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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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Living in Bulgaria, a village life

An Expat Away From “Home” ?

May 14, 2012

Well here I am in a dull, windy, bleak & rainy UK.

English Sky

I haven’t set foot in England for two & a half years. It’s funny how even though everything in Bulgaria is so different, & coming back here is stepping forward into the 2st century, even though its a different world, one I have rejected, it’s the roots of who I am.


I am that little “cockney” girl who hates cities & tall buildings, hates the rush & ignorance of London life, even though I was born & bred to it.

I class myself as English born & bred, the type who crosses out British on forms & writes English lol, but I am typically British. Born dahn sath in Laahndan tahn to a Welsh mum, (who was born of an Irish father & Welsh Mother) & a northern Dad, (who’s parentage, I know nothing).  So I am British, but ask me the question & I will say I am English.

But where is “Home”

I have abandoned my country of birth & my Englishness, to live in a new, up & coming country, full of possibilities, hope & peacefulness. Now I find myself back in my homeland, two & a half years since my last visit, to find a different life than I remember. Technology has moved on so much with phones that I have no idea what is going on! I used to have the latest phones & the most free mins texts etc, oh yes I was there, up with the best, but now I have a 9yr old phone & so far behind the times I’m not sure I like it!  My son gave me his old phone a Galaxy something & I just can’t get it to work, argh, so its off to find another sim & see where we go from there. Please God I get it working then I will be well chuffed as they cost a stupid amount of money in Bulgaria!

TV’s are another thing. Huge TV’s in almost every home in the UK, Bulgaria, well again it’s the ex pat comunity that has them & a few well heeled Bulgarians, but the size & price here has shocked me. When we left we had a 32″  that cost £400 now, well, I could buy that for just over £100!!!!!! Mum has just bought a plasma 51″ TV plus a wall bracket for just over £500. I am amazed. In Bulgaria they are pure luxury but it seems here in the UK they are part of life’s necessities. & have to be bigger, bigger, bigger, oh if only :-) Then there is the Internet, wow, wow, wow! I love it, click & whoosh I’m there, I forgot how quick it is, sooooooo slow in Bulgaria, everything is a struggle & takes time. In my village we don’t have broadband or cable which some do, we have a dongle with a rubbish net-book so writing a blog is an all day effort & surfing is, well, sloooooow! Here in the UK I am using families laptops which are high spec & fast connection so its a wonderful pleasure to find a few mins to write :-)

Would I swap this for my life????????………… Not on your nelly! I would rather live with the small annoyances I have & have the life I have than live a life of must have’s, must have bigger, better, more, money, house, PC, iPhone, iPod, car, pool, clothes, jewellery & on & on & on…….. Nope life for me is one of simplicity, hard work, but for no governor we have ourselves to answer to, we set our goals that we work towards, timetables & thank goodness we both have those skills from our previous lives :-) We use them now. My organisational skills are about to come into there own this year co-ordinating, time management & organising people are the skills I will be concentrating on but also the skill of developing a tan while floating in the pool LOL!  I admit to missing the technology when I am here &  I wistfully covet the iphone & high spec laptop oh & to have a 51″ TV well that would be decadent  ;-D

What is the best thing about visiting the UK, well family off course, my lovely mum & granddaughters who are growing so, my children who are full grown adult’s, yes I know they have been for years but my son is 30 in June & that is old lol, My lovely  sister in law who has been in my life from the age of 13 & is more my sister than in law, & my niece & nephew. The family is growing , every time I visit there is another addition, be it partner or baby, wonderful.               This trip is to help care for mum who has just had a knee replacement operation at the age of 88 & as my brother is coming over from Australia later I also get to spend time with my children & grandchildren, while catching up with old friends before coming back for the second half of my trip.  The other best thing is looking round the shops, seeing all the things I can’t buy in Bulgaria. The fresh cream cakes (my big downfall), sauces (HP now do a Guinness sauce!), cheap clothes, & all the wonderful cooking & baking implements. I love rooting through the herbs & spices & finding all the baking bits. It seems my favourite past time of baking has taken off big time here, I so wish we could get all these ingredients! I bought some clotted cream as I feel deprived hahaha, no diet yet then!

My daughter’s &  niece have lovely clothes accessories, hair etc they are very girlie & I realised how far away from the person I was to the person I am now. This is a sad situation for me, but we have gone from having the money for me, to spend on me, to not. My hair alone used to cost me £130 every 6 weeks but in Bulgaria I have had it cut twice in three & a half years with one highlight & three packet dye jobs lol!!!! Yes I miss it, but no I won’t give up my lovely life.             Life in Bulgaria has been a struggle for us, we had no house to sell to set us up so work is needed. This is a struggle in Bulgaria with the world struggling house prices falling & people watching their pennies. But then we appreciate more what we have had to struggle for!   We both feel it is wrong to push & force ourselves on people,  so work comes through word of mouth. We make friends with people for friendship sake & would never dream of doing it just to get work, this is not part of our morality. We love our friends & I love nothing more than socialising, caring about people, emotionally & through hospitality, I love cooking for friends & I just cannot pretend.  I have to say It’s wonderful to be amongst people who have known me for donkeys years & know who I am inside, :-) )) & that I have good friends in Bulgaria who I miss & who miss me :-)

So the blogs over the next few weeks will be coming from the UK, viewed from an expat heart, mind & eye ;-)

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

Categories: Bulgaria

2 Responses to “An Expat Away From “Home” ?”

  1. Once again, ive thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and I can wholeheartedly relate to it all. I too feel the same way while in the Uk, love to see my family and friends but cannot wait to get back home. Home is where the heart is and Jo, yours like mine is here……

  2. mark speed says:


    an interesting blog. I have land and have been to Bulgaria many times. I love the summer heat although I find the winter just as depressing as the UK as I suffer from SAD. Just a point that Brit EXPATS don’t seem to mention that Bulgaria is cold and grey in winter too. Am I missing something?? Or have you got used to that living in the UK over the years and in contrast to the summer heat …a welcome relief.

    By the way I share everything else you say about UK/Bulgaria 100%. I lived in Taiwan teaching English for 13 years and I loved the heat. Now I’m back in UK and I hate it!!

    Take care