storytime #001 - first time in bulgaria
i've been coming out to bulgaria since it joined the EU in 2007.
to cut a long story short, my grandma retired out here in 2007 and my mum, uncle and auntie followed suit. it was so exciting being told as a young teenager that you were going to be moving abroad and having so many adventures!
so in 2009, once my mum and stepdad were comfortable, i came out for a summer.
the culture shock was intense. as a scot, brought up in her teenage years in england, i thought that i would understand that there would be some differences. i just, didn't expect what i was going to be expecting.
here is an extract from my diary that i thought i would share with you.
july 23rd 2009
today had to be one of the weirdest days i think i've ever lived. i always knew that moving abroad would be difficult, i just didn't realise how difficult and weird it could be. like, ever.
today, mum asked me to go to the shop on my own to get some milk. under normal circumstances, i wouldn't mind (well maybe a little, but free holiday lol). but this was abit different. i had never been to the local shop before, neither did i know alot of the language. i thought why not to keep mum happy and off i walked.
it's one of those walks i don't think i would every forget. EVERYONE was staring at me, like i was a alien or something, i felt nervous but it was okay because a man gave me a packet of cigarettes for 2 lev lol. there were so cool because they had leopard print on the filter (me now: god damn, was someone trying to groom me).
i finally got to the shop and i waved to say hello. the lady behind the counter and the group of younger looking men, sitting at the table smoking looked at me like they knew i wasn't from the village, but i kept walking around, trying to find some milk.
i couldn't find it. the people in the shop were staring at me because i kept going around in circles. i finally asked;
"erm.. milk.. mlyko?"
the old lady looked at me behind the counter and said "ne"
i sighed and i was walking towards the door when one of the young men said
"hello, do you want milk?"
i turned towards him and said yes
"okay, i will find milk for you"
he then spoke to the lady behind the counter and walked out of the shop towards a cart pulled up outside the shop. i waited for literally only a few seconds when he walked back in and said
"no milk, but friend has milk".
i was nervous. this lad had taken me by the arm and dragged me towards a house opposite the shop. he knocked on the door and a lady answered. they started talking and she looked at me and smiled (me now: fuck, why did i not run? i could have been like, murdered or something).
"hello, my grandma has milk, let me take you there"
i was shocked. how many people spoke english? maybe i don't need to learn the language at all!!!! but i said okay. i said bye and thank you to the man and he waved me off.
the lady spoke really good english. she wad working in plovdiv as a nurse but had worked as a carer in the uk. she was so friendly.
we walked for ages, maybe 30 minutes or something. my phone died (me now: lol of course it did, phones were shite back then) so i was getting worried. i was even more worried that mum thought i had got lost or died!
after a long walk, we finally got to her grandma's house. it was so beautiful! so many colourful flowers, a really big garden and there was a cow! wow! so cool, i love cows! (me now: fuck no wonder i had no friends).
anyway, she walked upto her grandma's house and let herself in. i stayed outside to stay respectful. after a few minutes, grandma came out and waved at me, i think she said hello? (me now: yes, she said hello) and had an empty coca-cola bottle in her hand. i think her husband was behind her and grabbed the empty bottle and walked over to the cow and started milking it!!!! what the fuck!!!! someone milking a cow into a coke bottle!!!! never seen anything like it!!! (me now: of course, it's normal fuck sake..).
i stood there in just shock. my mouth dropped and the young lady was laughing at me for ages while the milk was filling the bottle. once it was full, he closed the bottle and walked over to hand it to me. it was SO WARM.
i said to the young lady that i had 2 lev in my pocket and i wanted her to have it for her time. the grandma said no? (me now: yes, she said no and said keep it for sweets) and waved me goodbye.
so i walked home... in the heat... with some really warm, straight from the cow milk in a coke bottle.
i finally got home. i was so thirsty but was so scared to drink the milk. it was hot, i was thirsty! i just wanted some water! mum came running towards me but slowly started walking towards me
"WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? I HAVE TRIED CALLING YOU! EVERYONE IS OUT LOOKING FOR YOU! WHAT IS IN YOUR HAND?!"
i handed her the bottle and said
"this is why i am late. i went to the shop and in return, i saw an old man milk a cow into a plastic coke bottle. where is my best daughter in the world mug?" (me now: sassy bitch)
mum looked at me and burst into tears and laughter. i wish at the time i thought it was funny, but i was so tired and hot.
i don't want to go to the shop again but i did get some cigs that i can hide from mum lol