Not what some people may think. Our village is quite probably the same as all other rural Bulgarian villages, but I think our village is very special indeed.
When we first arrived here, I was a little worried to say the least. The village is very old fashioned and some of the houses look as if nobody could possibly live in them. There are derelict buildings in the village and nobody lives in them, but on the whole, the houses are not the best.
Although after a week or two, the village certainly started to grow on me. I soon noticed that no matter where we went, people were very happy to see us and chat to us in Bulgarian. Now I do not know any Bulgarian, and the villagers now know this, but it does not stop them banging on for 10 minutes while you just nod or shake your head at them.
Most f the villagers are elderly, but this does not stop them doing what needs doing. They are always out and about, working in the gardens, chatting in the evenings on benches like teenagers back in Wales would do but with 2 liters of White Lightening. Most seem to work after dark during the Summer, so this means that most of the street lights have been stolen and placed in the back gardens of the Baba’s so they can work at night.
Where their houses may look terrible, their gardens are always amazing growing fruit and vegetables. They really are some of the tastiest fruit and veg you will ever taste. I am not really sure when a woman becomes a Baba, I am not sure if a Baba is a Grandmother, a Widow or just old. But the Baba’s really do seem t have the respect of the village, no matter what your age.
We know a few Baba’s by name, across the road from us is Baba Jenna, at the top of the road is Baba Donka, but there is another Baba Donka in the village, she owns the local shop, so the Baba on the corner is Baba Corner. Our English friends next door neighbour is a Baba, but we only know her as Baba Ugly (not named by us I should add. But yeah, she is ugly).
There are a few of the men in the village that we get on well with, again, cannot speak English and nor can we speak Bulgarian, but we seem to get along just fine without it.
One old boy, (not sure of his actual name) but he is known in the village as Charlie Chaplin, as he uses a walking stick. He is all of 4 foot 9 inches high and is deaf and as blind as a bat, but very, very funny indeed.
Oh, and Marin the Murderer, I think most villages has at least one murderer 🙂
The Bulgarian’s do not seem to get the concept of just going for a walk, and when we walk the dogs, they find it very peculiar indeed. When you pass someone, they always ask where you are going and what you are doing, nosy sods 😉
When family and friends visit, I do not think that they will fall in love with the village as we have because I do not thin they will have the time to get used to the derelict houses, the elderly villagers, the insects that do not bother you, they are just ten times the size that they are back in Wales, nor will they get to be part of the village community, so for these reasons I do not think that anyone will ever really understand why we love the village as much as we do. It has a charm all of it’s own, but a charm that you will never forget if you only were able to spend the time here and be invited to the village celebrations, chat to the elderly, swap fresh fruit and veg during the Summer and be able to offer help to those that need it during the Winter.
It is amazing how safe we feel in such a village, something we never thought we would. You are as safe walking through the village at 3 am as you are at 1pm in the Summer. The kids venture around the village and we know that they are as safe on their own as they are with us walking with them, it is an amazing feeling to be able to just let the kids have the freedom of the village and be as safe as they are.
There is no way that I can explain how we feel about the village, nobody could, unless you spend time here to live in the village.