Just been up the pub – what a shock!
They are watching the champions league on telly (Trabsonspor v Lille) and the adverts come on for half time. Not your normal heinz beans stuff. The Turks are having problems with some of their neighbours at the moment. They have enough of them. This time it is the Syrians.
So on comes the advert with a cartoon picture of a tank with a syrian flag emblazoned on it and a caricature of the young syrian president ‘Bashar al-Assad‘ he is pointing his tank at the ‘masses’ where one person out of a hundred is wearing a tee-shirt with ‘Terrorist’ written on it. the tank fires and kills 3 people nearby a terrorist but not the terrorist. Then another tee-shirt is emblazoned with the word ‘terrorist’, he shoots again into the masses, misses all the terrorists and kills more blanks, where upon they turn into ‘terrorist’ tee-shirt-wearing proles.
The message is simple, the more of the innocent you kill, the more terrorists you will create. If only ‘Bush & Blair’ had seen this video clip 8 years ago. The war in Iraq has lasted longer than the second world war! Enough said.
After my successful attempt at Rakia, my neighbour Ilyas (as usual), showed me how the locals do it properly. He started with 300 kgs of very ripe plums and fermented them in an old oil drum for three weeks. This was then put through my still and made a very respectful 35 litres at 38%. 38% alcohol in Bulgaria is ‘girls beer’ so through the still it goes again, and out the other side comes benzene! (petrol) He now has 20 litres at 68%! Just so there is more to it than a burning sensation he also added a bottle of creme de menthe (25%alc).
So after a hard day in the sun making petrol we decided to treat our selves to a night in the pub, where the coverage of the 3000 american deaths in the planes that crashed into New York appears on the news. My pub is full of conspiracy theorists, whilst I am just mathematician. Numbers get my goose. This is why.
Now 3000 deaths is a very sad thing, so it is no shock that America has a day of mourning for their people. What I also find shocking is that there is no day of remembrance for the 660,000 dead people in Iraq since 2003 as a consequence of Saudi Arabian nationals attacking America. Or the 10000 deaths in Afghanistan to bring them ‘Democracy’.
That is a twin towers destruction everyday for 220 days, now that really is something quite sad.
Or for the London Bus bombings where 52 people lost there lives imagine that happening everyday for 34 years (12692 days).
No conspiracy theory required, innocent people dead due to the action of a few idiots. Unfortunately for Britain and America we actually voted(not me) for the idiots.
Yesterday I beheaded a lamb, then proceeded to roast and eat the whole thing, with a little help from ‘the pub’. It is not often that we have organised get togethers here in Samodiva but to celebrate my survival of 3 years in the village without upsetting too many people I thought I would try.
The lamb was chosen from a field of 50, I say chosen, it was the slowest in trying to get away, we then slaughtered and butchered it between me and Ilyas (my knife wielding neighbour), which all in only took 20 mins. My knowledge of sheep anatomy is now quite good. There was not much left for the dogs to munch on. The intestines, stomach, liver, heart, and kidneys are all eaten – not my cup of tea, but each to there own. I then took ‘larry’ the lamb in to the local town of Djebel where he was placed in the bakeries oven and slow roasted until needed later. The slaughtering had to be done quite early in the morning as the temperature rockets to 35C by 10:00am.
A few invites were passed round the village, including two sheep farmers, you would have thought they would be sick of the sight of lamb, but seemed quite impressed with preparation none the less.
Between the 10 of us we managed to get through the whole lamb so I think I will be vegetarian for the next few days! Too much of a good thing. I didn’t mention much the 3-0 scoreline in Sofia on Friday, or the fact that Turkey only managed a draw at home to Kazakhstan!
Just for Elsa thought I would post this, he does have his own tractor you know! Doesn’t Ilyas look happy with his scheming?
So there I was on Friday, minding my own business bottling tomatoes (not a kilner jar in sight) when Ilyas my next door neighbour
obviously thinks it is all a bit quiet for 7 o’clock on a Friday and turns up at my house with a plate full of gutted and beheaded fish from the local river
see clean pants entry here. So out comes the frying pan some flour and enough salt to raise the blood pressure
of a whale. There was obviously more fish than two people could eat so we phoned around to see who would like to come and share. Gunai back from working in
Rotterdam is keen to take up the challenge and comes armed with 8 litres of beer to add to the bottle of gin that had some how sneaked into my fridge.
One of the great things about Bulgaria is the price of booze – I know beer is bad, smoking is bad, eating salty food is bad. So what, I will die young, but I will die with a smile on my face.
Unlike all those righteous bastards, who will live to a 100 and be down right unhappy everyday of their life trying to stop me enjoying mine. Oops! Rant over, anyway
booze in Bulgaria – the gin costs less than tonic. Whats not to like!
So with the beer supply running low, and darkness encrouching in my garden we decide it is best to head to the pub, taking with us the remaining fish and
a watermelon out of my back yard.
Ilyas & Gunai
Beer, Fags, & Salty food = 3 happy men!
The fish finally got finished with the help of Halid the sheep farmer. My Bulgarian is now good enough to have a decent conversation, in fact the more beer I drank
the more fluent I became. Ilyas even speaks the odd word of Welsh ‘Yak-e-Dar’. The main topic of conversation was the making of Rakia. Which for all its
translations of brandy, whiskey is in fact nothing other than moonshine. Last year purely in the intrest of science I decided to give it go the results are here.
This year the plum/damson thingy tree (Sliven) in the garden next to mine has had a bumper crop and between me and Ilyas we have
harvested about 300kgs of fruit which is fermenting away and should be ready to be distlled in about a months time. Outside estimates are about
30 – 40 litres of loopy juice, we are considering investing in an oak barrel to mellow it a bit as well.
Not sure what they are. Sliva in Bulgarski.
On the downside with temps reaching 38C during the day, this is not the time of year to have a hangover!Ouch!
It has got to the time of the year in which I take my annual bath – whether I need it or not. By which I actually mean going for a swim
in the nearby river, whilst my friends and neighbours catch fish with their hands!
The tempreature is in the mid-30’s so there is nothing quite like a good splash about in fast moving river to help cool you down, with not one pair of speedos
in sight everyone just strip down to their pants (english not american) and just jumps in.
So here are some pictures of rural Bulgaria that you will not find in any Tourist brochure, the nearest road is 3km away and it is mainly used by the
locals for fishing and picnic trips. The scenery is just amazing and these pictures don’t really do it justice. I have left out the picture of me in my
pants so as not to make anyone too envious of my bronzed adonis frame!
And from above (available on google earth)