Tuesday, November 22, 2011

winter's coming..

Icicles growing on my eyelashes
As I run laps at the stadium
So covered in fog
I can barely see a quarter of it

Though slightly eerie,
It also gives evokes a feeling
Of being way up in the mountains
In the clouds so damp and chilly

After, waiting at the coffee machine
I feel a drip..drip..drip on my forehead
I look up..nothing there
Take off the glove to pat the head
It’s covered in ice particles, and quickly starting to melt

I love running this time of year

Friday, November 11, 2011


VOTING – Local and Presidential elections

Sunday, October 23rd was the beginning of elections in Bulgaria..and with it came many questions from me about voting in Bulgaria..here are some of the highlights of my questions and some of the answers.

How do most Bulgarians decide who to vote for?..do they vote by a preferred party, or for a specific candidate, or based on the issues a candidate supports?
- the majority of Bulgarians I asked, indicated that they chose by candidate..it did not matter which part they belonged to, and there are many parties to choose from.
- in many cities, towns, and villages there are no debates, so none of the issues are addressed in the open between candidates.
- Many of the candidates in my region put on performances by the local cultural center as entertainment..but were any issues discussed?

Buying and selling votes – there is no secret about it. Adults and students alike all seem to know people who buy and sell their votes..on average, what I have heard is that a vote can be bought for 20BGN (around $15) and one online paper said the going rate was over 100BGN.

For the first time, Bulgaria decided to hold the local elections and the Presidential elections at the same time (to save money due to the crisis). In prior years, these elections were held separately.

Either way, in local and presidential elections, the leading candidate must win by 50+% of the popular vote. If a candidate does not win by this amount, then the elections are reheld the following weekend. In the case of my town, our mayor won outright..but I know many places that are had a revote the following Sunday because there was no clear winner. As for the Presidential elections, there was not a winner with 50+%, so voters did have to return to vote again, even if their local mayor has been decided.

It is a law that no alcohol be served in establishments from 8pm Saturday, until Monday, due to the elections.

Who can vote, and who can run for the elections
- A person can run for office only in the local elections if they have the status of long-term resident (this information comes from an Englishwoman in the local elections).
- A person can also vote if they are a long-term resident..but they can only vote at the local level.
- They cannot cast a vote for the President, nor can they run for Presidency with long-term resident status.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I went on a hike at a nearby mountain this weekend with the hiking group..and it was just what I needed. You know, how poets sometimes say that a location inspires them to write..that’s exactly how I felt this weekend while hiking..the leaves were a beautiful golden color and lightly drifting to the ground, the sky was clear with the sun shining strongly..the wind was whistling through the treetops, and the mountains were snow-topped and beautiful, as always.. It was a relaxing day with a really great group of people and good conversations..I wish I could just bottle up the feeling, and open it up when life gets a little too stressed :)

I posted pics from the hike..click here, or at the bottom of this page labeled Tricia’s newest pics.