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 Am I mad?

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oldun
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PostSubject: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:02 am

Well I have decided to go public with my decision to sell up in Bulgaria. I will be very sad to leave our beautiful village where we have integrated so well and been so happy. So why are we leaving to go back to Blighty where we will no doubt face so many problems in reverse so to speak? I have probably bored everyone to death about my love of all things Bulgarian and my lack of tolerance by Brits to integrate and support their villages, but after 8 years I have come to the conclusion that I will never totally be able to understand some of Bulgarian village life. This is so individual and no doubt many will disagree but that's okay because we are all different. Bear in mind also that I have lived abroad for over 20 years, although visit Britain every year to see family and so I am not totally unfamiliar of what I will face. I think at heart I am very British still and maybe the media reports of the wonderful Jubilee has had some effect.
Strangely, the deciding factor is the attitude of some British people here that have made my life (and I speak for my hero too) so unhappy of late. It is our integration in village life that seems to be the problem and some have seen this as something annoying to them and subsequently done their best to undermine all our good intentions. I am at a total loss to understand this animosity which has spread amongst others who don't know us via the infamous internet.
I am not going into all the details but suffice to say, the general nastiness has been immense making me feel that its time to return to my roots. I am aware it means leaving my beautiful home and land and a peaceful life but I can't live in total isolation anymore in spite of the kindness from our Bulgarian friends, especially my choir ladies. I have ignored the unfriendliness of our own kind and am at a loss to really know the reasons although I have asked. It is no way to live and our health has suffered.
We will definitely have financial problems but we will survive and I have 'first stop' accommodation in place before deciding a more permanent abode. Being retired, employment is not a problem and indeed, I should be able to get increments to my pension. I worry about my hero as he is much younger but not averse to taking menial work in catering. There is always a market for people in that area, infact I have seen adverts in restaurant windows for staff. We will be beside the sea so there will be holiday work.
Anyway, today sitting in the shade of our trees and reading or looking around at our healthy veg garden, I won't need to be told what I will be leaving. Maybe others will be happy to see us go but I doubt it will be the Bulgarians. I was once told - 'always do what people don't expect..' and I have found this to be very true.
We are both survivors and I have no doubt once we land on British soil we will have another adventure. Obviously this decision has not been taken lightly and I have no intention of going until our house is sold so I think we will have at least another year here to enjoy life in Bulgaria and we have our winter wood in store!
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willowsend
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:21 am

No oldun, you are not mad, you are doing what your gut instinct is telling you to do, not only for yourself but for your hero as well. By the way how is his health these day's
I and my family probably know and appreciate your feelings more than any body else, because as you are aware we have had more than our fair share of abuse and hatred, and still it goes on
I do agree with you that Bulgaria is a beautiful country with much to offer, we love our villa and the village, a population of 160 people (3 British families) and we know most of them and they know us. They will come to the gate, shake our hand and give us produce from their gardens, if they are passing in their car they will toot their hooter (if it works)
On my last visit I went to the local shop (mini-market) and there were six locals outside, as I entered the shop they acknowledged me, so I bought seven bottles of beer and joined them. It cost me 4.20leva (about £1.75), I couldn't understand a word they were saying, but it didn't matter we were all from the same village, locals and me, altogether
A Bulgarian man has built a house opposite ours and he and his family have become good friends (only the son speaks English) He is keeping a look out on our property and he is a good man to know because he works for a Bank security firm and it is not unusual to see him go off to work with a gun on his belt
We have many friends in Bulgaria, our gardener and staff, fantastic lot, we even had a holiday in Gran Canaria with our gardener and his wife earlier this year. Veronica, who sold us the villa five years ago, we were invited to her wedding, she now calls me Dad, the house-keeper, the pool-man and so on. On the other side of the coin we do have enemies, both Bulgarian and British but I am not going to dwell on that because most reading this will know what and who I am talking about
Back to the OP, Am I mad. As I have said many times in the past you postings are a pleasure to read and I can assure you that when the day comes that you depart Bulgaria you will be sadly missed, I know that you are a true Brit and your postings regarding the Queen's Jubilee celebrations proves that. I also know that you love Bulgaria, it's a tug-o-war but you have now gone public with your decision for the future, so let's all join together and hope that your wishes come true and you and you hero have a happy reunion with your mother country
Good luck with the sale of your house Annie and T for being you
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sallyann
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Very sorry to hear this oldun but I'm afraid it does go on a lot here in Bg I call it small village syndrome. For me I tend to stay away from other Brits for the very reasons you have highlighted here its not that I'm unsociable its just that from my own experience there isn't a Brit I've met that can be trusted but that doesn't mean to say that all Brits are the same? I just don't want to take the risk, I'm happy with all the Bulgarian friends I've made and I do trust therm more than I could trust any of the Brits I've met so for now I'm happy to be part of the Bulgarian community only and come on here to do a little lite reading and help if I can. Good luck you you and I wish you all the very best for your future.
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:31 pm

Thank you both for your nice replies and understanding. I agree with you Sallyann about keeping a distance which is just what we have done. However our village is very small and compact, you can walk all around it, so we do see people all the time. The fact that we also keep a distance from other expats is the main problem I think plus the fact that we get on so well with the villagers. It could be seen as some kind of snobbery even though we did it to avoid precisely what has happened regardless! Never mind, I am willing to accept that folks are all different but you can tell from my many forum posts that I do like to interact and I am now finding that I need more real-life discussion. This forum has been a life-saver for me but in spite of everything positive, I really feel that I need more friends and family around me and I do hold concern for my hero's health although we certainly don't dwell on it and the medical attention here put him right and also prescribed the right pills for my blood pressure. Its the aftercare that I feel necessary and to discuss the whys and wherefors of treatments. I guess its an age thing for me but I wouldn't have taken this step if my hero was still happy here. He is more able to take the rough with the smooth maybe than I am but he does agree with the decision now. Things were not improving and I believe we have waited long enough. Perhaps we are just too sensitive which I don't see as a fault.
I know wherever we live we will make it work but it will be a sad day to leave Bulgaria. Maybe I feel another village party coming on and we will enjoy our Rockfest too.
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:18 pm

Very sorry to hear this oldun this is one of the reasons I only use this forum, I'm afraid there are a lot of expats who have nothing better to do than to try and destroy the lives of others but don't let them get you down and try and keep your chin up there are plenty on here that you can call friends which makes the forum light years ahead of the others.
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:33 pm

:Thank you:Blink Yes, having been on other forums over the years and left because of 'not nice' people, this is by far the best forum and is well policed. Thanks team. H
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krypton
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:26 pm

I feel so very sorry for you oldun and anyone else who has to deal with this type of thing. For me It doesn't annoy me much. I don't expect good from people anymore because people in my opinion don't start out ''good'' they must strive to be good. The point is, I expect it to happen. My family does it. People in my youth dit, People I worked with did it. Everyone I've ever known does. So it doesn't bother me much. But I will say, that if they feel they must talk crap about people behind their back instead of to their face then it just shows me a reason why I shouldn't even bother with them as a friend or anything else for that matter. I don't have time for instagators or drama whores. I don't think highly of people that take part in these things. Period.
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:33 pm

Again, I so agree Krypton. I am very 'old school' which is not unusual given my age. However, maybe even you would think twice about staying near people who have conspired to break my hero's leg while I was away, and then write me a poisonous letter purporting to be from a Bulgarian. Every time I think, like you, that I can overcome and ignore the pettiness of these few sad people and their stupid jealous gossip, I think back to the day I returned from Britain to see my hero struggling to look after the house and animals alone. I can't get it out of my head. Bulgarians maybe tougher than us Brits but its in my head all the time I try to rationalise. His leg has not healed properly because he had to put weight on it before the doctor told him he could. He finally cut the plaster off himself because no-one was available to take him to hospital. I guess he is very tough, and I wonder how others would have coped with this.
Originally, I promised that no-one would make me leave our village unless the Bulgarians seemed to want us to. Now, a year to the day it all escalated into violence, I have had a change of heart because it seems its just being in 'denial' to stay. I hope they will all be happy to see us leave but actually, since the villagers see all that has been going on even if they don't really understand, I doubt their lives will be any happier.
I didn't really want to mention the violence to protect the people involved, but then why should I? What I say is the whole truth and I shouldn't be afraid to tell the tale. When the Mayor called the ambulance, police automatically came because it was an assault in the street. Two British couples looked on from the nearby bar and one was heard to shout 'go on hit him..' There was a court case but we were not informed and the Bulgarian guy that did it pleaded 'guilty' so no witnesses were called either. After employing our lawyer to find out when the court case was, we found this out and it appears, although we can prove nothing, that the bar owner (Bulgarian) had worked in the police force and probably arranged for our letter giving the date of the case, to be intercepted or never sent. There is so much more that has been going on and I really am not happy about having to write this, but if anyone out there is reading this, maybe they will know someone who has heard the gossip that has been spread, obviously telling a different tale, and can give our side of the story because our 'ignoring' means no-one knows or cares about our side. Its all pathetic but so deadly serious that we have both had enough. I hope to live peacefully and happily here until our house is sold but I somehow think we won't be allowed by certain folks. Fingers crossed. All this because my hero integrated so well with the Bulgarians and shared jokes and village humour with them which the Brits chose to think was to annoy them and I was asked to join the village choir. How sad is that?
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:14 pm

We are both very sorry to hear of your intended departure from Bulgaria after living here for so long. Living in a foreign country isn't everyone's cup of tea, and we saw lots of Brits leave Turkey for the UK when we lived there because they coudn't integrate mostly or they were scammed out of their money. Living in a non English speaking country means for most of us to mix with some of the British Expats living in our area, this of course brings it's own problems because jealousy or rivalry or plain misunderstandings arise and cause untold problems, especially if they persist.

After reading and participating with this wonderful Forum for nearly 2 years it has surprised us how many of the forum members have voiced the same problem and citing other Brits living here as the main culprits in making life uncomfortable for them. Why can't Brits get on with each other when they live abroad, perhaps some of them were a pain to know and get on with when they lived in the UK.

We have had problems with a British family since we moved here 4 months ago and it has caused some upset for us as well. It appears to have resolved itself for the time being, but in the height of the problem I was asked to step outside a bar by a 45 year old to sort out some differences and amid this trauma he was encouraged by another Brit to give me a good hiding, I am 70 years old and don't need any of this nonsense and certainly hope that things have now settled down.

We are all a long way from family and friends when trouble appears, I know that friends of ours who live in the UK would make any problem I have go away for good, but for you oldun and most of the Brits living here, it is their own resilience, knowledge, maturity and plain commonsense that gets them all through any problems they have here in Bulgaria.

In the meantime, we wish you and your hero well and sincerely hope that your plans come to fruition and that you live an enjoyable life when you get back to the UK.

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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:02 pm

Sorry to read that ignorant people have made you decide to leave the homeand village you so obviously love. Good luck on your return to england. I hope you enjoy being back home.

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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks again for the support. I have just returned from a quick UK visit and can report that I am very happy with where we will live (by the sea in a caravan!) and will be having another adventure. It was lovely to have folks happy to chat with me and my hero will most likely be getting a job in catering. Also, I already have a friend from the past who also lives in a caravan, who reassured me and has already said that a friend of hers will foster my lovely dog until we are settled, although dogs are allowed on our site if they are on a lead. It all seems to be fitting into place and I am very happy and so is my hero.
The sad bit is that on my return my 'stalker' is back and has another story to tell about things that happened while I was away. We know its all lies once again and we have the total support of all our village friends who are quite upset that we are leaving. I can't believe that these expats do not see how friendly we are with everyone else in the village but maybe alcohol comes into the equation.
I am concerned that if a British person bought our home they might find the same thing happening, but I don't think it would. Somehow and for some reason (which I think I have explained) they have taken a dislike to us but other holiday-homesters seem to get on with them. So I wouldn't like people to get a bad impression of our village just because of our particular problem. We have never had a problem anywhere else abroad and my hero and I have been together for 18 years!!!! s
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Sorry to hear of your reasons for leaving BG and glad you have a new adventure to look forward to back in the UK. I hope you are not leaving this Forum though, only the country! I could wish you weren't going just when I was hoping to meet you in BG person - I would have said why not consider a new area of BG with no English bullies - but I'm sure you have already done that, and made your decision based on all the various risks and options. Perhaps you will still holiday in BG, maybe stay with some friends made through this forum, including me as and when we have somewhere fit to invite anyone! Meanwhile lets hope this watery year is a one off, and you aren't returning to endless cold rain forever!
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:37 pm

Well what a nice post fruitlover. We may meet up one day - you never know. We won't be off yet so I will still be on the Forum. Might even stay on when we re-locate for a while to let you all know how we are getting on. After all, going back to Britain maybe of some interest to others thinking of doing so.
Yes, I am considering just moving elsewhere in Bulgaria but there are other reasons for our leaving and I don't think I could love anywhere as much as I love Mindya. Believe me, this is not a rash decision. I can't afford to get it wrong but its all based on my previous life experiences and I know that both of us will be able to move on and cope with all the problems which will be there. I have grasped the Bulgarian language, as has my hero, but I need more intellectual stimulation still which is also why I love this forum.
Thanks again Fruitlover and everyone. If you do want to meet up, anyone in the VT area on August 24th and 25th could see us at our Mindya Rockfest. Its not all Rock and Roll! There will be various stalls and Karen's Bookcave so just ask anyone where Tom and Annie are and someone will find us. s
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:22 pm

An update on my feelings about leaving my lovely village of Mindya near VT. As some of you may know, this was the weekend of Mindya's 4th Rockfest. You may be wondering how why this event just might be influencing our decision to leave and return to UK. It has been a brilliant and successful weekend and confirms my thoughts that this is still a great place for people to buy and relocate to for permanent residence or holiday home. The atmosphere was electric. The Community Spririt second to none in the way all the residents volunteered in some way or other including my hero who strimmed for 4 days in 40C of heat with the community employees. The event itself was enjoyed by everyone from babies to babas, a real family affair and folks came from far and wide in support, not only for the amazing rock groups, but because they love what Mindya has to offer. We have been reliably told by several Bulgarians that Mindya is something special. To see so many people enjoying the festivities and the music made me so proud that we had given our initial sponsorship to an event that will have made a difference to the future of Mindya by way of media attention and the Veliko Turnovo Obshtina who gave 4,000levs this year towards sponsoring this FREE event. It is a tribute to the spirit of the whole venture which is nothing to do with money making for any one person. It is now a fully registered organisation and as such has all necessary rules and regulations in place (which are many!) Everything in Bulgaria is now being enforced much more stringently especially since the recent terrorist bomb in Burgas. It is not easy for the Committee to fulfill all these requirements and to organise groups to attend who travel the length and breadth of Bulgaria performing. It is yet another tribute to this small village that all the groups really love to play here.
Because of these comments I will find it even more difficult to leave and if I was younger I probably would change my mind but family and my roots call, so I am still awaiting a prospective buyer for our home. I won't leave it empty! Too much love there to abandon it to any wildlife needing a home.
Must go now but thought I would like to share my thoughts with you all about life in this thriving small village.
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PostSubject: Re: Am I mad?   Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:23 pm

Oldun, this has to be one of the saddest tales I've read on this forum. One of the reasons I chose to come here and marry my heroine instead of moving her and the children to the UK, was to avoid some of the 'village politics' and in many ways this has proved to be a good decision. Some, and I repeat , some, Brits still have the attitude that Britannia rules the waves and that they are entitled by birth to rule wherever they are, at any given time. Thankfully, these people are in the minority. The village in which we reside for the warmer months, has a population of around 400 and I am the only non-Bulgarian here...before we came here, no-one could speak English, but five or so years later, almost everyone tries very hard and we have a great time, laughing and learning together..my Bulgarian has gone from two words to almost 5000 words [have to say the grammar is still a bit shaky]. I'm not even a little bit sorry that I don't have any English speaking families close by..after all, I didn't come here to replicate what I had in the UK.

I really hope that things turn out happily for you and your hero..if you want to have a little taste of what you left behind, you will both be welcome..always!

Chin chin

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