When you come to live in a foreign country, you notice that many other foreigners that live in the same country miss their ‘home comforts.’ These little luxuries can range from food and drink, clothes and cosmetics to bigger and more expensive things. So it is no surprise that the average expat leaves Bulgaria with a fairly empty suitcase, when going on a short visit back home, and returns with a jam packed case that almost exceeds the weight limit that they are allowed. Ironically, friends and family who come to visit us in Bulgaria do quite the opposite.
Whenever friends and family come to visit us, they kindly bring us treats and gifts from back home and after emptying their bags full of gifts for us, they are left with a bare looking case. However, that is until they go out to various Bulgarian towns and stock up on little novelty gifts, souvenirs and products that you can’t get back home. Although for us, we now take these things for granted as we live in Bulgaria and can purchase such products as and when we like, our guests stock up on these items.
What do we buy back home?
So, when we go back home to visit, what do we buy? It depends of course on whether you really feel as if you ‘need’ these things or you’re just treating yourself to a change. Some of the things may be:
Tea and coffee (a favourite)
Cheese (a lot of supermarket goods are much cheaper in the UK)
Chocolates and Sweets
Gold jewellery (as Bulgaria can be quite expensive on gold)
Clothes (very popular with expats, again due to the choice and cheapness in the UK)
Electronics (laptops, mobile phones and game stations – which are usually cheaper outside of Bulgaria)
and maybe more…
What do our guests take back?
Although we see some of these products on a daily basis, we easily become used to them and do not see the novelty in buying these luxuries anymore. But for our guests, they fill their cases with things that they can’t get back home:
Rose Water Products (very expensive outside of Bulgaria)
Bulgarian White cheese (aka ‘Sirene’ to us)
Bulgarian fruit and salad vegetables
Shoes, bags and other clothing
Alcohol (one of the few things cheaper in Bulgaria and other European countries when compared to the UK)
Cigarettes (like alcohol, alcohol and cigarettes are cheaper in mainland Europe than in the UK)
Cosmetics (there’s a great choice of European and American brands in Bulgaria, which aren’t readily available in the UK)
Traditional Bulgarian souvenirs
Traditional Bulgarian crockery (table cloths, plates and other kitchen accessories)
Chocolates and Sweets
It is amazing what kinds of things people put together in their luggage when travelling between countries. It is funny to think that in the same suitcase, there can be such a mixture of things, such as clothing lying next to food products, underneath ornaments, electronics and a few packets of cigarettes!