It is currently Sat 19 Sep 2020 18:55 GMT
Change font size

Bad Vibes

Leaving as soon as we can

Nothing's perfect anywhere. This forum is for discussion about the imperfections, drawbacks and disappointments that you might face in Bulgaria.

Leaving as soon as we can

Postby newcomer » Sun 11 May 2008 15:11 GMT

Hello All,

We've been in Bulgaria for two and a half years now. We've renovated, built, moved house, sent our eldest child to Gradina, started a business etc etc.

Many of you reading this may be thinking of coming here or already live here very happily. In fact I'm sure that there are many Brits here that have a very good life. For us though life here hasn't been what we would have liked and there are several reasons. I've posted threads in the education, healthcare and property purchase sections which deal with some of them but we have other smaller gripes I'd suppose you'd call them that some of you may be interested in.

We came here with the image that Bulgarian people are oh so friendly. Some in fact are. Our neighbour is great and many people go out of their way to help you , to extreme lengths in fact. Compared to the uk there seem to be a lot more child friendly people, our children constantly get attention from strangers and the teachers at the Gradina where our eldest goes are friendly and affectionate towards all the children.

However we have found that generally customer service is appalling, taking anything back is a nightmare with all manner of obstacles being put in your path, shrugged shoulders is the norm when there's a problem.

When people look at us they seem to see an opprortunity to make money
and will rip us off at every opportunity. When a bulgarian asks you to go for coffee or a meal, even a shared holiday (our friends did this) expect to pay, for everything.

We've made an effort to learn the language but there are still many situations where we don't understand what is being said and we receive snorts of disapproval and looks of disgust.

Some people smile at the Bulgarian openness, calling a spade a spade and saying what they think. That's fine if an opinion is asked for but insults about your house, things you've bought or done or where you live to me seem pure rude.

Knowing that 35 million euros of EU money for roads has 'gone missing' is shameful but many Bulgarians just laugh. It also makes us worry about potential future relations with the EU and the effects on Brits living in Bulgaria if things turn sour.

There seems to be very little money going into the country's infratructure, schools, hospitals. Pot holed filled roads may make you laugh at first and you may even get used to them but they're also a major hazard.

Drivers here are absolutely terrible, road traffic accidents and deaths are high. Drivers go too fast, are aggressive, take unnecessary risks and have never heard of defensive driving, most don't even bother to look if there's a car coming when they pull out. Compared to here driving in the UK is an absolute dream! AA/RAC type services? Non existent as far as we know.

The need to survive in a country where wages are very low makes people grasping. An English couple we know run a property management agency. They charge 50 Euros to change the name for electric records for people living out the country, they offered the service to us for 50 leva, with the help of a bulgarian friend, which we later realised wasn't even necessary, we did it for the total cost of 5 leva. Watch out for your own countrymen they can rip you off even more than the locals.

Public toilet facilities go from dire to ok. Baby changing facilities are non-existent.

Long power and water cuts are the norm. Electricity isn't cheap either.

Tradesmen's work is generally of very low standard. Many jobs need to be repeated two or three times over and sometimes paid for two or three times over.

Rip-offs by builders is extremely common and there is little or no come-back unless you know a heavy!

Yes that's a lot of gripes and we could be construed to be whinging Brits, so why don't we just push off? Well that's what we're trying to do we just wanted to let those of you that are interested hear it from a different perspective for a change. We're not the only ones, we know of many others.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
newcomer
Free member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed 23 Apr 2008 17:46 GMT

Postby Mr Kriss » Mon 19 May 2008 18:48 GMT

quite a litany there Newcomer.

So tell me, what kind of expectations you had befreo you came? Did you have any contact with expats or locals before your move to BG?

Without being too specific where are you living (city, coast, rural, mid country?).

I am based in Sofia when in BG and generally I would say service is improving marginally, roads and traffic worsening, adn connot comment n schools or healthcare. Have you seen improvements over the past couple of years or do things seem to be getting worse to you?
Chris :compucoffee:
Join the British Expat lending team at Kiva: http://www.kiva.org/team/britishexpatcom
Posted by:
Mr Kriss
Supporter
 
Posts: 1757
Joined: Mon 16 Jul 2007 11:48 GMT
Location: NW Gozo

Bad Vibes

Postby scotcouple » Tue 28 Oct 2008 07:17 GMT

We have been here since April this year and not long joined this forum so i havent really had a chance to read all the posts yet.
We hadnt even visited BG before but could it really be any worse than the UK I dont think so.
We stayed in Yambol for nearly two months till our house was ready and since then theres has been a big change of the roads, Theres new roads going in new kerb stones new traffic lights etc so generally things seem to be getting better.
The hospital has just had a new Scan dept built, so things are improving there as well, I think its a case of its going to take time.
Corruption, On a daily basis there are officals being sacked from the goverment according to Novinite news.
Thinga are going to take time to get up to standard, as the saying goes Rome wasnt built in a day.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
scotcouple
Free member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri 9 May 2008 06:17 GMT
Location: Razdel

leaving as soon as we can

Postby Doc Martin » Mon 3 Nov 2008 18:03 GMT

Hi,newcomer.
Could not agree with you more. I have been here 5 years now and the only way i survive is to leave BG as often as i can.
And yes, i know what some of you are thinking: My house is up for sale and thank God i didn't sell up in the Uk
It might make you feel a little better to know that intelligent Bulgarians think as we do.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
Doc Martin
Free member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon 7 Jan 2008 14:08 GMT
Location: Bulgaria

Don't blame you

Postby thetravelbug » Wed 25 Mar 2009 18:31 GMT

Agree with you - I am also trying to sell up and get out. I loved Bulgaria the first year and do know people very happy there. But I have had nothing but troubles this last year - poor builders (several sets), ripped off at every turn, court cases (I am apparently now a convicted criminal in Bulgaria because I wrote a letter of complaint against a nasty, bully of a lawyer for a builder I was suing. I have been screwed over by Brits and Bulgarians. One particularly nasty Scottish couple were meant to be dog and house sitting for me - ended up refusing to leave, costing me a fortune and stealing my dog and cat and other things.

Good luck.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
thetravelbug
Free member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed 25 Mar 2009 18:26 GMT
Location: Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Postby Native » Mon 21 Sep 2009 16:42 GMT

Whoever thought this is the next Madeira was deeply wrong the very beginning...Did you take the trouble to take a look at Bulgarian history,Balkan relations,Bulgarian mentality, etc.etc.? You should have known that learning the language is VERY difficult, and real teachers/ like me.../ are a rarity. Most of all, what you describe is true and very,very negative, but these are the realities Bulgarians have lived in, live now and will live in the foreseeable future. Otherwise they wouldn't go to break their backs in the English strawberry fields for a pittance.
Whoever comes here should have in himself the adventurist's exploring gene and be ready to exchange Western comforts for what Bulgaria has to offer: naturewise, foodwise, etc. The British do have one of the best traditions in this world in that respect!
Posted by:
Native
New Member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon 21 Sep 2009 16:08 GMT
Location: Varna

good and bad

Postby thetravelbug » Sun 1 Nov 2009 09:57 GMT

Whoever thought this is the next Madeira was deeply wrong the very beginning...Did you take the trouble to take a look at Bulgarian history,Balkan relations,Bulgarian mentality, etc.etc.? You should have known that learning the language is VERY difficult, and real teachers/ like me.../ are a rarity. Most of all, what you describe is true and very,very negative, but these are the realities Bulgarians have lived in, live now and will live in the foreseeable future. Otherwise they wouldn't go to break their backs in the English strawberry fields for a pittance.


No one thought this was the next Madeira, in fact most of us have probably never been to Maderia. Many of us took time to get to know Bulgaria, the customs, the people.....we all knew learning the language would be difficult, but we have tried. Finding people to teach you Bulgarian is not hard at all, there are many teachers, many online sites, many willing to help for free....but it is a hard language. However, I know some Brits that have mastered it very well.

Most Bulgarians live with these realities because they create them, most are extremely patriotic to their country and find it hard to accept criticim or that there are better ways of doing things. Many do not want to change things.

I know many that are very happy in Bulgaria and for my part, now that court cases are all sorted (everyone paid off) and building work finished and have an English guy can do little bits and pieces, Bulgaria is somewhere I enjoy spending a few summer months but full time no....need to get out to keep my sanity.[/quote]
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
thetravelbug
Free member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed 25 Mar 2009 18:26 GMT
Location: Kazanlak, Bulgaria

What a Shame

Postby thegudlife » Mon 7 Jun 2010 08:17 GMT

Perhaps I have just been lucky. I have been here for over two years, and have yet to encounter any of the problems mentioned in your posts, apart from the pot holes. Having previously lived in Tanzania though, its quite nice to have roads whether covered with pot holes or not.

I suppose what you should think about before moving abroad is, that you will be jonny foreigner, and you should adapt to your new environment.

The people in my village from day one made sure, as my Bulgarian was not good, that I didn't get ripped off. They made sure I was prepared for my first winter, and I was invited to many houses for the festivities.

I suppose you only get out what you put in. I have many friends here and don't see myself leaving anytime soon.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
thegudlife
Free member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon 7 Jun 2010 07:15 GMT
Location: Kardjali

Postby thetravelbug » Fri 5 Nov 2010 11:09 GMT

Bulgaria is a very difficult place to live, due to cultural differences and the language and the fact that most still have the 'communist' attitude of why actually work for money.

That said after spending a couple of enjoyable summers there we are no longer quitting and leaving, just downsizing and only spending summers there.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
thetravelbug
Free member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed 25 Mar 2009 18:26 GMT
Location: Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Postby Duke » Tue 26 Jul 2011 16:06 GMT

My, you do get around Rachel, but anyway, glad you are staying... :wink:

Duke.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
Duke
Free member
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun 12 Mar 2006 12:28 GMT
Location: Tewkesbury...UK

Postby Jax » Sun 17 Nov 2013 19:21 GMT

When I hear of Brits going over and living among a poor people I think maybe it is not wise to build swimming pools etc. It may kinda rub the locals who find it a struggle in their own country.
Reminder: Premium Membership is required for access to private messages. Sign up now!
Posted by:
Jax
Free member
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu 1 Aug 2013 14:03 GMT
Location: scotland UK


Return to Bad Vibes