My Favourite Childhood Poem

I was just sitting in the park today when, all of a sudden, I remembered a line from a childhood poem. I feel like in most European kids have to memorize poems by heart when growing up. (My Italian flatmate did confirm this, so we’re 2/2). Reading the poem again made all the memories of being a 3 years old in Sofia come back.

And to this day, РОДНА СТРЯХА is one of my favourite pieces of writing:

Бяла, спретната къщурка,
две липи отпред.
Тука майчина милувка
сетих най-напред.

Тука, под липите стари
не веднъж играх;
тука с весели другари
скачах и се смях…

Къщичке на дните злати,
кът свиден и мил!
И за царските палати
не бих те сменил!

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The small things: Bulgarian Edition

Almost every summer, I go back to see my friends and family in Bulgaria. I always end up doing the same trip around the country – starting with Sofia, going to Plovdiv and then Krichim (a little farming village where my grandparents live). This time, I managed to also take a day trip to Пазарджик.

And there are a few moments that made me appreciate the life and people here as I’ve experienced it over the years:

  1. Sitting on the curb in front of my grandpa’s house and eating sunflower seeds. Some of the best pointless, but meaningful discussions have happened over sunflower seeds. Did you know we have a very specific verb in Bulgarian for the act of opening a seed with your teeth? ‘Aс чопла семки!’
  2. Watching a Turkish adaptation of the OC show with Bulgarian voices dubbed over and having to explain that my life in Orange County is nothing like it’s represented on the screen!
  3. Nature – when driving around Bulgaria, I’m always overwhelmed by the beauty of the countryside. In fields of roses, wheat, and tomatoes, I find the most interesting shapes that are cast by the puffy clouds above. Somehow my thoughts also seem to wander, between the rows of cherry trees and mountain ranges, as the car calmly passes by a small tractor on the road.
  4. Fighting to pay the check – it’s an honour to pay the bill. At the end of the night, There’s always a critical act of theatre in which each protagonist defends their family honour. (I managed to win last night, but only because I snuck in ‘to go to the bathroom’ and paid before my cousins could slip the waiter cash for the whole table!)
  5. Hospitality – within seconds of walking into someone’s home, the table will be filled with biscuits, chocolates, roasted peanuts, and fresh fruit.  Just as it’s a rule to never go over to someone’s house empty-handed, you must also be ready to accept guests  into your home at all times.
  6. Eating so much fresh watermelon that your stomach hurts, but your taste buds are satisfied with the taste of summer.

Чао! До скоро!

TRAVELING, blogging, and drawing.

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I’m currently at Heathrow Terminal 1 about to debark towards Sofia, Bulgaria. There is nothing better than siting down with a coffee and my sketchbook at the airport. The rush of adventure, the fear of take-off, the assurance that I’ve passed security, and the calm of coffee. I remember my elementary teachers saying that you remember things better if you write them down. I don’t know whether that is scientifically proven, but I find it to be true. Therefore, I try to reflect and write down my impressions and reflections of my travels. This trip will be purely personal (going to visit family) but equally offers the opportunity for diversity and variation in my life. So for now, I say bye and здрасти София … Предстегам след 6 цаса… Имам престой в Германия.

Happy First of March.

Happy First of March.

In Bulgaria, the 1st of March is a national holiday under the the title ‘ Baba Marta’ – translated as ‘Grandma March.’ The tradition is that you put on your ‘martenitsa’ on the 1st of March and you wait until you see the first stork to take it off. A ‘martenitsa’ is made of red and white yarn to symbolise good health. It can take the form of a bracelet (the more hipster version) or a man and woman tassel that you pin to your outfit each day. The stork symbolises the coming season of Spring. And when you take it off… you can either tie it to a tree or children put it under a rock and the stork comes to replace your ‘martenitsa’ with money (one could say that this is a Tooth Fairy equivalent as there is no such story in Bulgarian Culture).

So here’s to the ending of Winter, and to a new spring. It may not be a new year, but personally, I feel like new opportunities are calling with the blossoming flowers.

Martenitsa

Честитa баба мартa, аз ви пожелавам щастие, здраве и късмет за пролетта.

Undercover as a Bulgarian TV star.

This summer, I worked with the Coordinator of Productions and TV Drama Executive producer at Sia Productions to help with the pre-production and production of season 4 for ‘Undercover’ – one of the most popular bulgarian TV shows. I wanted to sneak in one of the shots to claim some foreign fame – but alas, I was on duty for the sound recording equiptment most of the time.

Here’s the tailer for Season 3!