As I have more and more followers on my Facebook page and many of them come from Bulgaria, today I decided to write some post reminding my experiences from the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. I miss Bulgaria, but more than just a country I miss the people!
Of course I am not objective as I lived only in Sofia and also my Bulgarian experience is mostly with the people from Sofia and Varna. I am also aware that this might be very subjective because I like Bulgaria a lot, but well – that’s my blog, right? ;) Anyways, here are 5 things I absolutely loved about Bulgarians during my Bulgarian experience.
1. Sofians like foreigners (or at least Poles)
Obviously, I spoke some basic Bulgarian but even more obviously – my accent shown that I am not Bulgarian (except one of the taxi drivers who thought I am from some Bulgarian village – that’s an exact quote :D). Sometimes they asked me where I am from and when I told them I am from Poland (of course, in my bad Bulgarian) they seemed to be very happy about it! Some people even told me that they have been to this place or that place and they really liked it. Made me proud to be Polish many times :)
2. Sofians are helpful
Personal story: once I was walking back from Ivan Vazov’s National Theatre square to Serdika subway station. It’s a short walk. As I have some recurring ankle injury, sometimes it twists out of nowhere. This time it happened in the middle of the walking path and I fell (nothing bad happened fortunately). There were at least three people who immediately asked me if everything is fine and maybe if I need a doctor. That was so nice (and quite normal for me), but once when it happened in Poland I only heard the comment that I must be drunk…
3. People in Sofia are nice to you when you are nice to them
I heard many times that Bulgarians are rude – well, maybe between each other, just like Poles. I believe that being kind to people brings the kindness back. Yes, I am a freaking idealist :P In Bulgaria it worked perfectly.
Small example: I made the person from the migration office in Sofia smile, probably for the first time in like 3 years, when I tried to explain her something in my horrible Bulgarian, mixing it with Polish, Russian and English. I don’t know if she was laughing at me or she just liked my efforts, but if she smiled – that’s fine with me :) And now more serious example – everyone – from the shop assistants to the people in my office always wished me a nice day when I was leaving! In Poland I am always doing so since then – believe me, the reactions of people are priceless (they are shocked as hell!). But it’s nice to be nice.
4. People in Sofia are very humble
Another thing from Sofia that made me really love people from there was the fact how modest they are. When I went to the local tax office to get my tax number, I obviously asked if the person speaks English. She said “a little bit” and this “a little bit” was actually “fluent”. People seems to be underestimating their abilities a bit, but it’s actually quite nice and has nothing with low self-confidence. I really like when people don’t brag about how great they are and instead just are normal and down to earth. Many people in Sofia proved me right about it!
Btw – it always make me smile when a newly met Bulgarian person speaks to me in English and tries to tell her name in English as well (I mean, to pronounce it this way) – it’s quite nice to simplify it if someone is not any Slavic, but also funny for me as I obviously know that the name Yoana is not pronounced as “Joe-anna” ;)
5. People in Sofia do not hurry
That is probably my favourite. In my Estonian post, I mentioned that people in Tallinn and Estonia in general are quite slow, they do not rush etc. In Sofia people are a bit more dynamic, though I have noticed that the pace of life is really perfect. The reason might be simple – I have a feeling that Sofia is not overcrowded and people have their own space, so they can do a lot in their own pace. In Warsaw for example you can try going to the underground passage between Warsaw Central and the buildings on the other side of the road. Hitting you with elbows by the people who are in hurry is absolutely “normal”. In this case, I am very unlucky that I will work in the building nearby this passage and I hope I will get used to that, I am trying for a few years though ;)
I can also mention things like sense of humour, fact that Sofians do not really comment if someone looks differently or is dressed in a way that is “not so normal” and the Bulgarian hospitality that is similar to Polish. Well, I can even mention more but in such case, one post might not be enough. But anyways: dear Bulgarians, most of you were great to me and I really think you are a great nation.
And even if many of you would never agree to that cause you definitely have bad people in your country as well, just look on the bright side of it – you are good in eyes of foreigners like me :)
Have a happy week!