Sun, 07/01/2007 - 16:01

Beautiful Bulgarian babes are the rule rather than the exception. Just don't get on their bad side

bulgarian woman.jpg
© Dragomir Ushev

I'm a great believer in the ancient wisdom: "Just love women. Don't try to understand them!" And that, I've found, goes double for Bulgarian women. But in the Vagabond tradition of courageous and insightful journalism, here goes.

I first experienced the charms of "The Bulgarian Woman" from 15,000 kilometres away. Here's what happened...

When I was given the opportunity, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to move to Bulgaria. What I knew about this country, before actually moving here, would have filled the back of a postage stamp.

So I scoured the Internet for information. Especially pictures. Pictures say so much, don't they? Open "image search". Question: How do people in Sofia live? Answer. Row upon row of big old apartment blocks. Hmmm. Question: What do Bulgarians eat? Answer. Cucumbers and tomatoes with grated cheese on top. Right. Question: What do Bulgarian women look like?

I can still clearly remember the day I opened the Miss Bulgaria website to find the answer to that question. Of course, you open up the Miss (insert name of any country here) website and you'll find good-looking girls. But there was one... a special one... it was, I recall, Miss Montana. Wow! I knew immediately that here was a woman I could willingly, nay, happily, lay down my life for.

Well alright, perhaps I exaggerate. But I did think "Sweetheart, if there's a few more at home like you, put the kettle on. I'm coming over". And I did.

Of course, actually stepping off the plane, I feared that Miss Montana might have been an aberration and that Bulgarian women would turn out to be moustachioed weight-lifter types after all. But I needn't have worried. Bulgaria is just chock-full of gorgeous chicks. Hurray!

Now don't get me wrong. Like anywhere, not every girl you look at is an oil-painting. But BG just seems to have more than its fair share of what the British would call top totty. What an American would call hot chicks. Or what an Australian would call great-looking Sheilas.

Just why, I couldn't tell you. Something in the water, perhaps. Bacterium Bulgaricus. Or, more likely, the product of millennia of genetic mingling at the very crossroads of East and West.

Bulgarian women dress to optimise their womanly goodies. It can in fact be a little daunting for the foreign man first setting foot on Bulgarian soil, confronted with an ocean of hips and heels, bellybuttons and boob-tubes. Looking around at those swivelling, swaying, perky, curvy bits, you could be tempted to think "Blimey, that's a bit much. Put those away, love". But then it's remarkable how quickly the eye becomes accustomed to the seething mass of Bulgarian eye-candy around you. And then you go for a week back home in Middlesbrough and you're dismayed to see what a load of heifers the hometown talent consists of.

While your expat bloke cheerfully zig-zags down Vitosha Boulevard rubbernecking at the local ladies, Bulgarian men seem not so easily distracted. Maybe they're desensitised. Kids here grow up on chalga (BG pop) videos, after all. Have you seen them? Miaow. They're unofficial, televised "sexy education" for BG boys and girls. So, fellas, you're here for a while and you fancy snaring a Bulgarian girlfriend? There are a few things you should know...

BG girls, as a general rule, don't drink. But conveniently, they seem prepared to accept that you, as a man, do. Same goes for other manly pursuits like football, and food. You wonder how BG ladies keep those trim figures? Well, buddy, it isn't by throwing down loads of banitsa and tripe soup every day, that's for sure!

BG women eat like birds; or more accurately, rabbits. Take one out for dinner and she'll politely peck her way through half a small bowl of lettuce over the course of two hours. Don't worry. She had a huge lunch. At least two or three of those little pretzel-stick things. One thing you should bear in mind is that those babes you've been trying to make meaningful eye contact with in the nightclub are probably either too young for you, or married. People get hitched pretty young here, and there's a reason. BG blokes are, from boyhood, spared the ignominy of domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning.

This preserves their sense of machismo for a lifetime, but also tends to make them a tiny bit dependent on women for such tedious day-to-day necessities as eating, and wearing clean clothes. So when the canny young BG man is ready to move out of mum and dad's, he doesn't waste any time latching onto a good little homemaker, and... presto!

No single birds left for you, I'm afraid.

And even if you are fortunate enough to snag one of these Balkan goddesses, inevitably the dreaded "cultural difference" will take a bite at you sooner or later. You can forget reminiscing about the good old days. "Do you remember when a bag of Walkers cheese n'onion crisps cost only 10p?" ...Nope. And don't make her watch your collection of Monty Python DVDs, because she will fear for your mental health. Just as you will be completely baffled by her conviction that
Judas Priest make great music.

You may be accustomed to relationships like this: "I'm my own person. I have a life. You're your own person. You have a life. Sometimes I want to do things without you". No, no, no, no, no. Whatever you do, never tell your BG girlfriend that you're having a week's holiday without her. In a relationship with a BG girl, you'll discover that she expects you to play a role - just as she plays hers. While you might find her refreshingly willing to get busy in the kitchen, for example, remember that you have your part to play. The man is the one who gets things done; repairs the broken things, makes the hotel reservations, is decisive.

There's no doubt that the girl back home in Middlesbrough has a strong sense of individuality. But I say the Bulgarian girl has an elevated sense of femininity. That's what makes her simultaneously so sexy, and yet often so maddening, so damn precious.

Get in her bad books, and brother, you'll know about it. Maybe she won't say a word: you suffer the slow agony of the silent treatment. You know. Like being dumped in the middle of Antarctica.

But inevitably the clouds will part. And then the Bulgarian girl will come out to shine with all the warmth of the sun. "...hello, travel agency? I'd like to cancel my ticket to Middlesbrough..."

Issue 10 Culture shock

Commenting on

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

Shopska salad is the ultimate rakiya companion
The easiest way for a foreigner to raise a Bulgarian brow concerns a sacrosanct pillar of national identity: rakiya, the spirit that Bulgarians drink at weddings, funerals, for lunch, at protracted dinners; because they are sad or joyful, and somet

"Where is the parliament?" A couple of months ago anyone asking this question in Sofia would have been pointed to a butter-yellow neoclassical building at one end of the Yellow Brick Road.

Boyko Borisov_0.jpg
Bulgaria's courts have been given the chance to write legal history as former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is suing Yordan Tsonev, the MP for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, over Tsonev's referral to him as a mutra.

bulgaria underworld.jpg
Mutra is one of those short and easy-to-pronounce Bulgarian words that is also relatively easy to translate.

Magdalina Stancheva.jpg
Walking around Central Sofia is like walking nowhere else, notwithstanding the incredibly uneven pavements.

When a Bulgarian TV crew came to our village in northeastern Bulgaria to shoot a beer advert they wanted British people in the film, so we appeared as ourselves.
Lt John Dudley Crouchley, 1944.jpg
During most of the Second World War, Bulgaria and the United States were enemies. In 1943-1944 Allied aircrafts bombed major Bulgarian cities.

Happy families may be alike, unhappy families may be unhappy in their own way, but in Bulgaria all these come with a twist: a plethora of hard-to-pronounce names for every maternal and paternal aunt, uncle and in-law that can possibly exist.
french soldiers monument svishtov.jpg
Sofia is awash with English signs and logos, but here and there a French name pops up: a central street is called Léandre le Gay, schools are named Alphonse de Lamartine and Victor Hugo, a metro station is known as Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

During the past 20 years Bulgaria has gained notoriety with an unusual tourist attraction. No, it is not the Kazanlak roses, not the mushrooming "medieval" fortresses being erected from scratch with EU money.

stambolov monument.jpg
Bulgaria's news cycle nowadays consists largely of real and imaginary scandals that grab the public attention for a while before being buried under a heap of new scandals.

koprivshtitsa rebelion bridge.jpg
History sometimes moves in mysterious ways, as indicated by the story of the role two bridges played in two revolutions, a century and an ocean apart.