Meet Atanas Yonkov, Open Sofia's IT adviser

Our active contributor shares why he loves Sofia’s international community

Edited by Tamar Weisert.


I am a blogger, freelance web developer, and WordPress enthusiast. I am chairman of the authors at Pohodut, an online platform for bloggers. I love volunteering and have contributed to the open-source community by developing free WordPress themes and plugins. I also love traveling and have visited most of the countries in Europe. I have participated in a lot of European projects for youngsters and youth workers, and this brought me many connections to people abroad. Now I live mostly in Sofia, and I love to hang out with foreigners since they are open-minded and there are so many things you can learn from them. It never gets boring.

I am a local guy, so I would be surprised if something here surprised me. However, a lot of foreigners tell me that one thing they find surprising is the yes and no head gestures. They are completely the opposite here (negative nod actually means "yes" and vice versa).

Some people that work in the services field (taxi drivers, waiters, hairdressers, etc.) presume that all expats are wealthy and expect to receive large tips from you. Some of them might even try to trick you if they see that you are not local. These are rare cases, but it could happen. That is why it is a good idea to ask beforehand how much a particular service will cost you (for example, a taxi driver might try to charge you more than the actual price). So, to avoid any unpleasant situations, try to negotiate the cost ahead of time.

I'd advise newcomers in Bulgaria to go out and speak to people. In general, we really like foreigners, and we are ready to help you. Try to make the most of your time here.

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