Mormon Mission World

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Day in the Neighborhood

Today started sunny and bright. We have posted pictures of the magnificent architecture that we have seen on our explorations of town. This week we thought we would post some pictures of our neighborhood which is more typical.  We live about five blocks from the center of the city where much of the fabulous architecture is to be seen.  The streets in the main area are paved with gold bricks and truly resemble the yellow brick road of OZ fame.

The Good
  Not all of those who erected buildings had any architectural detail on their minds. Apartment buildings, such as the one in the picture, are found all over Eastern Europe in varies sizes but they are disturbingly similar and bleak. In Sofia these are located mostly on the outskirts of town since the center was well developed by the time they were built.

The Bad

 The Ugly
Sister Segeberg buying bread. we just point and enjoy fresh bread.

  There are many food vendors along the streets. We have our favorite bread shop with a smiling lady who jabbers away in Bulgarian while we nod or shake our heads the incorrect way and point through the window at what we would like.

Local Pizza Shop

There is a pizza stand on nearly every block. Some of the items on the pizza are a little odd. We have seen corn and peas (what else would you have on a vegetarian pizza?), as well as pickles and sheep cheese which seem to be local favorites.

 The fruit and veggie stands are very convenient with the best tomatoes we have ever eaten. There are grocery stores of every size. And believe me; we have been in nearly every one of them in our quest for peanut butter.

Hole in the wall store

Shops line all of the main streets and a lot of the side streets. Many of these shops look like closets. In fact, today’s woman would not think a closet that size to be satisfactory. Other larger shops are set up in what would be garages on the first floor of business or apartment buildings. Others are literally holes in the wall. There is only a small window to exchange merchandise for money. Inside there is room enough for a small seat with products stacked all around. I have not figured out how the proprietor manages to get in and out. The deliveries of candy, soft drinks and other merchandise are handed in through this little window.  Many are so low that customers have to bend over to make purchases.

Shopping at ground level

Rattling down many streets are vintage trollies. So far we have not needed to use this form of transportation. We are not sure we are brave enough to try. Many side streets are one way due to how narrow they are. You often have to reverse and maneuver in order to make a 90° turn since there is usually someone parked on the corner and trees on both sides. The auto body repair shops must do a booming business! 


 Also, parking on the side walk is acceptable in most places. Pulling over wherever you please is also acceptable as long as you put on your flashers and are not totally blocking the road. However, the word ‘blocking’ seems to be up for individual interpretation. Today we saw cars double parked on a sidewalk. Hopefully, the poor guy on the inside middle did not have to leave before the others.

  The traffic patterns are very chaotic. In many places lanes suddenly end or turn without advance notice. Car horns get a work out as drivers express their displeasure of other drivers’ shenanigans.

Downtown street
All in all this is a fascinating place to be.  There is never a shortage of things to see. Experiencing another culture is one of the side benefits of a mission. It broadens you horizons.We are having a good time and serving the Lord too.

Love Elder & Sister Segeberg

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