Below is just a silly picture that we took of ourselves on the computer.
Anyway, I have kept in touch with many of you via email but figured that in honor of my first posting I would share some of the highlights of our adventure so far!
Note: We aren't sure where our camera cables are so in the mean time I have "borrowed" some images via the internet. I also love those blogs with lots of photos! :)
I was (am probably still am) in a bit of culture shock since our arrival. Matt tried to prepare me for what to expect and I tried to prepare myself. The couple that even picked us up from the airport tried to prepare me before we left the airport. But it is so.much.different when you see it with your own eyes. Some highlights:
- The ROADS, the driving, the sidewalks. It's all so out of control! It's unlike anything I have ever seen. Our car is a stick shift so I haven't even attempted to drive. Mostly I am chauffered (and by chauffered I mean by my husband, friends, taxi drivers) to and fro the places I need to be. Or I walk. I can easily walk to the Embassy which is nice.
- DOGS and Cat. There are so very many stray dogs and cats. We drive by them and just want to collect them all and bring them home. Matt's already pushed for another cat with no luck. Mostly the neighborhood folks take care of them but they can be MEAN. We have been chased by one already. funny and not funny all at the same time. Basically Matt was "checking" them out and I guess the head dog wanted to "teach us a lesson" and ran us off. Last weekend we saw a pack o 6 or 7 barking like mad in our street. When we reached our lobby they were all walking the opposite direction except for one which turned around and followed us. I was a bit scared but he was just looking for food I think. Then, yesterday I turned to walk home from a little market down the road and there was a dog sitting on the sidewalk directly in my bath. Of course, your first instinct is to run up to them and love them but you just never know. I was with a friend and she stayed with me for a moment as I determined my approach. I saw a man coming up the street in the opposite direction so decided to watch what he would do (and mostly how the dog would react.) The old man shook his keys and the dog moved out of the way. My friend reminded me that the dog's stance was really sad. His poor little tail was so sad. My friend walked me home. I am officially I whimp and must overcome this fear.
- Graffiti- it is absolutley everywhere except for a couple of blocks around the city center where all of the touristy stuff is. It's so werid. I dont think the Bulgarian's mind it either. The picture below is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral right in the city center. I have no idea who this Nevski person is but he must be a pretty big deal. This is the major icon that you see if you ever see pictures of Bulgara (specifically Sofia.)
- Laundry- this is just the darndest thing! We have a washing machine in the laundry room and the dryer is in our bedroom. So weird. The appliances are german or austrian or something so we have NO idea what the words mean. We see the word "trocken" often so typically we set things on "supertrocken" or "ubertrocken" and assume that is a major load. Laundry takes hours, days, maybe even years. Me and the washer have come to an agreement. It will take 4 hours to wash one load (now, these are much smaller loads than we are used to) and I will not touch any buttons, hit, bang or yell at the damn thing during that time. Now, the dryer is a totally different story. It beeps at me so much sometimes that I just give up. I'm not sure our clothes are ever dry. We purchased a drying rack. Like I said, laundry is never ending. Pray for me that someday soon I will have a maid and laundry will no longer be a concern of mine! :)
- Water and Electricity are not always constant. Both have been turned off numerous times during our month here. You can imagine my dismay when the water shuts off and I am trying to do a load of laundry!