Leka Rabota; Leka Sichko

Hot, sticky but better than being cold, that’s how it is in Bulgaria right now in August. Everything slows down to a standstill in this weather and why not? What’s the rush?

That’s the attitude of every Bulgarian I know right now. They’ll go to work, slowly, and once there the pace remains slow, like I said it’s hot sticky and there is no sense in busting a gut under these conditions. The Bulgarian bosses and managers who employ all these slow paced workers are of the same opinion. “Leka rabota!” (easy work) they would say when the work force comes into work in the morning. Of course they have no other option other obey that greeting from their peers and do just that, work slowly.

I remember a quote from a worker when he asked me what I like about the Bulgarian weather. I gave him his answer saying that the long hot summers are great and the winters are sharp and short. His version of Bulgarian weather was “It’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter!” Well he had a point but I mentioned the fact that where would the rakia come from without this Bulgarian climate. He didn’t have an answer to that one and just grinned and shrugged his shoulders; he knew this was an important point.

So too hot in the summer it may be but that all depends where you are and what you are doing. In Yambol the temperature is raised by the fact it is a town and has a town climate. It is much closer and hotter in the town, there is never any breeze on really hot days and if it is going to thunderstorm or floods it will be in and around the town area.

In the villages that are more than 5-10 kilometres away from the town the weather during the summer is magical, the breeze that runs over the Thracian plain and the lack of pollution just make it so much fresher, less clammy and a joy to be in. The village folk still work very slowly all year round but that’s how it has always been. It’s not because of the weather but due to their culture and tradition. No rush whatever the job, even if you were bleeding to death, there would be no rush on!

So in Bulgarian, the Leka Rabota phrase is currently very popular; Leka Sichko (Everything easy) is even more popular, but not quite as popular as the all year round phrase “What are you doing?” (See Bulgarian Small Talk)