I’m currently living since five weeks in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, a town of about 80.000 habitants in south western Bulgaria. I’m here on an Erasmus exchange and going to live and study at the American University in Bulgaria for one Semester. During the first three days I have noticed a couple of things that are different from the places I lived before.
The main thing which surprised me the most because I never thought of that before is that Bulgaria is very cheap. The first days of my Erasmus exchange consisted of meeting new people and going out a lot and I was surprised that in a club the booze is very cheap. A very positive thing if you consider that the clubs are the places where you are going to meet the most people outside of your campus and you otherwise would spend a lot of money like in the Netherlands where I lived the years before.
Second thing I noticed is that Bulgarians are very friendly and try to help where they can even though most of them don’t talk English. That is something that makes everything a little bit more difficult. Their English knowledge is nearly non-existent and you start to talk with your whole body when you want to explain something.
Third thing is that I have to watch out a lot while walking around town. Their driving skills are also very limited and rules are there to be broken. If you cross the street you better be quick if you don’t want to get hit by a car. I think it’s comparable to some Asian cities like Bangkok.
The most disturbing thing though is that they nod with their had to say no and shake their head to say yes… the complete opposite from most cultures. I think they also do it in India. I still haven’t figured out why they do it that way.
Have you ever been to Bulgaria? What were the first things you noticed are different than at your home country?