A Bulgarian Birthday Without Fuss

A birthday is something both Galia and I both can’t wait to get over. There is too much fuss made with it, especially that we are both getting on a bit. Bulgarians love celebrating things and birthdays is an occasion where this is more than just an excuse to have a get together with food and drink. Such an occasion was last Friday with Galia’s birthday.

Our normal plan on Friday is to zoom off to the farmhouse directly finishing work at 5:00 and even though it was Galia’s birthday that day the plan still stood for us to do that. The reason were two fold, the corps needed watering that very evening and Galia just didn’t’ want to be around as she knew there would be lots of fussing an guests on here birthday, this is something she didn’t want so the village destination was on to get away from this.

It’s never that easy as Galia’s son turned up just before we were to leave and he was to travelled with us to the farmhouse as a guest with his girlfriend joining us the following day after she finished work in the evening. Then there were more people who were crammed in the car after we had been shopping for provision. Out village neighbours and their Labrador dog clambered in the Lada with the boot full of factory farm produced peppers for barbecuing and 75 kg of ceramic tiling which our guests wanted transporting as their bathroom was being renovated this weekend. We felt every bump on the road to Skalitsa as the Lada bottomed out on each bump and there ARE LOTS OF BUMPS!

Everyone knew it was Galia’s birthday but most people just wish Happy Birthday along with wishes of good luck, business, health and love, gifts aren’t always given and to be quite honest both Galia and I are quite embarrassed with receiving them as we know money is very short here. I had paid for an item of clothing a week ago and Galia insisted that was to be all she wanted from me as a birthday gift. Although we don’t want presents we both can’t help not getting each other a little gift. That’s all she got from me as she would become upset if I bought something else, I know I’ve done it before and I felt as guilty as Galia.

The evening was spent as a threesome with Galia son and me as we sat outside in the dark night sipping rakia and salad and went inside later to present Galia with a little cake with three candles which we use again and again for every birthday in Skalitsa. A Happy Birthday song sung badly a birthday kiss and the candles blown out and that was the entirety of the birthday celebrations. We were all tuck in bed by 10:00 – The reason? We were all going to go fishing in the morning and the alarms were set for a 5:30 rise!

Galia really enjoy the little fuss that was made on this day she calls ‘unspecial’. I know what she means. Birthday celebrations to Galia and I are to be celebrated but not lavishly with massive festivities and expense. The little cake and song along with the spoken wishes were just enough put a silver lining on an ordinary day and that’s all Galia wanted.

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