Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Kamila the New Bulgarian Route Master

Kamila the New Bulgarian Route MasterWe were due to go to Stara Zagora last weekend but forecast for snow put us and we are now due to try again tis coming weekend. Kamila was to come with us as she really doesn't get out enough.

When Kamila found that she was to coming with us, the questons started and the answers were given:

Where is Stara Zagora?
West of Yambol.

How far is it away?
50 Kilometres from Yambol.

How long will it take to get there
About an hour by car.

Is it a big town?

Yes, it is the biggest in the region.

Can we take Eli with us as well?

Of course, as long as you make sure she doesn't get lost.

With all these questions answered Kamila also wanted to know which roads we would have to take. With this we presented her with a map. We showed her where Yambol was and then pointed on to the place on the map where Stara Zagora was.

"Now Kamila, it is you job to find out how we get from Yambol to Stara Zagora, you are the Route Master and tell us which roads to take." we said.

Kamila looked down at the map at all the lines and shaded areas looking confused. All the town were in Bulgarian but she knew the two places we had shown here so it didn't really matter. "Don't worry about a thing," Kamila suddenly said. "I will make sure that we get there safely, you can trust me." she added.

We looked at Kamila as she paced her eyes up and down the map. We wasn't sure that she understood as we said "Okay Kamila, you are in charge of the navigation, we trust you."

(We daren't tell her that we knew the way without a map, but that's out little secret. )

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Boiled Bulgarian Cabbage Stew

Boiled Bulgarian Cabbage
Kamila is such a helpful Camel around the house, when she is not playing with here friend, her helping hand is always there and today was no exception.

It is on the borders of winter now in Bulgaria and one of the most favourite of foods in this season, the humble cabbage. Well it may be humble in other countries but here it is the king of food in winter. Kamila had tired cabbage salad before and being a vegetarian Camel had the opinion that this was one of her most favourite foods and that the cabbage salad couldn't be surpassed, until today.

Baba was to make a boiled Bulgarian Cabbage Stew for this lunchtime and evening meal and Kamila was by her side helping out all the way through the process. She watched the ingredients go in one by one and took charge of the supervision throughout the two hour cooking period. She was fascinated by how easy the meal was to make and all the ingredients (all vegetarian) were so simple - Cabbage, tomatoes, onions, red pepper, salt and some sunflower oil was all that was required.

The meal was ready at lunchtime as we all tucked in, it was so sweet and moreish that Kamila gave this meal the mark of her favourite meal of all time and that is some accolade for a food as simple as this.

Her last remarks were, 'This cabbage meal wouldn't taste the same anywhere else!' We all agreed as we had tried it elsewhere and it just fails.

Kamila is learning all the time that the food here is the simplest and the best.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Bulgarian Calendar

The Bulgarian CalendarEvery day that goes by Kamila has a little glance at a Bulgarian calendar that is pinned to a cupboard in the kitchen. It is a daily fascination as she tries to say the new day in Bulgarian.

In the middle of the calendar is a picture of Jesus and underneath special days and Holy days of the Bulgarian year. Kamila is now quite good as saying the dates and day so the week, this is good practice for her over the last six months.

"Why are there seven day in a week?" questioned Kamila.

We tried to explained that the Bible explain how God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. This seventh day became the Jewish day of rest, the sabbath, Saturday. Also that the seven day week may have come about because it is roughly the same time of one moon phase.

Kamila listened with interest, but didn't fully understand the second reason. She changed the subject mentioning that she is glad that it is November now as in previous months she occasionally got a stiff neck trying looking upwards; November is right at the bottom of the calendar alongside December.

"Do they put the winter months at the bottom of the calendar because it's cold and you'd get a stiff neck trying to stretch up trying to read it?" Kamila asked.

"We don't think so, what a strange thought Kamila," we said.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Plastic Flowers for a Birthday

This day the 4th of November, was a special one for one of the household. It was something that Kamila knew about as recently she was the focus of another special day. It was someone's birthday, Roshden Den (Birthday Day) as they call it here in Bulgaria.

Yesterday Kamila had taken a trip to the shops to buy some chocolates and some flowers, she had been saving up over the last few weeks for this and was very excited at the prospect of giving rather than taking for a change. She originally was going to buy some 'real' flowers but then remembered that they were going to be far too expensive. We suggested she tries the 1 leva shop, which sells plastic flowers as bargain prices and that's exactly where she went.

Today the flowers and chocolates were presented to the birthday Baba who is 85 today. She was extremely happy with the flowers and said that plastic one were far better that the real ones as they last for ever! Kamila's knew exactly what she was talking about as she had experience of the arguement between real and plastic flowers before.

The celebrations will continue this evening after work and more chocolates will be passed around; we had already had some at 7:00 this morning. Kamila is very much looking forward to that, she just loves parties.