1. You say “opa” instead of sorry when you mess up.
You just bumped into a stranger, stepped on their foot and nearly crushed it by accident. Opa! You opened a bottle of champagne and its cork hit your best friend’s forehead. Opa! You burnt your dinner in the oven and had to put out the fire in the kitchen. Opa! It may not exist in the dictionary but “opa” is so much easier and faster to say than the long complicated Bulgarian word for “sorry” (Съжалявам).
2. You know how to jump a line.
Others who have arrived there before you need to understand that your time is much more precious than theirs and you can’t waste it on mundane tasks such as lining up. Waiting is for people who have nothing else to do. You on the other hand might be creating the next change-the-world invention, discovering the cure for a rare disease or closing your next big business deal that will create jobs for hundreds, so it is much better for the greater good if you simply jump the line. It’s not a real line anyway — just a confused mob trying to figure out who is the last one. You can go before them and they won’t even notice.
3. You know nodding means no, but then it sometimes means yes.
You can’t tell why but your head automatically goes up and down whether you want to express agreement or disapproval. The same applies to shaking your head or making an unclear gesture that is in between shaking and nodding. These non-verbal expressions don’t mean anything on their own, as it is your vigorous facial expression that tells it all. Others just need to get it.
4. You have a lot of black clothes in your wardrobe and you don’t keep them for funerals.
Black goes with everything, so why make your life complicated trying to combine colors? It makes you look serious, sexy and stylish. Besides, it is the only color you cannot not like (refer to #7).
5. You can tell at least one funny story of how you once got away when you were caught traveling without a ticket.
You love turning public transportation into a theatre where your acting skills are challenged and judged by the ticket inspectors. You get a special kind of kick out of bending the rules and getting away with it. You can afford to buy a ticket, but sometimes you prefer not to — it is more fun to pretend you don’t speak Bulgarian, to be asleep, suddenly get sick and faint, or lie that you just got robbed and your wallet is gone.
6. You have more than you can afford.
You are a real master of a mysterious skill that goes against all mathematical logic — spending more than you earn. Your monthly salary is lower than the cost of the designer shirt you are wearing, you own the latest smartphone, laptop or TV on the market and eat mainly at restaurants. A few letters on your desk are threatening you with bailiff, but you have never received them, never seen them and they don’t exist until proven otherwise. And there is always this friend you owe money to who hasn’t heard from you in a year, but keeps calling you like an annoying maniac.
7. You know what you don’t like.
You always start listing what you don’t approve of or don’t want when asked about your opinion on a certain topic. You can easily tell what partner you would never live with, what music you don’t want to listen to, which celebrities are talentless losers and what is wrong with that movie everybody is raving about. Even when you vote, you vote for the biggest competitor of the party you don’t want to win so they won’t get in.
8. You are an expert in all areas. There is no doubt about that.
You might not have quite done it yet, but you most certainly know how to build a tower block, run a multimillion business, cure cancer, create laws and rule the world. Genetically, you are designed to be a great thinker. Your brain is your biggest asset and you are responsible enough to share your expertise and tell others how to do their job.
9. You can always fix things.
Broken fridge? No problem — take a few plastic bags, fill them with food and tie them outside at night (or in front of the fan in the summer). You have an issue with your neighbours smoking in the elevator? Leave them an angry note in the cabin and tell them where to stick their cigarettes. The side mirror of your car is gone? Glue a square mirror to a piece of wood and attach it to your car.
10. You live with your parents until or after you get married.
Why cook, do your own laundry or clean your room when mommy can take care of everything? She is always there for you even when you are unlucky to be or find a wife who won’t do the housework. Your nest is way too comfortable and you are smart enough to make the most of it. You can’t afford to pay rent as you need this money for more important stuff like cigarettes, alcohol and nightclubs. And it doesn’t matter if your parents can hear you having sex in the other room — you have heard them too!
11. You will always love your country.
Corruption, poverty, broken sidewalks, sluggish economy — Bulgaria has many problems, but every true Bulgarian loves and praises their country for its beautiful nature, rich traditions, colorful nation, delicious food and long history. Especially if you live abroad, you will always crave a toast with “lutenistsa” and a trek through the magnificent Rhodope mountains.