Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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…Lately…

I thought I would forgo the picture and travel madness that have consumed my blogging lately and instead update you all on the recent happenings in my little corner of the world… 

-Vince is away on a business trip to Stara Zagora. Not having him around to pester and giggle with is getting to me (and it’s only been one day!) His work said I could go with him but I’ve been there already and I figured I should stay home and get some packing and cleaning done.

-We are moving out of our apartment this week. We’re saying goodbye to Sofia and moving back to Smolyan for a bit.

-Having to give up my apartment on the whim of our landlord and real estate agency for showings is really starting to grate my nerves. I finished reading Maze Runner on my Kindle in the span of two days when I had to go out and sit in the car while our landlord showed our apt. to prospective tenants. It’s just too darn cold to sit out on a bench and read!

-I’ve managed to keep a plant alive since December! We bought this little beauty at Carrefour before Christmas and it’s still hanging in there.

My cute plant

No idea what kind of plant it is, but it’s cute!

-I found a new favorite cookie. These suckers are DE-LISH! They vaguely remind me of Paradise Bakery’s sugar cookies. Yum!

Butter cookies--Mmm!!

Butter cookies. Mmm!

-I spotted the first of the martenitsi stands last week and boy am I excited! Baba Marta is on Friday! I love this time of year in Bulgaria!

-We are hoping to attend this year’s Pesponedelnik/Kukeri festival in Shiroka Laka this weekend. We went last year and it was awesome! We’ve been invited back by the town’s mayor so we are really going to try and make it, even though we will be tired from moving and driving.

-Vince and I went out to dinner at Made in Home over the weekend. While the service was horrendous, the food was yummy and it was a fitting end to our time in Sofia as it was the first restaurant we ate at after moving to the city.

-The strikes and demonstrations continue in downtown Sofia. Bulgaria is without a government and things look like they will get worse before they get better.

-For Valentines’s Day, we went out to dinner at Pizza Niagara (some of the best pizza I’ve eaten in BG) and to a movie; Identity Thief. I needed a good comedy! Movie popcorn in Bulgaria is SO much better than in the states. I don’t quite know what it is!

-Lauren’s post on pancakes made me laugh because Vince is a pancake (crepe?) making machine–it must be a Bulgarian thing! I wake up to a delicious breakfast every weekend. He specializes in Nutella (or whatever knockoff we happen to have at the moment) and banana. They are amazing!

Rollin' up the banana and crepe (pancake?)

Ventsi: The Great Crepe Maker!

Nutella and banana crepes

Reddit. That is all.

I know I’ve been alluding to big changes for Vince and I in the very near future. I apologize for the vagueness; it will all be revealed very soon!

What have you been up to lately?!

W.

: : :

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Честита Баба Марта! (Happy Grandma March!) 2012

One year ago today, I wrote this post about Baba Marta (Grandma March) and how much I liked the holiday, even though I had never been in Bulgaria to celebrate it.

Well, my friends, that changed today! It’s March 1st!

The martenitsi have been out in full force on every street corner, but we have only gotten a few so far (which Vince’s mom gave us).

Pizho and Penda are my favorite!

 

Modeling some of our martenitsi

Once things warm up again and we can take a walk to the city center, I’ll be picking up some more. I am a sucker for accessories, so a holiday/month that is all about them? Yes please!

The spring-like weather from last week has turned into full on snow storms again this week.

The weird thing is that (until yesterday) it would be sunny one minute and snowing the next. But the overall trend was warmer weather and melting snow. Vince said this is Grandma March (being the woman that she is), crying one second and smiling the next. Basically, he is saying the women are emotional. I didn’t know whether to argue with him or agree!

There was no back and forth yesterday, it was nothing but snow and wind.

In addition to Baba Marta, March also brings another Bulgarian holiday.

March 8th in Bulgaria is International Women’s Day, a national holiday. Similar to Mother’s Day in the U.S., it has come to be a holiday focused on mothers. However, it’s really a celebration of all women.

Bulgarian men buy flowers for the women in their lives. Hmm. We’ll see how Vince does with this one!

He’s gotten me flowers for my birthday a few times and even brought some to the airport for me when I visited BG for the first time back in 2009. So I’m sure he’ll do a good job picking some out.

It’s looks like March is going to have some cool things in store for me. I am so happy to be here. Finally!

Celebrating holidays and learning new traditions is, in my opinion, one of the greatest parts of being an expat.

I am trying to enjoy every moment I am here as I will be returning to the U.S. at the end of the month. I’ll be spending a month in Utah visiting my fam and then it’s off to Alaska for the summer. But I’ll be back in Bulgaria in the fall, never fear

To all my Bulgarian friends, hope you are enjoying the day and are as excited for spring as I am!

W.

 


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Done with Winter

Surprise, surprise it’s snowing like mad again in Smolyan (and southern BG in general).

I am beginning to feel like a broken record with all these updates and complaints about the snow and crummy weather.

I’m finished with winter and am kindly asking it to take its leave.

It doesn’t help to hear from family and friends back home that Salt Lake City has had near zero snowfall this winter and the days are getting warm and spring-like.

Vince and I have plans to spend out first Valentines Day as a married couple shopping, dining, and watching a movie in Plovdiv. But we don’t want a repeat of our nightmare driving home from Sofia, so we may put our V-Day festivities on hold until the sun finally decides it wants to grace us with its presence–I am thinking sometime in March, probably right as I am flying out of Sofia!

As I write this the thick, heavy fog is obscuring everything more than a few feet from our living room window. Combine that with the huge snowflakes, and I almost feel as if I am trapped in a giant snow globe that someone has shaken up, with bits of ice swirling all around me.

It might be a lovely scene if it wasn’t one that I have experienced for nearly the last two months!

Keeping my spirits up these days is the thought of Baba Marta (Баба Марта) and my first martenitsa. I plan on making some to give to family and friends (an excuse to finally let out some creative energy). Martenitsi signify the coming of spring and, hopefully, the arrival of warmer weather.

Martenitsi

Until then, I will be found wearing any number of my fuzzy socks, drinking what feels like my billionth cup of piping hot coffee, and gazing longingly out the windows for those first few glorious signs of spring.

W.