Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dagje Vrij

At the beginning of the week I heard some people talking about it going to be a nice day on Friday, didn't really believe it but thought I would take the day off in advance anyway.  Glad I did!  It ended up being warm and sunny.  I went shopping in the morning and then it really started to get warm...I was shopping for coats and could not continue since it was warm out. ha.  I was going to go to the gym but then on a whim I decided to bike to the beach since it would probably be the last time of the season that I would get to go.  Just sat there on a bench for a while with my Kindle and enjoyed the scenery and the sun.  Still love the fact that taking a day off just because is no issue here at all and you don't have to worry about "wasting" them for stuff like this.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Is being called an "Expat" a negative thing?

Recently the word expat (expatriate) has been bothering me.  I know the word is not met to be negative, but I still do not like to refer to myself in that way.  When I think of an "expat" I think of someone who comes to live in an country without caring anything about if and trying to pretend like they never left their own country.  For example, I mean:
  • Only is friends with other "expats"
  • Knows nothing about the local history/culture
  • Makes no attempt to learn the local language
  • Gets everything paid for by their company (aka not living like a real person)

 This is not something that I want to be like and I feel like that I have gone out of my way to make sure that I don't fit into any of those stereotypes above.  Recently, an organizer of a group that I am part of started referring to everyone who was not Dutch as an "expat" and I don't know, there is just something about that word that I don't like to be associated with, so I cringe every time I read it in the invited.

So what do you think?  Is it just me being crazy or do you think there are also negative connotations with being called an "expat."  Would love to hear some other opinions on this.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cardio going...good actually

As I've mentioned earlier, I actually started to do cardio.  I guess now it's been somewhere short of a month.  I've basically cut my normal gym time in 1/2 and do 25 minutes are cardio after that.  I think starting my next time at the gym though I am ready to raise that to 30.  Funny thing is, I am actually starting to look forward to the cardio portion of my gym trips more than the weight part, never thought that would happen.  If I keep it up, which I think I will, I'm really interested to see where I will be in a few months.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Rest of Sunny Beach

The rest of my trip was pretty good.  Most days I just hung out at the pool or the beach alternating between swimming and reading.  Got about 1 1/2 novels read while I was there so that was good.  Some highlights of what I did include:

  • Getting a massage on the beach one day.  Not as nice as it sounds.  The girl was not that good and anytime a bug or fly or something would land on you you were not able to wak it away
  • Going to see Nesebar.  I was able to see this place from my hotel room and was only a short bus ride away.  The place itself was nice.  I walked the entire way around the small island and found some nice spots, my favorite is here to the right.  One thing that was disappointing there was that it was just as toristy as Sunny Beach.  Every store sold torist junk and the restaurants all had the big posters with pictures of their food on, not my kind of places.  But at least I did find a place were I was able to get a nice espresso.
Other than that, that was pretty much it.  The whole place was pretty empty (Sunny Beach and Nesebar) the tourist season was pretty much over and there are not very many locals.  Some nights I was the only person in a restaurant and as I was walking past bars the music would be on with no one there.  All through the week more and more places were closing down and boarding up.  This was not much of an issue for me though since the weather was still great and I still had the pool and the beach.  Only thing that was annoying was no one was following their posted opening times since it was so empty.  Places pretty much opened late and closed early.

Lastly, I can't believe how clear the Black Sea is.  Wow.  Now, it's not blue like the Caribbean or anything like that but man is it clear.  You can be standing there at pretty much any depth and still clearly see your feet.  Growing up only ever going to east coast USA beaches, I guess I almost always assume that the water is going to be brown and cloudy like it is there.  Here is a picture of me standing in the Black Sea:
That's about it for Bulgaria.  Next on the list is Milan and Venice in November.