This blog is supposed to be all about Bulgaria, but for five years we were in Shenzhen, in southern China. That is the reason for the weird title, "Bulgaria with Noodles". In June of 2018, Irena and I left China and retired to Bulgaria, to our villa 60km north of Sofia and to our apartment in Veliko Tarnovo. This blog is really all about some comparisons and contrasts between China and Bulgaria, two very different countries.
The Leaving of Liverpool, Part 1
apartment is full of bags and suitcases. The wardrobes, walls and the bookcase are
looking decidedly bare. AGS are supposed to be coming on Thursday afternoon, to
take all of our stuff to Bulgaria. 14,000RMB! Well, we thought that it might be
a lot less than that. Oh well!
day our landlady asked us to take some photos of the apartment, as she wants to
find a new tenant asap. I am including the photos as part of this post. So do
you know anyone who wants to rent a two-bedroomed flat in the centre of Shenzhen?
news is that it is central, right in the heart of Shenzhen. We love living
right next to the park. Lianhuacun MTR station is a few hundred metres away and
the Children’s Palace MTR is only a bit further away. It takes me about
twenty-five minutes to walk to school in the morning.
news? The smells are dreadful. Sometimes there are ghastly sewage smells coming
from the drains and sometimes horrible cooking odours come under the door. As
for the windows, we have single glazing and so the apartment is freezing in the
paying 6,500RMB a month for this apartment, but that is because we are laowai. Chinese landlords (and
landladies) prefer to let out their properties to foreigners, not to Chinese.
This means that we are probably getting it cheaper, below the market rate. As
those who have been reading my blog from the beginning will know, the Bank of
China Towers is covered in red tiles because it is a “ghost building”. Public
executions are supposed to have happened nearby, so superstitious Chinese do
not want to live here. Maybe that is another reason why we are getting a bit of
a discount. I have disabled comments for this blog entry, as the result of some thoughtless people posting all kinds of advertising nonsense.
Okay, so it is 5.30am on a Monday morning. It is time to get up. Showering, getting dressed and having breakfast are usually slow-motion action replays, only not so fast. Then, after a twenty-five minute walk along the street and through the park, I arrive at Green Oasis School, also known as GOS. It's a good school in the centre of Futian, the posh central district of Shenzhen. I am now in my fifth and final year as a Year 5 teacher. Of course I cannot speak much Mandarin and I cannot read any at all, but fortunately I have the wonderful services of my assistant or "teaching partner", Miss Yanee.
Friday, 15th of June, 2018, will be my last day in the teaching profession and then my wife and I will be returning to Bulgaria for our retirement. We will be leaving just after my 59th birthday, so I will still be a whisker away from being an OAP.
Teaching Chinese students is a delight. The nine- and ten-year-olds in my class have Mandarin as their first language and that is a b…
You will, I am sure, be glad to know that I am
not an estate agent. Yes, I have done some silly things in my life, but I have
never worked for a real estate company and no, I am not sponsored by the
Veliko Tarnovo is more or less in the
centre of Bulgaria and it was the old capital, before Sofia became the capital.
Greece is just around the corner and there are overnight trains to Romania and to Turkey, so you can go to bed in Sofia and wake up in Bucharest or in Istanbul. In Bulgaria, the main language that
most people speak is – surprise, surprise – Bulgarian. This is a Slavic
language and there are many similarities between Bulgarian and Russian. Bulgarian
is also quite similar to Czech, Ukrainian and Serbo-Croat. The Cyrillic
alphabet is used throughout Bulgaria
and, for some people, this can be a bit strange and confusing at first.
Actually, learning Bulgarian is not quite as difficult as it looks, once you
get over the shock of learning a different alphabet…
Yesterday Irisha and I went to Lianhuacun Park, just opposite our apartment
in the Bank of China Towers. There are supposed to be 16 or maybe 18 million
people here in Shenzhen and most of them seemed to think that going to the park
would be a good idea. The temperature must have been in the high 20s and it was a pleasantly sunny day, maybe the
last day of the summer. Well, that was how it felt, even though it was
the middle of November. (Why do boring Brits always go on about the weather so much?)
After a walk up to the pagoda, we looked at some
special flower displays and then, like everyone else, we took lots of photos.
Irena was singing in the worship team on Sunday morning, so we had to get to church a bit earlier than usual. Our friends Bill and Julia arrived later. After church, we went back to Futian by bus (I hate the buses in Shenzhen, as all the drivers think they are at Silverstone) and then lunch, followed by writing this blog. Why is it so hard to add photos to a blog? I s…