I headed to town pretty early today to get bread and tomatoes. The man who has picked me up a few times pulled over just as I got to the village square so I got a quick ride into town. Yay!

He’s very chatty and not daunted by the fact that I barely understand anything he says. He started to go on about Teteven and since he said bazaar and Saturday, I figured he was asking me if I’d been to the market there (sadly, no). To show that I was getting the gist of this part of our conversation, I said, “Big bazaar Teteven,” and he rolled his eyes and said, “Very big! The Yablanitsa bazaar is very small!”

And that’s as far as we got even though he kept talking!

We got to town and he pulled over at his usual spot, then said what I understood to be, “Be here at 9:30 and I’ll take you back to Malak Izvor.” I thanked him and made a note that I had 45 minutes to test my understanding of what he’d said.

First stop was the trouser lady. Unfortunately, my capris will not survive my Bulgarian summer. I bought them at the last minute because I knew I’d be hiking a lot here and so they have practically been my uniform. There are stained and also discoloured from my having had to type on my lap all summer. I don’t feel comfortable wearing them in “public,” ie. any further than the village shop.

I immediately spotted exactly what I wanted: black, rayon-type material that looks and feels luxurious and washes well, suitable for a night out or slouching about, and capri length. The lady came over and took the ones I was examining out of my hand and said, “Too big!” She pulled out another pair and showed me that they would fit perfectly even though they were marked XXXL. Wow, I’ve never worn more than XL in my life (and currently wear medium), but she was right!

I asked her how much, bracing myself and happy I had tons of cash. Well, while I understood her answer, I couldn’t believe it. Ten?! She held up ten fingers to confirm I was hearing correctly. 10BGN! 7.60CAD or 5.80USD! WOW!!!

This photo really does not do them justice. I need a cute top to wear with them!


I got my tomatoes after and then headed to the supermarket. Yablanitsa is a normal Bulgarian town and pretty ugly, but sometimes it surprises me:


I didn’t need much at the supermarket, but I did pick up a tin of sardines for my love bugs. I can’t believe we only have another three weeks together! 🙁 I also got a chocolate orange ice cream cone. 🙂

It was almost 9:30 by the time I had finished my ice cream and returned to the market. I didn’t see my chauffeur, so I perused the wares again, really wanting some green grapes. Finally, I decided that I was very likely getting a lift home and so the grapes would survive the trip. So I found the vendor who had the freshest looking ones and handed him a bunch. He weighed them and quoted me the price, which was either $1.30 or $1.13, with the former being much more likely. I handed him a 2BGN note and then said, “Um, three…?” passing over the 30 stotinki I’d conveniently gotten as change at the supermarket. The merchant grinned and said, “Very good, thank you!” passing me a 1BGN coin as change.

Bulgarians love you when you have exact change or are able to make change a whole number. Rae’s Bulgaria travel tip of the day!

I promptly sampled my purchase. YUM.

I got back to the drop off point at exactly 9:30 and guess who pulled up? Yep, Mr. Chauffeur! I had understood him! Wow!

However, I didn’t understand a word he said on the drive home. *wry grin*

He dropped me off at the guesthouse and then I schlepped up the hill to put away my groceries and give my charges their late breakfast.

Mechka and Penghu are greedy pigs, so I always leave some in the tin for Sausage and this way I know everyone gets his or her share! They were very happy with their treat!


I have to share something Penghu did last night because never in my life has a cat made me laugh so hard before!

Night before last, I gave Mechka and Sausage a treat and then Penghu ran in the house meowing at the injustice of it all. I had a nearly empty sour cream container ready for him, so he was happy! I don’t know if that was a trigger, but he was incredibly affectionate and cuddly all evening and that followed into yesterday. His favourite spot is to lie across my neck and burrow in, which is great because it means I can keep working as he snuggles.

Around ten last night, I gently pried him off me and took him outside because I don’t want him in the house at night or when I’m not there (I don’t trust him in the kitchen). He immediately ran back into the house. I went into the kitchen and bedroom, but he wasn’t there and I figured he was just messing with me and had sneaked back out. So I closed up and headed to the shower.

The shower is huge and it takes a moment for the hot water to come, so I step in, turn it on, then step back out to put together my sleep wear and lay out the towel I use as a bath mat. So I started on that last night, got the water on, turned around, and… found a very sheepish looking Penghu huddled in the corner of the shower (away from the shower spray)! The look on his face was almost as priceless as what my shriek of surprise must have been! I would take bets that he is extremely intelligent and his reasoning was that since he’s never seen me in the shower, I must not go in there and therefore it would be the perfect hiding spot. Ha ha ha. I brought him outside again and he again tried to come in, but I managed to get the door shut before he could.

I really hadn’t expected to bond so hard with my charges and I am spoiled for life when it comes to dogs. But I’m grateful that we’ve had such a lovely time together.

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