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    Home v. 1.0

    I’m really unsure how to feel about this most recent trip to Bulgaria. Each time I visit I am reminded that I am just a tourist. This isn’t something anyone has explicitly said to me, but although I can speak the language (using at best the vocabulary of a 10 year old), most everything to me is unfamiliar and unknown. In addition, because I visit so infrequently and spend such little time here (about a week or so per visit), I have to re-learn things each trip: what services are available, where, or how to get around for example.

    I will say that this visit was the easiest from an ease of mind perspective. Since Bulgaria joined the EU I feel safer here. This is S’s second trip out here as well, and on this trip I didn’t feel like we would have to limit our conversations in public in order to avoid being charged “the foreigner” rate.

    I also noted how expensive everything has become… to me. The dollar value right now is certainly not helping, but with an exchange rate of $1:1.3 lv. money doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to. 6 years ago I bought an amazing pair of Italian boots for $30. I think now it’s cheaper to just get these back in the states. At least with being pregnant I am really not tempted to go shopping for myself.

    The food here as always is wonderful! I get to eat many of the items I grew up with. Each day is like a treat of things that taste marvelously nostalgic. For example, Bulgaria produces this wheat drink that I simply can’t get enough of. It’s non-alcoholic, and because it is an acquired taste, it’s not really made outside of the country. Given that it doesn’t travel well and that the process to make it is complex it just means I get to drink it only while on Bulgarian soil. S doesn’t like it, which suits me just fine: more for me 🙂 Then there’s the food that my grandmother makes. This is comfort food for me. Of course the woman won’t let you leave the table until you gain 5lbs at each sitting, but that’s a separate story altogether.

    Each time we visit our goal is to visit my family and try to fit in a touristy adventure when possible. Our tourist attraction this time was a day-trip to Koprivshtitsa. Located about an hour and a half our of the capital (or 3 hours if you slow down for the pot-wholes and get a little lost) this town is regarded as one of the country’s national treasures. Established in the 1300s (yep Bulgaria is a very old country), it is most popular for kicking off the Bulgarian revolution against Ottoman rule in April of 1876. Many of the homes here are restored to their original construction for the time period and several of them are turned into ethnographic museums illustrating how people lived each day. It produces structures such as this:

    I wanted to take S to Plovdiv (one of the former Bulgarian capitals), but given that it’s much further away and we had very limited time, I’m glad that things worked out the way they did.

    2 responses to “Home v. 1.0”

    1. Alison (MyABCLife) says:

      Your home town is beautiful A!!

    2. Evonne says:

      Everything looked so charming in Bulgaria… would love to visit someday! Maybe I need to take you along so you can be my interpreter! =)

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