Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

The remains of fall
Saying goodbyes are hard for me. I tend to shut down and just rush through them to get it all over with. Thankfully, it’s gotten easier for me over the past few years. I come and go a lot. For all of 2012, I have only been in Utah for 2 months. The rest of the year was spent in Bulgaria and Alaska.

No matter how I cut it, I am always saying goodbye to someone, whether it’s Vince and the in-laws, co-workers and friends in Alaska, or family and friends in Utah…departures are becoming way of life.

One of the hardest people to leave is my cousin, A. I’ve written about her quite a bit so you may be familiar with her already. She just turned 7 and is seriously awesome; I just adore her. I’ve spent a lot of time with her this month but it still never seems like enough. Today we spent one last afternoon hanging out and being silly before my flight on Tuesday.
Toesies

The weather was nice so we played with her bubble gun in the front yard. Bubbles led, to laying on the grass (I asked her to crack my back and all was good until she decided to jump up and down. Little spaz!), taking lots of photos, and decorating our hair with daisies and lavender.
Bubbles galore
Best 'buds' :)

She even modeled for me for a quick minute.
pretty little lady
After painting her nails we headed out to dinner with the rest of the family. I hate to admit it, but I gorged myself on root beer floats, onion rings, and a big, fat patty melt. Apparently I wanted the full American experience before heading back to Europe. Dinners like this will be non-existent a few days from now. I am really looking forward to more veggies (shopska salad!) and fish. Mmm. Bulgarian food is DE-LISH!

Later on it was hugs all around. I won’t see one of my cousin’s until about 2 years from now as she will be leaving on a mission for the LDS church early next year. It totally bums me out that I won’t see her for so long, but it’s definitely for a good reason.

I’ll be back in Utah for a visit in the spring, so it really isn’t goodbye, it’s just see you later!

W.

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Another Journey, Another Packing Adventure

I moved most of my stuff to Bulgaria last December; so this time around my packing list is shorter but also a bit more specific.

(Oh, but I will still obsess over it and put off actually packing until the absolute last minute!)

I generally know now what I can and cannot find in BG. I also know what things make good gifts for my family.

There’s no reason for me to stock up on many of the things that I did last time around. I am set on Ziplocs, clothes, kitchen ware, and toiletries. Let me tell you, I am extremely thankful not to be lugging over another heavy pizza stone and Tupperware!

What things are making it into my suitcase and that dreaded 50 lb. limit? Well let’s see…

  • Another case of tampons. Sorry, BG, I’m still not into scented, non-applicator feminine products!
  • A couple of bottles of the world’s best hot sauce: Chohula. I love it. My MIL LOVES it (and used up the bottle I brought in just a few days).
  • Three (YES, 3!) vegetable peelers. I took one over in December and apparently it’s a big hit. I have requests from my in-laws, by brother-in-law, and his gf for one. Easy-peasy gifts if you ask me!
  • Instant oatmeal packets. These were a big hit too. Vince inhaled them before I could even have more than a bowl or two. I know oatmeal is available in BG, but I haven’t seen the instant packets anywhere and I find them convenient as I rarely eat breakfast and usually just go for something quick when I do.
  • Maple syrup. Yet another request from the hubs. He can’t get enough of the stuff.
  • Crochet supplies. I am in the middle of two afghans at the moment and I hope to fit all the yarn and needles in my suitcases so that I can finish them over the long winter ahead. If I had endless amounts of room and no weight limit, I’d also bring along my jewelry-making supplies, my paper crafting stuff, and supplies to make martenitsi–too bad that’s NEVER going to happen!

I think living in Sofia will make things a lot easier. There are larger grocery and department store chains there, including a Debenhams opening at the end of the month in yet another new mall, Bulgaria Mall. And there’s always good ol’ IKEA. I’m sure that we’ll be able to find everything we need.

W.

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