Ironing Things Out Bulgarian Style

Early morning, we had just woken up to the bright blue sky and ever ripening grapes seen looking out of the window that had remained open all night. “Happy 2nd Anniversary” was whisper to Galia as I gently kissed her on the cheek. “Blagodariya” was the soft reply and a return of a kiss. It was exactly 2 years now since first meeting Galia but to both of us it felt like a lifetime that we’d had together.

We made our way to do the routine things we do on a working day expect there was one extra thing today that had to be done, a bus had to be ironed, it had travel back from the Skalitsa Farmhouse and had been creased in transit. This woman and most other Bulgarian women must have a perfectly prepared set of clothing before setting to town in a public view. “I am not a village woman Martin!” would be her comment when I say it doesn’t matter.

So while Galia’s back was turned I go the iron out and was about to iron her blouse, it was always me that did the ironing in the UK so I though nothing of it this morning. I was caught in the act of ironing with Galia reacting on sight with a great intake air into her lungs before forcefully saying that it was not normal for a man to do the ironing in this country and that I was to give the iron to her. She went on to tell me that I didn’t understand how the iron worked or how to use the iron.

Regardless of my effort to explain that I did understand and knew how to iron from my past, it was falling on deaf ears. Galia refused to believe that a man could ever understand the complexes of the iron so I left it like that. I really felt quite insulted about trying to help and getting this agitated response. But then Galia probably feels just as insulted by me taking up something that she and most other women in Bulgaria do as a custom.

So I left it like that, “I’m glad we ironed that one out,” I said. But Galia didn’t get it, the pun doesn’t translate very well in Bulgarian.



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