ANOTHER LANGUAGE, ANOTHER CHILDHOOD (…under some circumcisions)

27 May 2015

A young and academically educated woman gets on plane to fly more than 27 hours across the oceans to live with her sister in Australia.  Lack of knowledge in English, cultural shock, poor choices of words and desperate efforts to look and sound as sophisticated as she use to be back in her small European country take her to a great journey of learning the language and the new life – just like going through another childhood, …under some circumcision circumstances…

“Excuse me please,” those were the only words I could remember in English.  The flight hostess and the rest of the passengers seemed oblivious to my cry for help to find the sick bag.  Maybe I was too far – at the back of the plane, stuck between the plane window and some surfer.
“I need a seat next to the window,” I demanded from the travel agent few months back.  “I get sick.  I’ll take the trip better if I’m next to the window – I can see the road.”  Was it my demand or the explanation that follow, the agent rolled her eyes and gave me a window seat.
Actually, I had more English words in my pockets, but I couldn’t find them.  My sister, she knew my stomach will churn during the endless flight from Europe to Australia and wrote in transliteration how to ask for help.  Damn it – it’s not in the jacket!  Not in the jeans, not in the handbag...  Ah, there you are – together with the “Validol” tablets.  Those I take just in case I suffer from something.  Panic attack, inflamed tonsils, constipation…  A-NY-THING can happen to me when we are up in the skies.  Now, what I was supposed to say to the hostess before I scatter my guts around?  Aha, here it was: “I feel dizzy”.
And just to be in harmony with my sick stomach, the skies turned turbulent.  Lashing rain was whipping the window.  Only when lightning flashed, I could see the blizzard pelting.  We were flying in the middle of a tropical storm.  Oh my!  Oh dear!  I’ll call the hostess!  What was I telling her?  “I feel dizzy”.  Right!  Can’t forget it!
“Are you done with yours?” asked my neighbour pointing at my meal, still untouched on the tray.  He was chewing some salted peanuts like a cud.  I didn’t think I can take the smell of crunched peanuts, greasy dreads sticking from his beanie, the tang of rubber thongs and… ah, wait a moment – was he wearing shorts?  I tossed my tray into his lap and jumped from my seat to call the uncatchable hostess.  The storm, thundering in rhythm with the thumping rain, drowned my words.  The droning and the rocking of the plane were like if I was sitting on the top of a spinning washing machine…
“You’ve been calling?” somebody from behind reproached.
“Oh,” I sighed with relief to see the hostess.
“Excuse me,” I recited with the last yellow-white colour left on my face searching in my mind for the memorised words, “I feel busy!”…

Come fly with me again,

© 2015 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


27 May 2015

Bulgarians have few major seasons of celebration – when there is a wedding, a birth, a christening, a funeral and when a friend pops in.  It is always observed with great care of marking the event.  As the occasion calls, we have to show big deal of generosity and no effort for a head-spinning meal is spared.  And we always take it as if there will be no other wedding, birth, christening, and funeral or (God forbid!) the friend doesn’t come ever again.
So the big pots come out and big and skilful women start sorting the kitchen regiment in kitchen-hand troops and battalions.  While the main meal offensive is in the making at the kitchen headquarters, the drinks are spread around the tables and every one is warming up for the big feast.  That’s the moment when all the hopes are in our brimful cellars and pantries, as the deep, somewhat religious believe in our lands is that drinking has to go with a good snack of appetisers, or as we call them – mezze.
Mezze usually is anything appetising that one can find laying around in their pantries.  However, we are so obsessed with keeping our honour of well stoked and prepared hosts, that our average cellars can put to shame any major delicatessen shop in the City Business District.
And here is the table – hardly fitting all the salami, pickles, fresh salads, spreads and drinks and it is almost like an overture to an opera as grandiose as Verdi’s “Nabucco”.
Yes, we start sparingly, as the night is young and we take time to serenade the stressed hostess that shuffles between the stove and the kitchen oven.  Songs are just one of the good way for digestion of the quantity of alcohol and food we are about to pour down our throats…
And as Bulgaria happened to sit on the Crossroads of Mediterranean world, The Balkans and the Middle East, here the food is all that – Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fusion.  We cook fabulously like Greeks, drink mightily like Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, make love passionately like Italians and sing like Jews on the roof...
I never was a drinker, but always enjoyed this kind of getting together and I really didn’t need to drink to help myself from the table snowed under with irresistible snacks, bites, salami, salads and pickles…
I didn’t need to get drunk to get on the table and dance either.  It was time to be happy, to party and to have fun and I was enjoying every moment of it.  It was time to drink, eat and sing till we forget what got us together…
Now I have spread on my table a bit of everything that I've found rolling in my pantry.  Yes, you guessed it right – my dear friends Ilva and Simi just popped in and we are going to have fun yapping, eating; then talking more and eating some more, till we get up on the table dancing like Zorba.  Come and join us and bring some more food!

Till the next wedding or dear friends stopping by,

© 2015 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


24 May 2015

I don't know other nation like the Bulgarian that celebrates The Pleiades of their enlighteners, teachers and educators.  On 24th of May each year our nation proudly marks the embracing of the Glagolitic Alphabet created by the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius and adapted later by their students into what is now known as Cyrillic Alphabet.  A nation that proudly caries the legacy of rich culture and pioneers.  Thank you!

Върви, народе възродени!

© 2015 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


21 May 2015

Autumn sun was a wicked mistress – alluring and deceiving.
Takahiro could smell the snow in the air while thawing his numb limbs from the freezing muddy road and wet old shoes at the porch that late afternoon.
He was fixing the backdoor screen and pushing away the dead leaves that the wind has swept around the doorway and he couldn’t stop thinking and worrying about making ends meet.
Last night the old monk that knocked on the door for donations gave him a handful of pink Himalayan salt.  And told him stories about the land there.  It nested as a good idea to try his luck there and now he was looking at the snowy tips of the Mount Akita-Komagatake.  The roads were already blocked and unreachable from chest-high snow.  Takahiro had to wait for first melts on spring when the passage will be clear.
He was planning big journey.  And all his hopes were in these pink crystals of salt.

Till next time,

© 2015 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved

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