My first real encounter with my neighbours didn’t really occur until I had been here a month,
yes I had said hello and been invited for coffee at all their houses, but that was about the extent of it. Then one afternoon in early Sept 2008 I decided to take a stroll around the village.
I bumped into a few people I knew and asked for directions to the nearest cafe. At the time I didn’t think there was one in the villgae. How wrong could I be. Not only was there a shop,
cafe and pub (all the same place) but they were just 200m from my front door. Though to look at the building from the outside it looked derelict. I thought it was.
This is what it looks like from the back of my house.
So off I went. On arrival I was greeted by some stalwarts of the pub who were having an early afternoon beer. Out came the phrasebook. I introduced myself, which went
down very well as I brought a round of beers with it. One of the stalwarts ‘Erjan’ claimed he spoke fluent French, so we conversed in French until I realised that his fluent
wass much worse than my grade D GCSE. They did however get the message across that they would be going fishing the next day and I would be welcome to come
along and join them. I explained that I didn’t have any fishing rods, but would love to come just for the experience. So I glad I did.
The next morning I set off in my car, picked up two other and we headeed towards the river. There we were met by 4 others, each carrying some viatal equipment for our mission.
2 bottles of mastika, 2 crates of beer, cooking utensils, salad. This I could tell was going to be my kind of fishing trip.
Not having a rod was not a disadvantage as no one else seemed to have any fishing equipment either. Then Osman produced his net. This was strung across the river (5m), everyone then got in the water
20 m upstream and chased the fish into the net. I was quite surprised at the effectiveness of this approach. Even if the fish were quite small. Larger fish were chased into the roots of
trees overhanging the river and caught by hand. I attempted this but when I eventually found a fish it startled me that much that it got away. I thought it might have been a snake.
So after an hour of splashing around in the river for an hour it was decided that we had enough for our needs, then the action really started. Two people were set to gutting and
descaling the fish, two more were put on salad duty, whilst me and Erjan decided to make a fire to cook the fish and refresh ourselves with a beer.
The fish after being gutted was battered and shallow fried, this was served along with our fresh salad (including dressing), and washed down with the tipple of your choice.
Then everyone started to make themselves comfortable. It was 3 in the afternoon very hot and everyone was a bit tipsy. To the outside world 8 slightly overweight middle aged men,
dressed in nothing but there pants, getting comfortable under a tree in the afternoon would seem perverse. Here in Bulgaria it seems it was the done thing. The snoring within 10 minutes, was
astounding. But the experience was quite out of this world.