Settling In

It’s been over a week since my last post, partly because we have been busy but mostly due to problems with the dreaded Internet, or lack of ! But we are now connected so I thought I’d best write this blog just in case we loose connection again.
Yet again we have had a rather busy and full week. Last Saturday and Sunday we cleared the living room, filled all the cracks and painted the walls. We laid the wood effect lino that we had purchased on Friday, hung curtains and arranged all the furniture, including the ones we had recycled and finally we had a lovely, comfortable living room. And even though we say so ourselves, it turned out great, considering its been done on a shoestring budget. Now it’s not to everyone’s taste, there are no straight lines, the windows and doors need painting, but it’s ‘rustic’ and homely and will do us for now.
Monday, back into Vidin to sort out our mobile phone as we were having problems. We had to hang around for a few hours while the phone company tried to fix the issue so we went for a coffee. We were both people watching when a couple came and sat at the table next to us, turns out they were English. I noticed they had been given a large coffee unlike the small expresso I had been given, so I decided to ask them what you had to ask for to get a large one. Turned out I only needed to say cino ( as in cappuccino ), if only I knew it was that easy !! After the introductions, They asked us to join them. They have been living in Bulgaria for 4 years, so were happy to give us advice or show us where to get certain things from. We spent a couple of hours chatting and we enjoyed the company immensely. To top it all off they offered us their old washing machine as they had bought a new one. Even though we offered to pay them, they refused to take anything. We couldn’t believe how perfect strangers could be so generous. Turns out they only live 20 minutes away from us so we arranged to collect the machine on Friday. Phone eventually sorted so returned home to finish a few odds and sods in our living room.
Tuesday, as I mentioned previously, we took a day off and visited Rabisha Lake. It was so nice to have a break, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. When we returned home in the afternoon the weather had turned. The sky’s were getting darker so we thought it best to get the buckets filled ready for a bath before the heavens opened. After boiling 5 kettles of water I went for a bath, by this time it was thundering and lightning, quite scary as it was so loud and a bit too close for comfort. I was just getting out the bath when I heard Andy calling me to hurry as we were flooding !! At first I thought it might have been the roof leaking but it was the front double doors. It was raining so hard that the water was gushing under the door into our newly done living room! I grabbed every towel I could while Andy rushed to get all the electric wires off the floor. Took a few minutes till we finally managed to block the leak and dry the floor. Just done in time before the electric went off but by the time I’d lit all the candles, the electric was back on again. In a way it was a relief that only the door leaked and not the roof. The storm also blew our router up so yet again no Internet !
Wednesday was back to Vidin to pick up Andys residency card and for me to apply for mine, plus open another bank account and get a replacement router. Plamen, yet again, was at hand to help us. He also took us to look at some wood burners and electric cookers. We ended up buying a Siemens cooker, secondhand reconditioned, immaculate inside and out and only cost 240 Levs, a real bargain.
Thursday ,back to Vidin again as the new router still wasn’t working , it was getting to be a real pain going back and forth all the time. We were given, yet again, another new router and sent on our way with our fingers crossed. Surprise, surprise it still didn’t work !!
Friday was a bank holiday and we had been invited to our new English friends house for a coffee and to pick up the washing machine. Their house and huge garden was lovely and alot of hard work had gone into doing it . Yet again they were really helpful and full of information that would help us. They even gave us 2 trays of eggs that their chickens had laid plus a hook to remove ticks from the dogs , as twix had one the other day and it was a bugger to remove ! During our visit we got a call to tell us an engineer was coming to sort the Internet out, to our surprise, so it was a mad rush to load the washing machine in the van and get home. The result was…..still no Internet !!!
Saturday and Andys first birthday in Bulgaria ! We spent the day cleaning out the pig shed so we had a dry place for all the logs we need to buy and clearing the rest of the barns. There was lot of dry wood scattered all over so we collected every bit and stacked them neatly in one of the barns. It was 8 hours of hard but very satisfying work and a birthday that Andy won’t forget. We even opened the bottle of home made Rakia that Plamen had given us. Andy seemed to like it but as much as I want to embrace everything Bulgarian , Rakia is one thing I’m steering clear of! I’m surprised the Bulgarians aren’t permanently bladdered drinking that stuff, it really is lethal !
Sunday we thought we’d organise our bedroom and paint our makeshift bathroom so it looked presentable for when my brother and Mum arrive in a couple of weeks ( It’s a bit hard to make a room with a bucket and paddling pool in, look like a bathroom! ) We managed to unpack all our clothes, well only just ! I didn’t realise I had so many and some of them I’m probably never going to wear ( typical woman! )
It was our neighbour Penka’s birthday, so we took round a card and little gift. As usual out came the food and Rakia but as Andy was full of hay fever he wasn’t up to eating or drinking anything. They even tried to give him some tablets for his hay fever but we refused that too and when we left, we were unsure as to wether or not we had offended them in any way. That’s the biggest problem we have here, the language barrier. It’s such a difficult language to learn and we are trying to learn it and we have managed to pick up a few words but obviously not enough to get by. The hardest thing I find is trying not to offend anyone so I spend most of my time apologising , then worrying if I have !
Monday and Tuesday we were back in Vidin buying some kitchen units, sink, a king size pine bed frame, carpet for the bedroom and Lino for the kitchen , plus more paint and other DIY bits. The prices here are quite cheap , kitchen units for one wall ( 5 units including sink unit) 352levs, carpet and Lino ( 12 sqm and 16 sqm ), 228 Levs, bed 202 Levs and sink with all the pluming bits came to 112 Levs. Total comes to 894 Levs ( £397 ), a real bargain we think.
We are getting used to finding our way round Vidin now, it’s no longer taking us hours and hours just to find one thing, we now know where to get the things we need, so now it’s a case of making a list and working out our route. Now we are able to get what we need in a morning rather than it taking all day thank god !
I also picked up my residency card, so now we are both officially Bulgarian residents, for the next 5 years anyway !
So yet again it’s been another busy week, stressful at times but mostly enjoyable. Although we have only been here for just over a month, it feels so much longer and we really feel like we are settling in nicely. It’s hard work and challenging at times but our life ,so far, is exciting, changeable,enjoyable but most of all full of satisfaction and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Oh and finally, the Internet is now up and running……for now……!

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Comments

  1. ~WithLoveFromBG~

    Sounds like you guys are doing a wonderful job settling in. I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I would be happy to answer any cultural/language questions that you might have. Just shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly respond. Also, do not be intimidated by the Bulgarian language. As difficult as it might be, any Bulgarian would be super excited when he/she finds out that you are trying to learn Bulgarian and will go to great lengths to help you. I wish you all the best and don’t be strangers. ūüôā

    1. andyandmariet

      Thank you for your kind offer, which we will probably take you up on . We are trying to learn the language as best we can, as it would be nice to have some sort of conversation with our neighbours rather than just hand signals ūüôā

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