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A Helping Hand - 26 Oct 2010
  Bulgarian village life, along with good neighbours is a good way to live. There can never be two days that are the same. Coming up to the end of October, and there is little to be done in the garden, except to dig for next year. This can not be done in a day and I typically set two hours aside each day to do a bit of digging. Yesterday after my mornings work in the garden, I was just settling down with a book when Ilyas came knocking on the door.

"Dominik, mojay malko pomosht" (Dominic, can you help a little)

"Da, mojay" (Yes I can)

I should advise that this should not be the default answer, I have learnt! So Ilyas and I set off towards his house but stopped outside our joint neighbour Ali. I should have realised then what was to come. It had just gone 2pm, the sun was still high in the sky.

Ilyas had a broad grin on his face as he said to Ali:

"Dominik, nyama robota, samo kaniga" (which roughly translates as Dominic hasn't any work he was just with a book)

Ali was standing by a lagre pile of sand and 15 bags of cement. This was not going to be a little help at all!

Armed as we were with shovels and wheelbarrows, 4 wheelbarrows of cement to 1 50Kg bag of cement, lots of water = concrete with a lot of effort. Not a cement mixer in sight! I quite enjoy a bit of hard work as soon as I get started, and I suppose the best way to get going is just to dive in which is what we did.

Ali's house is on a slow slant, which has meant the side of the house highest up is lower in the ground than that of the low side. Which when it rains has caused a slight problem with damp, as the earth has built up above the damp proofing (if there is such a thing in Bulgaria. This has meant that he has had to dig out all the earth and he is now lining this with concrete to stop it filling back up.

I am all for doing things myself, but I really do like efficency. No such thing for your average Bulgarian, rather than pay for a lorry load of premixed concrete lets mix it all by hand. This may save about 85 euros, but you need a lot of volunteers to get the work done. It also takes an awful lot longer! We were kept well watered by Ali's wife with beer. I should point out that beer is not considered drinking as such. In fact it is not uncommon to see Bulgarians having beer with their breakfast at 8 o'clock in the morning! That said I have seen some downing 100ml of Mastika (Ouzo) just as early!

By 7:30pm last night the light was fading and thankfully we were called to a halt. I stumbled home with every muscle aching. Not thinking about what to have for tea as I was too tired.

Luck should have it that Ali soon came by and thanked me for my help with a large bowl of rice and half a roasted chicken on it! Does food always taste better when someone else has cooked it? Yes.

After giving me the food, he invites me up the pub and buys me beer all night as well. Unfortunately as I was so tired I only managed 2 before I started to fall alseep in the chair.

I want one of these!


Welcome to the 'Gud' Life, the home of self Reliant living on the internet. If you are interested in becoming more self reliant, or thinking of selling up and doing it for real you will find all you need to know right here. Written by someone who has done just that. Learn from my many mistakes

  A Quick Note On The Info Given On This Site

Dear All, the information on this website is given as is, I am not a solicitor, and believe the world would be a better place without them. If you follow the advice on this site, and use your common sense you will not come to any harm. I cannot and will not guarantee any of the information here, it is just based on my experience, and I am always willing to learn. Life after all is a learning experience. If you know of better or improved techniques please share them and I will update the site as neccessary. Enjoy and be happy. TGL 

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