Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scenes from south Bulgaria

This man was carrying straw through the village.
One of the jars of tomato sauce that I bought.  She spent the whole night mixing the sauce in this cauldron, and then canned it in the morning, and sterilized it to be sold.
A not-so-ancient method for grilling peppers:  the blow torch
Tobacco drying
Ubiquitous grapes growing on a trellis
Note the front rim, missing a tire

A mysterious minaret that seems to have migrated from Turkey

On our way back from Greece, the new faculty stopped near Bansko, in an old village with thermal baths.  Because I'm not a big fan of dipping myself in hot water on a hot summer day, I wandered into the village in search of people doing whatever it is that people do in Bulgarian villages these days.  It turns out that southern Bulgaria is still pretty traditional in their way of life; though Sofia is modernizing rapidly, this little pocket of the country was agricultural, and on a very small scale.  Even within people's modest yards, they managed to cultivate products ranging from grapes to peppers, tobacco to tomatoes.  I was even able to buy a jar of tomato sauce fresh from the cauldron in which it was being sterilized (though I was told to wait until winter before eating it).  Men and women relaxed in the village square, chattering away, and were actually honored to have their picture taken.  Kids raced by on a bike with no front tire, clattering down the street, and loved seeing their images on my camera screen after I took the picture.  It was an altogether refreshing morning, and a nice reminder of how life was before McDonalds ruled the world.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would have liked being with you on this walk, Brett. Thanks for bringing me along via your appealing photographs and text. JM