Last weekend in Sofia I went with a few friends to check out the Thai Cultural Festival in Borisova Gradina. Despite the threat of rain (luckily it didn't!) a lot of people showed up to sample Thai food, learn about traditional handicrafts, martial arts and music. It was pretty small-scale compared to similar events on the West Coast of the United States, mainly because our immigrant populations are huge compared to here. But it was really cool to see the different exhibits and to experience some diversity of culture for a change. Apparently Thailand is a popular tourist destination for Bulgarians. I've noticed you can find a lot of ingredients (mostly sauces and noodles) for making Thai food here, too.
Last week was also Sofia Design Week, which unfortunately I didn't see very much of. I did see some open galleries featuring international artists, a small street fair with locally made t-shirts, jewelry and art, and an online poll to choose a design logo for Sofia's bid as a 2019 European Capital of Culture. I'm so excited to live in Sofia next year and be able to attend more events like these! It's too bad that there isn't more distribution of cultural exhibitions and international performances across the country in the smaller towns. But the reality is that most foreigners and organizers of cultural programs live in Sofia. It will be a nice change to be living in a city again, especially with all the opportunities to meet new people and network my way into a more permanent career.
In other news, summer is finally here! We've had crazy monsoon season type rains lately but the last few days were gorgeous (and hot, really hot). It's good I'm getting out in July because I hear that Pleven gets unbearably warm in the high summer. The end of the school year is approaching quickly, and there are many things to do before I leave for Warsaw. I have to admit that I am counting down the days... one more month until Seattle!