Big Rock - Big Snake?

This was the second evening in a row that we were in a Yambol apartment with song, dance, food and drink, the hangover from the night before still hanging we started off at around 5:00 with today the 1st March being the Baba Marta Den (Grandmother Marta Day) and the name day of those whose name has attributes to the name Marta, so it was my name day today as well (Martin). The whole of Bulgaria celebrate this day with song, dance, food and drink, well actually just a bit more than normal working days.

There were Bulgarian friends here tonight who we hadn't met before - all men! Silva, the hostess could be called middle aged, single, free and remains a very attractive proposition to many men who cross her path. Even though she has to care for her Baba which is a full time job, she is living life to the full right now, and deservedly so as she has worked very hard abroad over the last few years. She has been married twice before, but the Bulgarian men never lived up to here expectations. She was the life and soul of the party yesterday night and kicked off again this evening with more of the same.

There was no Dimco and Poliya tonight, but instead local neighbours mainly from the same block apartment. Dimco had left his guitar behind and this was taken up and used this evening from another Bulgarian guitar playing talent in the room. Three hefty Bulgarian men took up most of the bed sofa space. Like typical Bulgarian men they were all short and stocky, built like weightlifters. All I kept thinking of was three Humpty Dumpties sat on the wall!

It is normal that Bulgarians look deadly serious when you first meet them, but as you get to know them they start melting and become very warm and friendly after a while. This was exactly what happened this evening. A slightly nervy start, which was based on taking these guys at face value - They would scare the s*** out of most people if you met them in a dark alley! In fact a great deal of the evening was spent talking about why they look like they do.

Their names were Yordan, Avram and Nikolai respectively, all gradually warmed up with rakia and great Bulgarian food they found out that I jog 4 km everyday. All three couldn't understand why I jog to lose weight. Explaining that it was good for your heart not to be 'fat' was laughed at as they stood up and compared stomachs with each other, then their philosophy came out. Being slight in build equates to being weak, it is the Bulgarian way to be large so people are scared of you when you walk the streets. Being large is being strong and confident so yo can hold you head up high and not be scared of anything that comes your way. They believe that fitness is important, but alongside the big build. They asked who would win if I picked a fight with any one of them - I was no contest for them I agree.

As I thought about what they were saying. I explained that I have a different build that their Bulgarian bodies and that if I was to work on being as large as they were I would be in an early grave. Their argument was to do fitness in the gym or which they all do based around lifting weights.

Well the argument whether a big or athletic build is better went on most of the evening. I suppose the past and fighting for you country has something to do with it, it wasn't that long ago, two or three generations that Bulgaria was a land of warriors fighting for their Independence, there was no need for athletically built Bulgarian in hand to hand combat. But then on the other hand coming from a health conscious background myself, it is an inbuilt goal of mine to be fit and not overweight.

The other argument they had, but wasn't proved this particular evening was that you find bigger snakes where there are bigger rocks!