After some unseasonably warm weather, winter (зима) finally hit Bulgaria. And it’s cold. Not Wisconsin cold. But cold. Record-setting cold. This past week the temperature in Sofia has ranged from a low of -15 °C (5 ºF) to a high of -2 ºC (28.4 ºF). I know, that’s golfing weather in Wisconsin. But things are different here. Most of the windows in my house are covered with frost. Those that aren’t are covered with ice. The door to my house has been frozen shut more than once. I can’t breathe in my house without seeing my breath. Steam rises from the toilet when I dare to venture into and use my icebox of a bathroom. The temperature in my kitchen is lower than the temperature in my fridge. I haven’t showered in three days, and I probably won't any time soon. Not because I don’t want to. I can’t. The pipes are frozen. In America, this would be a problem. Frozen pipes eventually thaw and then burst, resulting in water damage. I’m told there are no such issues with Bulgarian pipes. Bulgarian pipes are designed to survive Soviet winters (meaning sub-zero temperatures and intermittent gas supplies). Unfortunately, Bulgarian heaters and Peace Corps volunteers are not.
At least the frost is pretty.