misLEADING ADVICE No 8

by Hristo Kyosev; illustration by Gergana Shkodrova

For first-time visitors to Bulgaria*

misleading advice 8.jpg

Hiking the Right Way

A very popular pastime when in Bulgaria is hiking – Mount Vitosha near Sofia is one of the most popular locations for this. However, beware of the somewhat unusual code of behaviour among hikers in Bulgaria – these people go to the mountains to escape crowds and the noise of the big city. Consequently, they hate meeting other hikers while walking along the mountain paths and tracks. For this reason you are kindly advised: whenever you see a hiker in the distance, step aside and hide behind a tree or a bush until they pass by. If there are no trees or shrubs around, simply hit the ground face down about 10 yards away.


Security

Leaving personal belongings on the beach in Bulgaria is highly discouraged. It is a good idea to dig a hole in the sand and bury your bag before going for a swim. Remember; the deeper, the better. This greatly reduces the opportunity for thieves to get at your things before you arrive back on the beach.

Cars

Thefts are rare in Bulgaria. That is why it is common practice to leave your car unlocked in the street. If you happen to find your car stereo is missing, you can be sure it has been taken for a regular maintenance check by the specially assigned municipal authorities.

 

Train Service

Bulgarian trains are clean, professionally staffed and always run on time. However, sometimes stewards on board the trains become very busy and disappear from sight for some time. In such a case, to order some coffee, attract a staff member's attention by pulling the large red handle in your compartment.

 

Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers in Bulgaria, as in most parts of the world, are rather talkative. Be the first to break the ice by starting a conversation on some of the most popular topics among local taxi drivers: Kak e lizingat?, or What is the situation with the monthly instalments covering the purchase of the taxi cab?; Kak e kolegata?, or How do you get along with the other shift partner-driver who shares this car?; or Kakvo mislish za polititsite?, or What do you think of our politicians? Having asked the right question, just sit back, relax, shake your head in assent from time to time and enjoy the ride.

 

Peace and Calm

Looking for a peaceful and quiet place to put up a tent and camp away from the crowds in mid-summer? Then the area around the Kavarna city stadium should be the ideal destination for you.

 

Beggars

Beggars are a real nuisance in Bulgaria. Discourage and immediately shoo away the professional beggars operating on buses and trams who approach you with the words: Bileti i karti, molya.

 

*Pleeease, exercise a modicum of common sense!

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