A free concert given by M-Tel, one of the largest mobile phone companies in Bulgaria, and it just happened to be taking place in the park down the street from our house. Jodie was very tired and stayed at home, but I joined some 30,000 young Bulgarians to see Enrique.
First to perform was British singer and disc jockey Sonique. After her set there was a long intermission with M-Tel commercials shown on the huge screens around the park. Finally Enrique took to the stage.
I must say, he was a real mensch. He spoke to the crowd in Bulgarian, frequently interjected "Sofia" into his talking and even once into his lyrics. At one point he invited two Bulgarian youths onto the stage and interviewed them, and during the encore he invited a young girl onto the stage and sang his hit "Hero" to her.
And afterwards there was an amazing fireworks display.
Jodie heard everything from our apartment, both from our porch and even while reading in bed. I was glad that I was part of this …
At a distance of one month, it's sometimes hard to believe that we spent two wonderful years living in Bulgaria. We look back with fond memories at the many places we visited, the many people we met, and the many things we learned about Bulgaria, its culture and history. This started as a Top Ten list, but there were too many places to list, so it became a Top 15 list, and still, some of the colorful destinations we visited are not included. The list is presented in alphabetical order.
Balchik. On the Black Sea coast, this town was the summer home of Queen Marie of Romania. We enjoyed walking around the botanical gardens, seeing the old style houses and the simple palace that captured the heart of the Romanian queen.
Belogradchik. Belogradchik is a town in northwestern Bulgaria and also the name of a fortress and nature reserve of bizarrely shaped sandstone, limestone and other rock formations. The Belogradchik Rocks were Bulgaria's candidate in the campaign for New Seven Wonder…
Pogacha is a traditional, round bread which is used in many Bulgarian ceremonies and celebrations. This was also the name for the celebration that we were invited to by one of my colleagues, Luca, and his wife Iva, in honor of the birth of their son, Nicola.
Although the customs surrounding the birth of a baby had their origins many centuries ago, and most of them have not survived, there are still some customs which have made it to modern times and are generally followed by all women after giving birth.
When a baby is born, the baby is not taken out of the house for a period of 40 days. During this time, only close family members are allowed to visit and to see the baby. In ancient times, this was due to the fact that a woman was considered “unclean” and as a result, she and her baby were at great risk from evil spirits. Today, it is more of a feeling of protecting the baby from germs and keeping him safe. At the end of the 40 days, there is a celebration, which only the women family m…