Monday, 12 October 2009

Village People

And not the singing/dancing males with moustaches!

Village life in Bulgaria seems to be stuck in a time warp, and long may it be so.

People here rise with the daylight, work their land, eat their produce and still use horses/donkeys and carts as their main form of transport. On the whole the Bulgarian people are caring, friendly, generous and love to have a laugh. Learning the language is a big help in feeling part of the community and the people do appreciate that you are trying to integrate.

Because the Bulgarian population has been in a decline for quite some time a lot of the people here are in a "Asset rich, cash poor" situation. They can own multiple properties, usually left to them by a family member but live a very simple life. Normally upkeep on these properties is beyond a normal Bulgarian's means so some houses are just left to fall into decay. Yearly property taxes are very cheap, there are no standing charges on water or electric so keeping the houses costs next to nothing. In every village there are a significant number of properties for sale.

We get asked by lots of the locals to sell their properties, on a whole they see foreigners as rich people who come to Bulgaria to live a cheap life. Yes, some things are cheaper here but with prices rising all the time it won't stay that way forever. They're amazed at how much you can earn in the UK but confused as to how much it costs to live there. We don't sell properties, some ex-pats do and make a living from it. I'm quite happy to go visit the locals, see their houses and pass their details to a friend who is selling some properties locally and I know that she won't rip off anyone.

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