, Ventsi’s are perfect!

5. I found my first gray hair when I was 16. I haven’t had many since, but I get one every so often and it completely freaks me out. I have heard that redheads don’t actually “go gray” they go white. AWESOME.

6. I don’t not believe in aliens and ghosts. Maybe it’s too much reality TV (Paranormal State is a particular favorite), but I find that adamantly refusing to believe they exist is a little short sighted, especially when it comes to aliens (I mean, how can humans be the only lifeforms in the entire universe??).

7. I have very little sense of direction. Years before I could drive, I remember asking my mom how people could remember different streets and addresses. She assured me that once I started driving it would be easy. She lied. I totally suck at driving somewhere based on an address. I am awesome with landmarks (tell me what businesses are nearby and I can easily get there), but give me coordinates and it will make me break out in a sweat.

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There you have it. 7 more things you didn’t really want (or care) to know about me!

Again, please feel free to link up your own “Tell Me About Yourself” post in the comments section.

Later, friends!

W.

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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Eleven | 10 Day You Challenge

Up today: five foods

Thought I’d do a bit of a love/hate combo for this one…

–Loves–

1) Pizza–Yum! I’m not into the pies with a huge number of toppings or gourmet ingredients, I am a plain ol’ pepperoni and cheese kind of girl. When I visited Chicago last fall, I made sure to hit up some of the city’s most famous pizzerias. My opinion? Chicago deep dish doesn’t hold a candle to New York thin crust.

2) Seafood–Crab legs are a particular favorite. When I sit and think about it, crabs and lobsters are a bit gross, but they sure do taste delicious!

3) Veggies–There really isn’t a vegetable that I don’t like. I am much more a veggie person than a fruit person. Thankfully, the salad bars offered in Princess employee dining are well stocked. This will come in handy next month when I attempt to become vegetarian for 30 days (one of my 30 before 30 goals).

–Hates–

4) Cheese–OK, not all cheese, but most. I like real cheddar and mozzarella. That’s about it. Anything that smells like feet, comes from a goat, or  has visible mold? NO THANKS!

5) Veal–I am not a big red meat eater in general, but I will eat steak and hamburger. I have never eaten veal and I don’t think I ever will. I know it’s hypocritical not to eat it because of the way the calfs (or is it calves?) are treated when the adults are treated poorly as well, but mentally I just can’t do it.

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There you have it. A bit of a boring blurb on my eating habits.

I think four books will be a bit more interesting!

W.

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Want to see previous posts in this series?

Randomly Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

10 Day You Challenge: ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places

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I truly appreciate it!


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Eight | 10 Day You Challenge

Hey, ya’ll!

I made it to Healy (Alaska) on Thursday and I think I have finally settled in.

The past few days have been a blur of training, unpacking, organizing, and just plain lazing about.

I don’t have any internet yet in my housing, so blog posts will be few and far between for the time being, unfortunately.

But, I thought I’d walk my butt across the road for some internet so I could get this post up.

Aren’t you thrilled?! 😉

Carrying on this week with the 10 Day You Challenge.

ten secrets, nine loves

Eight fears:

First off, I should say that I am not an overly fearful person. I try to have an optimistic view on life and see fear mostly as a waste of precious time. That being said, there are a few things that came to mind for this prompt…

1) Creepy crawlies–I have mentioned it before, but I have a huge fear of bugs. Spiders are especially scream inducing. I just think they are gross and don’t want them anywhere near me.

2) Heights–As long as I am strapped into/onto something, heights don’t really bother me; but if I am not…no thank you!

3) Being accused or convicted of a crime I didn’t commit–I can’t imagine anything worse than being thrown into jail for a crime I did not do. The thought freaks me out to no end. This is why the death penalty doesn’t sit so well with me. There have been cases of inmates on death row being exonerated of their crimes after years spent behind bars. It’s definitely something that gets me thinking.

4) Car accidents–This may sound morbid, but I think I would rather die of a disease or sickness than in a car crash. I know it may often be a quicker way to go, but the fear associated with it just scares me. I am fanatic about wearing a seat belt and I make any passengers in a car I am driving buckle up.

5) Being away from home if something happens–As a nomad at heart, being away from “home” (family and friends) for extended periods of time always makes my worrisome nature intensify. I fear that something major will happen and I won’t be able to get back quick enough. I am sure this is a fear that many expats and travelers have, but it’s something that is always in the back of my mind when I am away from Utah (and now Bulgaria).

6) Failure–I have a competitive nature and I hate failing. I think the fear comes in when I think about my long term future. I want to be successful in whatever it is that I choose to do. Right now these fears involve my career plans, family plans, and the big question of where Vince and I will find ourselves settled.

7) Hippos–Alright. Go ahead and laugh. But I think hippos are terrifying. Did you know they kill more people in Africa than any other wild animal?

8) I fear that I am out of things to say for this prompt! Kudos to you if you read this far. 🙂

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Hope to be back in action with more posts and updates as soon as the internet is up.

Keep in touch!

W.

Check out previous Randomly Me posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Six | 10 Day You Challenge

Previous Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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I am such a sucker for these “About Me” tags and challenges. Came across this one on The Daily Visual Inspiration and thought I’d do it myself. If you have done it already or start your own challenge, feel free to link it up in the comments!

Let’s get crackin’…

10 “Secrets”:

(some of these may not be so secret to all my readers)

1) I hate loud music or noises. I have really sensitive ears so I never went through that loud, blaring music phase when I was a teen. Luckily, I found a man who hates it as much as me, so we are a couple of oldies in our car with our quiet music playing in the background!

2) Speaking of loud noises (*said in a Brick Tamland voice ala Anchorman*), I cannot sleep with any sort of noise or lights around me. I have to have complete silence and darkness. I sleep with earplugs in almost every night and even an eye mask every so often.

3) I am a big Josh Groban fan (aka, a “Grobie”). I sing at the top of my lungs to his songs. And contrary to secret #1, he is one of the few people I can stand listening to at full volume. That voice of his is beautiful!

4) I feel super awkward going to certain places alone. I have only ever been to one movie by myself and have never gone to a restaurant and eaten at a table by myself. I would feel like I needed a book or laptop or something to distract me.

5) I have a bad habit of getting very excited about something and investing myself (and my money, unfortunately) in it full throttle. Sadly, nearly every time my interest fades quickly. Some examples: many types of arts and crafts,  diet and exercise regimes, and learning Bulgarian. I am working on this part of myself. I am proud that I have stuck with blogging and building my photography skills.

6) I am a Christian, but I do not follow any one denomination. I am open to all sorts of ideas and beliefs and am still figuring out my own faith. I do not prescribe to the notion that everyone must believe in one thing/ideal to be a good person. I value differences in people; that’s what makes us unique, after all! I think the world be such a boring place if we all believed the same things.

7) When I think about travel, I almost always think about other countries. In fact, I have been to far more countries than I have U.S. states. It’s not that exploring more of my own country isn’t important to me, it’s just that I find overseas travel more interesting. However, this has begun to change in recent years. There are so many U.S. cities that I want to visit and learn more about.

8) I am not an overly untidy person and in some areas of my life I am compulsively organized. But (and it’s a BIG but) my bedroom almost always resembles the aftermath of a bomb. I am a bit of a pack rat and tend to hang on to things that have some sentimental value to them. My room here in Utah is quite small, so it looks cluttered even when things are in order. Right now, however, it’s just plain messy! I still have my suitcase from Bulgaria wide open on the floor. I leave for Alaska in a week, so I figured it would be dumb to completely unpack and put it away only to get it back out and repack.

9) My parents divorced about 4 years ago. Growing up, a lot of my friends’ parents were divorced, but I never thought my parents would. Now that they are (and considering the way in which it went down), we all know it’s for the best and everyone is better off. I love my dad, but he isn’t the greatest person in the world. Luckily, I have an awesome mom and extended family.

10) I have extremely vivid and in-depth dreams. Some of them are pretty frightening (think Apocalypse dreams, all the time). This seems to run in my family as most of the women on my mom’s side have the same thing, we call them “Workman” dreams, as that is my Grandma’s maiden name. I can still remember full details of dreams I had as a child. Another weird thing, I can wake up and then fall back asleep and go back into my dreams. They are sometimes a bit changed but generally the same as before I woke up. It’s pretty cool, I think.

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Well there you go, 10 “secrets” I could think of at this moment. Not sure how interesting they are!

Instead of doing this challenge for 10 straight days, I will do one or two posts per week. Once I am done I think my “Randomly Me” posts will be few and far between. I am sure most of you are getting sick of hearing so much about me!

W.


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Five

It’s been far too long since I posted on this series. But I am picking it back up and carrying on with my “confessions” of sorts. Just a small glimpse into who I am!

Previous Volumes: 1, 2, 3, 4

  1. I am a bit addicted to TV infomercials. Ronco, Sham Wow, Magic Bullet, Shark steam cleaner… You name it, I’ve watched (and enjoyed) it. Funny story: I was in Jr. High and I saw the infomercial for the “Part Pizazz.” It’s basically a kit that comes with some stencils to make creative parts in your hair. There were a couple zig zag, wavy, triangles, and square stencils. The kit also came with this weird tool that created the actual parts. I opened up a Visa Buxx account (like a prepaid debit card for teens) solely so I could buy the Part Pizazz online. I think I tried it out once when I got it, but never touched it again (thankfully!).
  2. On that note, I also really love watching home shopping channels. My favorite are the jewelry ones from the south (JTV). The women have big hair, big accents, and like them some giant jewels. HSN and QVC are ok, but I much prefer the all jewelry ones over them. I am an jewelry junky.
  3. I have started many different collections over the years (my rock collection was pretty good) but the few that have stuck are: stretch pennies/coins (I have 30 or so), Peter Pan things (I love vintage, but Disney stuff is ok too), pins (I get one on nearly all my travels), jewelry and scarves.
  4. I was in a pretty scary car accident the night of my High school graduation. My friend was driving (in her adorable VW Bug, which was totalled) and we were on our way to meet up with a bunch of other friends to go bowling. Long story short, being hit in the face with an airbag is no bueno. I also got some gnarly seat belt burns on my neck which can seen in all of my Europe photos as I left for my trip about a week after the accident. Thankfully, both of us were fine! Continue reading


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Four

Continuing my “About Me” posts this week with Volume 4.

Previous posts: 1, 2, 3,

Thought I’d play it a bit more tame this week and list some of my favorite movies and books. Five of each sounds good!

Movies:

  1. Amelie–this is by far my favorite movie of all time. It’s completely charming and heart warming with that bit of quirkiness that I love. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do. Riiiiiiiight NOW! … What are you waiting for?!
  2. Robin Hood–yes the version featuring Kevin Costner’s slaughtering of an English accent. I have no clue why I like this movie as much as I do (I love most period movies when it comes down to it), but I’ve liked it since I was a kid. One time when I was sick I watched it four times in a row.
  3. Love Actually–not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but one of my favorite in general. I love the multiple storyline type of movies and this one is probably the best. It’s done by the same people who did About a Boy (another fave).
  4. Cast Away–I love anything with Tom Hanks, but this one is one of his best. I don’t think there is another actor on earth who could captivate an audience without speaking for 1/3 of a movie, but he managed it in this one. And Wilson? Not gonna lie, I tear up when he floats away.
  5. Super Bad–I am a sucker for crude comedies and this one rules them all. I am shocked by half of it, but in that it’s-so-awful/gross-it’s-hilarious sort of way.
  6. Newsies–I know every song, dance, and character (well, most of the characters) name by heart. My BFF and I have watched this movie dozens of times and it never gets old. I am not a huge fan of musicals, but this one doesn’t count. Vintage Christian Bale? Not too shabby! LOVE. IT.

(couldn’t stop at just 5 for movies!)

It’s really hard for me to list my favorite movies as I am such a huge movie buff that they change depending on the mood I am in (except for Amelie, that will always remain my #1). I’m also a big fan of inserting random movie quotes into everyday conversation. I love when people get it and play back, but it’s a tad embarrassing when they have no clue what I am talking about. Thankfully, my close family and friends usually get it!

Continue reading


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Three

Also known as the volume in which I embarrass myself.

Check out: Volume 1, 2

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1) Complete list of concerts I have attended, in order: ‘N sync, Backstreet Boys (twice–AJ was *cough…is* my favorite), Britney Spears, and Harry Connick Jr. (he was awesome). Only one I am truly ashamed of? Britney Spears. Because when it comes down to it, I loved me some Boy Bands growing up and I still love hearing their music to this day.

2) My name was spelled wrong in my 7th grade yearbook: Whiney. Yep. Whiney. Sadly, it’s a bit fitting.

3) I once got into a verbal fight with a group of teenage girls in a movie theater over a cell phone. Long story short, one of the girls sitting right in front of my kept texting and the light was really bright on her phone. I should insert here that I am a HUGE movie-nazi when it comes to talking/texting/crying babies/etc. I love seeing movies and get really into them and there is NOTHING worse than having it ruined by some obnoxious person. Back to the story… I kindly asked this girl to put her phone away as the light was distracting. She just rolled her eyes at me, as a snotty teenage girl would, and turned back to her snickering friends. I suppose I looked harmless to her. So she proceeded to open up her phone again and start texting. I lost my cool and pulled out my cell phone, leaned over, and shoved it, bright light and all, right into her face and asked her how she liked it. She jumped up and called me outside to fight and I said let’s go! Two of my best friends were with me and calmed me down. Never fail whenever we went to movies after that, one of them would bring it up and we’d all have a good laugh. Moral of the story: don’t mess with me when I’m at the movies!

4) My secret (not anymore) male celebrity crushes: John Goodman and Jeff Goldblum. Just noticed they are both J.G. Weird.

5) Favorite song as a child: Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wing. I would make my mother call radio stations over and over requesting it.

6) I have some pretty amazing party tricks, if I do say so myself. I can gargle a mean Inspector Gadget theme song, drink through my nose, and name every single country (in their geographic order) in Africa. BOO YEAH!

7) I once tried waxing my eyebrows and ended taking one of them completely off. In an effort to compensate I tweezed the hell out of the other one. I have been trying to grow them back in for years, but to this day they are all kinds of wonky.

8) True story: I have a cousin who went to school with one of Donny Osmond’s nephews. My family went to see my cousin in one of her plays (which Donny’s nephew was also in). This was around the time that he (Donny, not the nephew) was hosting $100,000 Pyramid on TV. So were all seated waiting for the play to start and me and my big mouth (a recurring theme in my life) start cracking jokes about him. How short he is in person, how lame his talk show was with Marie, etc. I was a good 5 minutes into my routine (I’m an amateur comedian, in case you didn’t know… 😉 ) when my mom leans over and whispers in my ear, “You do know he is sitting right behind you, right?” Well, my heart dropped into my stomach and I slowly turned my head and sure enough, there he was, Donny. Freakin’. Osmond. Staring me directly in the eyes with a pretty smug look on his face. I had to sit through a 2 hour play with him (and his family) sitting right behind me. NOT one of my finer moments, but my family still likes to joke about it.

9) I used to NEVER cry in movies. Didn’t matter how sad or touching it was. I was incapable of crying (only in movies, however, not in my daily life where I am a complete baby). Until, one day I was at the theater watching Ever After (love that movie to this day), for the second time, when Danielle (Drew Barrymore) asks the step mom if there were ever a time in her life if she loved her, and the step mom says to Danielle, “How could anyone ever love a pebble in their shoe?” I lost it. Cried and cried. Over that ONE line, in a rather mediocre movie (to most, again I love it). And why I cried when I saw it the second time and not the first? Who knows! Ever since that moment I have lost my shiz over sad/touching/cute/mildly heart-warming movies and TV shows. Take Valentine’s Day for example when I cried my eyes out for most of The Vow.

10) On my first trip to Bulgaria I got stuck in the restroom stall in the Sofia airport. Well, stuck is a relative term here. I am American and our public restroom stall doors typically open inwards. I had finished doing my business and tried opening the door. I kept pulling and pulling. Soon I began to panic. I thought the lock was broken or something and I didn’t know the language so I couldn’t yell for help. Then I hear this sweet little voice saying something in Bulgarian. I ignored it and continued to wrestle with the door. I was about to start crying and the voice just kept talking. Finally, the girl outside the stall pulled the door open and just looked at me like I was insane. I smiled like nothing had even happened and went to wash my hands. I learned that day that many restroom doors in BG open out. My excuse is that I had just landed in Bulgaria after a very long flight and I was super nervous/excited to see Vince for the first time in months, so I suppose I was slightly out of it!

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Have some embarrassing tidbits about yourself? Maybe you have a thing for sexy John Goodman too? Maybe you know me and want to add something you remember? Let me know in the comments or link me to your own similar blog posts!

See you back here next week where I’ll likely embarrass myself further with a list of my favorite movies and books!

Loves,

W.