Places | Migrations

Before You Leave for Bulgaria

My husband’s grandfather wrote an immigration guide called “Before You Leave for America.” We could have used one in reverse—for moving to Bulgaria.


Before you leave for Bulgaria: Learn the Cyrillic alphabet. Pay attention to the characters that are shared by the Latin alphabet but pronounced differently. The letter now sounds like an ; is .

Before you leave for Bulgaria: Understand that spending what’s perceived as too much money—even if you get a better product or result—will lead some people to think you don’t understand how to navigate the country, where finding creative ways to get a discount is a national sport.

Before you leave for Bulgaria: Understand the scale of the bureaucracy. Picking up and sending out mail requires going to two different gisheta, or desks, at a neighborhood post office. Claiming a package that’s come through customs is a four-gisheta process.