Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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Celebrating 27 in Sofia

Yesterday was my 27th birthday.

Side note-I don’t feel any older, but I am acutely aware now just how close 30 is. Society tells me that I should fear that number; the big 3-0. Yet, somehow, I foresee my 30’s being just as awesome, if not more so, than my 20’s. I suppose I’ll find out in 3 short years!

My day yesterday was calm, quiet, and rather uneventful. Vince and I ate breakfast together before he left for work (a trend that I think will continue as I can’t sleep in here for the life of me). I read a few chapters of my current book before starting work for the day.

We had plans to go into the city for dinner so I asked a few people for restaurant ideas. We eventually settled on Carolyn’s suggestion of Made in Home.

But let me back up a little…

We caught the Metro at the shiny new stop by our apartment. I am really quite impressed with Sofia’s subway lines. Sure, it was my first time riding on the system, but the trains were clean, the stations {mostly} modern and sparkling, tickets were easy to buy, and the stops are conveniently placed.

We were short on cash and definitely did not have enough to cover dinner, so upon exiting the Metro at the Sofia University stop, we wandered around looking for an ATM–Bulgaria is largely a cash economy. ATM’s are everywhere in Sofia, so we didn’t have to walk very far to find one. Unfortunately, I had forgotten what a pain in the ass it is to use my debit card to get cash out in Bulgaria. Both times I have been here before, I had a hell of a time finding an ATM that would work for me. I usually get the “card temporarily refused,”or “balance insufficient” errors. After trying about 4 machines, I remembered what my bank told me when I frantically called them last winter: ATMs in Bulgaria don’t usually have the option to choose to withdraw from checking OR savings. Apparently, when it comes to my debit card, they default to withdraw from savings. As much as I’d love be have lots of money in my savings account, I don’t generally transfer anything there from my checking.

After trying (and failing) at probably 15 ATMs along our walk to the restaurant, we eventually made it and asked if  they took credit cards.

No dice. Not surprised.

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