THE UNBULGARIANS: RORY MILLER, USA

interview by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff

Born in Seattle, the 33-year-old Rory Miller manages a craft beer company, an event organisation and a travelling kitchen in Bulgaria.

Rory Miller.jpg

When did you come to Bulgaria and why?

I came about eight years ago and have been on and off here, with short periods living in Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Montenegro and Bosnia. I first came to Bulgaria to further my travelling experience by working as an English teacher. It was a choice between Poland or Bulgaria. Bulgaria is warmer, so I chose Bulgaria. Before that I had known almost nothing about the country, something I'm a ashamed of. After some time I had made a good deal of close friends and learnt the language making Sofia the most convenient and comfortable option.

Have you experienced any special treatment in Bulgaria based on the fact that you are a foreigner?

I've had both positive and negative experiences here with both Bulgarians and foreigners. But I'm a bit of a chameleon and can easily blend in making it a bit harder to be marked out.

Has life in Bulgaria surprised you?

It surprised me that I so easily adapted to it... one thing that gets to me is the general indifference in politics.

Do you have Bulgarian friends?

About 90 percent of my friends are Bulgarian.

Do you celebrate Bulgarian feasts and if yes, which ones and why?

I celebrate all the major holidays here with the family of my son's mother... so I guess I have an easy way in to be able to enjoy them.

Describe Bulgaria with three words.

Hungry. Resilient. Alluring.

Do you plan to stay for a longer period, to settle down in Bulgaria?

I have already been here awhile but I do plan to stay longer because of my son to be near his grandparent's and all that, but also to further develop my beer company which will in return develop the beer culture for Bulgaria eventually leading to really great things.

What does it mean to be Bulgarian?

I can't actually answer that, but I think many Bulgarians have a complex that they aren't good enough. Which is is sad because in most cases they are better than enough.

Do you want to be a Bulgarian?

I don't want to be an particular nationality. I'm happy just being Rory.

Do you feel Bulgarian?

I feel that I understand people from here and can sympathise with them. But no, I am just like a guy from nowhere.

EEA GrantsThe UnBulgarians project is conducted by the Free Speech International Foundation and supported by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014

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