Sofia through other people's eyes: Elizaveta Lyubova

5 November 2020 text Dani Nikolova
We are used to seeing Sofia in a way that is not necessarily universal. So, what does the city look in the eyes of the people who have come from afar (often to stay)? This time we asked Elizaveta Lyubova – Lizza, a Fraud, Risk, and Payment specialist at the PokerStars team in Sofia.

I was really surprised by the weather. The rain was pouring, and it was warm when I first set foot in Sofia at Christmas eve. I was born in Russia, in the Ural region. It’s extremely cold there in mid-December and there is a lot of snow.

I had no expectations from the city because I didn’t know much about it. I was excited to start a new life in a new place, with many interesting acquaintances and emotions ahead of me. Including working at PokerStars. The company was still expanding in Bulgaria and I wanted to be a part of this new beginning. I have come a long way in my career, and I have gained a lot of experience and useful skills. I became more responsible and started taking serious decisions.

I will always laugh at situations where words have a different meaning. It seems that Bulgarians and Russians are similar, yet the differences are huge. Whenever I use a taxi or talk with elderly people, (for some reason) all of them want to show me that they studied Russian at school, and they speak the language. In most cases, people just distort the Bulgarian words in a Russian manner. It is incredibly funny, and it always makes me laugh.

The boldest thing I ever did in Bulgaria was to get on my husband’s cross bike. I am not a fan of high speeds and extreme adventures, so this was a big deal for me.

I was born in Solikamsk, a small industrial city. It is not difficult to guess from its name that it is a place where potassium and potassium-magnesium salts are obtained. Solikamsk is one of the oldest cities in the Urals and it is included in the list of historical sites. There are 12 old ancient temples in the city, but most people are interested in its history because of the GULAG from Soviet times. Today, the city has a prison with extremely dangerous life-sentenced prisoners dwelling in it.

The traditional Russian salad – Selyodka pod shuboy is something that I do every Christmas and New Year. It is made from a variety of boiled root vegetables, selyodka (herring) and mayo. Sounds nasty, but it is very tasty!

The opportunity to temporarily work remotely is something that I like because I am a mom of three children. However, I have a favorite spot in the office – the relaxation area on the floor, where we have long chats and laughs with my colleagues.

A full house of emotions for me means happiness – when I am with my family, or when going to work with a smile, when traveling or doing pleasant things, or simply having many friends and colleagues which make my life more colorful.


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