Welcome Home to Bulgaria Sylvia

Monday morning and Galia and I can hardly move, as the muscles in our bodies seemed to have been through ten rounds in a boxing ring and we were the losers. Why?

Welcome Home to Bulgaria SylviaIt all started with Galia’s niece turning up in Bulgaria, she had been working as a nurse in Greece for the last four years. She had decided to come back to Bulgaria and a home welcoming evening was organised at a Yambol restaurant last Saturday evening. In attendance were Galia, her niece (the nurse) another niece of Galia’s, plus another friend of the family. The scenario is set for four beautiful women and myself out for the evening and the best part of the morning., We partied on until we dropped, how fortunate am I and Sylvia insisted she paid for the whole evening! She had been earning ‘real money’ in Greece, not the pittance given out in wages to employees in Bulgaria - After all, that’s exactly why here and millions of other work abroad.

We all met at 7:30 in a well-known Bulgarian restaurant and the eating and drinking began. Four years away and Sylvia had lots to talk about with her experiences working in Greece. My goodness can she talk, Bulgarian are renown for their non-stop talking and conversation, but this to date was the most incessant example I had experienced since coming here. Four Bulgarian women talking all night, not much food was eaten, too much talking for that, but quite a bit of rakia was downed throughout the night, Sylvia loves rakia, she couldn’t get it in Greece and was making up for time.

We were due to attend a retro music discothèque after the restaurant, as Galia and myself took off to make a reservation at around 9:30. But to our disappointment it was fully booked and we had to think of alternative plans after we had got back to the talking, salads and Rakia.

During the course of out restaurant stay, I was fortunate to meet the Head coach of the Bulgarian National Basketball team, I had met Ivan once before on the 'St. George' Name Day party in Yambol's big Diana Park in the summer. Lovely chap, but he was letting his hair down tonight with friends, he still smokes with his left hand and rakia held in the right as I remember from before.

Welcome Home to Bulgaria SylviaSylvia was a stressed Bulgarian woman this evening, it showed as she couldn’t get her words out fast enough – she wanted to get it all off her chest. She told tales of how badly she had been treated in Greece by the men who have no respect fro their own women let alone Bulgarian women. She spent most of her time indoors tending the sick. Never had hardly any time off and what time was off was spent sleeping recovering from the workload. She never wants to go back there again and realises that money is important but there is no quality of life doing what she was doing away from family. She intends to work in Bulgaria but won’t even think about work until the New Year – she needs time to recover mentally from the experience. Galia and I know exactly what she is going through on that scale.

Welcome Home to Bulgaria SylviaWe had some musical visitors; a local village called Kabile has a Gypsy band. They came in to perform well-known Bulgarian songs but in Gypsy style arrangements that involved a lot of unified singing (shouted in the main) with a rhythm that never stops. The band consists of an accordion, two clarinets, a violin and two drummers. They were loud, brash and full of energy and they were still playing gone midnight as we left.

Welcome Home to Bulgaria SylviaWe went to another restaurant with more live music, this time Bulgarian/Greek/Gypsy style with the Gypsy element on keyboard the Greek on the bouzouki and Bulgarian sung by the very big male vocalist. We spent the rest of the evening now on beer and dance with a little meze on the table.

The dancing just went from strength to strength with music just calling and wanting to be danced to. This of course was expected from everyone who dined there as the lines of Bulgarians with traditional dance steps were made throughout the evening.

We finally finished at gone 3:00 in the morning and in bed just before 4:00 after walking a few kilometres in the crisp clear Yambol air. We never get drunk of course, there is far too much dancing to ever get that close, besides it isn’t the Bulgarian way to do this.

A night out with my Bulgarian family was an absolute pleasure, we are all glad to see Sylvia back in Bulgaria, but as we all know here, she will need time to recover from being away, this is important for tonight we knew she wasn’t at all right from the experience of being away from her homeland.

As for us, well we all know now why it is painful to move today, the dancing we did would merits a marathon! We probably lost weight that evening!