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Observations on life in Bulgaria from a fifty something ex pat who fell in love at first sight! More Info

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April 2012
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Living in Bulgaria, a village life


April 26, 2012

What can I say, now we are all out & about again in Bulgaria. Now we have all shaken off the snow & hibernation blues, exasperation returns as part of Bulgarian life.  I think its just our British’ness that we can’t shake off, but then I know the Bulgarians have two responses to things one is shouting, ranting & shaking of arms & fists the other is desperate acceptance.

First exasperation point;  Back in Dec we paid an electric bill in the village post office which turned out to have been the same bill we paid before in the Eon office. So we paid the same month twice. There was nothing they could do & we assumed it would be taken off the next bill, it wasn’t.  The following month we went into Eon & she tried to charge us two months electric but Nigel pointed out one had to be taken off & he wasn’t going to pay the extra. The lovely helpful lady, turned off the computer screen & folded her arms!   The following month when the next bill came out we paid in the village post office & were about to go into the Eon office the following day to sort out the other bill.  During the morning I happened to look out of the window to see a guy climbing the pole out side our house. Nigel went out to see him showed the bill was paid & then there was much raised voices on the phone :-(  all in front of a bemused bunch of neighbours  (oh the shame),  we were cut off with not so much as a come in first & we will help sort it for you!  Nigel had to do a 90 min round trip |& pay an extra 35 lev to be re connected. He managed to get to talk to a nice helpful lady on the phone but this was too late to help & we had to go 24 hours with no electric or Internet. This was not so bad we just went to bed early, the worst though is if we have no electric we have no pump, so no water. This means no flushing toilets, no hot or cold running  water, which = no shower or hair-wash! Thankfully we can fill buckets to chuck down the loo’s & boil kettles for washing without having to traipse for miles with an urn on our heads, not so bad!  The following day at 10am it was re connected & the confusion was sorted out. We received a very helpful, but too late , phone call to say we only need to pay 11 leva ;-)

Exasperation 2

I can hear over the dogs barking a whistle & woohoo, you know the scenario.  Its the village Kmet (mayor) with a guy to translate. Police want Nigel to go to station in Straghitza (30 mins away). Obviously I want to know why they don’t know. So I explain well he is not here & won’t be back till the evening. The blank expressions said well get him! Arghhhh  In the past we have dropped everything to go to the police station, wasting petrol & time for nothing, having to go back when they had organised translators etc.  You may wonder why we know it so well, well we have been burgled having an intruder in the house,  have had tiles stolen from another property we own & we had a really bad accident in the snow hitting a bus.  Each one of these incidents has meant numerous trips for signing of paper work, statements & some really weird stuff. So it  was arranged that Nige would go to the Kmet’s office in the morning, he would phone the station & ask what it was about & go from there, straight forward? Oh not in my house! The following morning as Nigel was saying goodbye Sophie, oldest furry girl opened the back gate & Reggie our massive (& I mean BIG) Karakachan boy escaped with one of our little fur girls, Mini the hectic one,  as they ambled all over the back end sniffing & romping through the 3′ tall weeds through the vegetable gardens around the tree’s one word from me & over the fence they went, Reggie throwing himself over & mini following her big bro! Our hearts sank with the knowledge that the chase was on. This meant a long walk with the lead to the property he had intruded into, just to start the process. I remained in the back, just in case. While I waited all I could hear was lots of panic barking from all the dogs shouting of golam kutche  (BIG DOG) & mayhem! Very worrying for me. Then a scared Mini came chasing back home, it all being a bit too much for her. After a while I could Nigel with the lead chasing Reg around, he did not want to come home as he was having a lovely game of chase with Sophie but the neighbours were shooing the chickens in doors, Reg though couldn’t be bothered about them. By the time Nige got him back home we had a visit to say the Kmet had called the police they don’t know why but he must go to the station Grrrrrrr! So instead of work he had to make the detour, stand in a long line of people just to say no to signing a document from 2 & a half years ago! & they said OK!!!!!!!! LOL,  really you have to laugh & not dwell on the waste of time, money & energy as it is funny & laughter keeps you positive!

Hello Crop Duster

On the opposite side of this,  the, take a deep breath & slowly exhale saying in my head, “oh thank goodness I live here”  Images of beauty in & outside the garden. We have a a little rain & lots of sun & heat (29c in the shade in my  garden), so everything has gone mad, growing overnight. This means the gardens have been very colourful & lush with the hedge rows coming to wonderful colourful life. The Lilac trees, laburnum trees all in full bloom & the fields full of rape. The pink blossom is almost all gone along with the tulips & daffodils but I have planted lots of wild flower seeds so very excited to see them growing & root veggies are in the ground! The back veg garden has been prepared so the tomatoes will be in soon, the melon plants are ready to be planted out & I have cleared the kitchen garden for the new herb plants. The garden will soon be adorned with colour & I will take some photo’s then. The Peonies will be out soon, the buds are there & I am hoping they will burst out before I leave for the UK, I am going to miss so much but Nigel will have to take some photo’s for me :-)

I have started the first round of weeding, this is a constant now till winter chases us in doors.  Its hard work & my body hurts really bad, but it is a necessary evil with an immediate transformation which is what keeps me going.

The doves are back as are the nightingales (noisy little blighters) along with a plethora of our feathered friends, although I haven’t seen or heard the woodpeckers yet but the eagles are plentiful & majestically fly over us looking for their prey & the storks are feeding their partners sitting on the nest. Have you heard a stork talk? Its lovely, a clucking noise. As the food is given the clucking starts, its very romantic

The weather has been amazing here we have moved into our mid 20′s temps now, yesterday reached 29c in the shade, this was not at the height of the day & then in the evening we had a storm although we thankfully missed the lightening, we could see it in the distance & hear the thunder, & the rain has just helped the weeds grow another foot.

I love living here!


by Joanna Rosina. Find out more about Joanna Rosina here.