In my previous post, I mentioned that there are several questions I was frequently asked in Bulgaria.
1. “What do you miss the most about/in Malaysia?”
2. “What do you like about Bulgaria?”
3. “What do you think about Bulgaria?”
4. “What are the differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia?”
In this post, I’ll answer the second and the third questions.
The things I’ll share in this post may be similar to what other people have experienced in other European countries or countries that have similar characteristics. This post is mainly about my experience living in Bulgaria. I am making a comparison based the cities where I lived and am currently living: Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia and Varna, Bulgaria. This doesn’t apply to all Malaysia or all Bulgaria.
- In JB, the crime rate is rather high. Many of my friends and family have been the targets of snatch thefts and robberies. Last year, on the night before my wedding in Malaysia, I had a small family gathering at home. There were about 20 of us, mainly adults with 2 kids. My elder sister was robbed right at the front porch of the house, just 2 steps away from the house entrance. In separate incidents, my bro-in-law was robbed at knife point while on his way to work in broad daylight, my dad was chased by 2 motorcycles with masked robbers after withdrawing money from an ATM, and my mum’s bag was almost snatched when she went to the market in the morning. It doesn’t matter when or where. You just have to be extra cautious especially when you are alone. You can be the target of crime no matter if you are a woman or a man.
- I’m not saying it’s crime-free in Bulgaria. I’m sure crime happens everywhere in the world. However in Varna, I feel relatively safe. I can walk on the street without having the constant fear that someone might come on a motorcycle to snatch my bag. I still practice caution whenever I go out. But I definitely feel much safer here than I was in Malaysia.
2. Everything is fresh and organic here!
- In JB, organic fruits and vegetables cost a lot of money! I wouldn’t say Mr. Hubby is picky with his food, but he is very particular with the quality of his food. I think organic fruits and vegetables generally taste better than the “non-organic” ones. I usually spent about RM100 (approximately 50leva), buying just vegetables and fruits. Seriously, I can go bankrupt by just eating fruits and veggies back home.
- In Varna, everything is fresh and organic. It’s cheap too! Well, during winter is another story. After buying the fruits and veggies from the market, you can simply rinse it with water and eat it. Unlike in JB, I had to wash and soak and use special drops to remove the “toxic” on the fruits and veggies. It can be a very tedious process. 😦
3. The tap water is drinkable
- In JB, the tap water is not drinkable. You can choose to drink it and end up having diarrhea later. Most households invest in water filters. Only with water filters, the water from the tap is safe to drink. However, I know some people are still boiling the water even when it is filtered, just to make sure it is 100% drinkable.
- In Varna, the tap water is drinkable. When I first came here, I thought it was a joke when Mr. Hubby told me that I could drink from the tap. I was like, seriously!?! I still prefer not to drink from the tap although everyone else at home does that. I sometimes buy bottled water from the grocery store. But if my bottle is empty, I don’t mind to just crawl to the kitchen, turn on the tap, and drink the water from there. 😀
4. Minimal air and noise pollution
- In JB, air pollution is a serious problem. Every year, when one of our neighbouring countries decides to burn its forest, the whole Malaysia would suffer horrible air pollution. Even without that, the exhaust fumes from the vehicles are enough to suffocate you. And, I have black boogers all the time!!! As for noise pollution, with on-going construction works everywhere, it’s difficult not to have any noise. That’s understandable. But the worst “noise pollution” is when your neighbours fight. They scream and shout and throw things at each other in the middle of the night, especially near your front door. That’s the worst kind. (Note: I lived in an apartment in JB.)
- In Varna, the air pollution is minimal. Vehicles here rarely “fart” black fumes. Smokers are everywhere but there are designated smoking areas. As long as you don’t go near those areas, I guarantee your hair will still smell nice after 2 days and you will not have black boogers!! As for noise pollution, there are almost no constructions nearby the place I’m staying. My neighbours are friendly and civilised, as least I haven’t seen them shouting or throwing things at each others. I would say the “biggest noise polluters” are the kids playing in the playground in front of our apartment! 😀 But, how can I blame the kids? They’re just too cute! 😀
5. No ants loitering around
- In JB, if you don’t keep your snacks properly, ants attack in 5 minutes. If you don’t pack and throw your garbage daily, ants form an army around your garbage bin. If you don’t wipe your spilled drink in 2 minutes, ants swim in it. There are always ants attack, any time of the day. If they don’t attack the food, they attack you!
- In Varna, I hardly see any ants. I can leave my food unpacked for hours, no ants will attack. I can leave my glass with fruit juice stains until the next morning, ants don’t bother to pay a visit. If I see any ants here, I most probably will attack them by throwing food at them!
Of course there are many other things I like about living here. But I’m just gonna share these 5 points today. So, what do I think about Bulgaria? I think it’s generally a nice country. What do I think about my stay in Bulgaria? So far, I’ve been treated like a princess here. So, I would say that my stay has been great! Hahahahaha…
So which place do I prefer? JB or Varna? NONE of them. Every place has its nice and not-so-nice features. There are things I prefer in JB and there are also things I prefer in Varna. There’s no perfect place in this world but you can always adapt and embrace the local cultures to make your stay perfect in different places. Do you agree? Share your thoughts with me! 🙂