Blagoevgrad’s People Through a Foreigner’s Eyes

Isn’t it interesting that we spent a considerable part of our lives, surrounded by strangers? On the streets, in the stores, in restaurants and cafes. But do we really notice them?

The other day, I caught myself doing something I had never done before.

 I was strolling down the main street of Blagoevgrad and everything was painfully familiar: the colorful clothes in the shop windows, the cooking aromas, coming from the restaurants, the people, milling around. But, wait, at the same time, it was fascinatingly different!

The crowd of people had a face. It had numerous faces, actually. For the first time, I was paying attention to people’s faces, not to shop windows.

And while I was walking down the street, shifting my eyes from one face to another, I wondered who those people were, what they did for a living, where they were going, what they were thinking at that moment. Did they see me gazing at them?

I cannot put it in words how enthusiastic I am to launch this blog and get the opportunity not only to gaze and wonder but to SEE people and see them through their own eyes.

But before I embark on my journey, I wanted to see them through someone else’s eyes, a foreigner’s eyes. That is why I talked to Sorin Petrov, a sophomore at the American University in Bulgaria, double majoring in journalism and business administration. Sorin comes from Chisinau, Moldova, and has been living in Blaogevgrad for a year now.

 “I was surprised at first, because Blago is generally a small town, so I’d been thinking that [people] would be more conservative but they are really open to new people, new experiences,” he said.

“[People in Blagoevgrad] have this difficulty in communication,” Sorin said.

Locals use a mixture of Bulgarian and the few English words they know, sprinkled with expressive gestures to communicate with the numerous foreign students, he explained.  As a result, interaction with locals “is a fun experience most of the times,” Sorin said, smiling.

Here are some more of Sorin’s thought on Blagoevgrad’s people:

You can also check his blog, dedicated to “small, just small excerpts of conversations that I find to be the funniest”:

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