21 December 2005

Vesela Koleda!

Yesterday I went on a Christmas gift buying spree for the Bulirsch family and my grandmother, with whom I’ll be spending Christmas; as well as my boss, Gergana whose name I drew in our office “secret Santa” present exchange (not to be confused with the Gergana pictured below; it seems to be a very common name here.) Just a few weeks ago, I went to the grand opening of a store called “Ten Senses – Fair Trading Company.” They specialize in handicrafts made by disadvantaged Bulgarians, and their prices are quite reasonable. (BTW, for any of you in or coming to Sofia it’s located 1.5 blocks west of Vitosha Blvd. on William Gladstone St.) So I stocked up on all kinds of little authentic Bulgarian trinkets that can be easily transported in a backpack.

This morning we exchanged the gifts. I gave Gergana my present—a ceramic Christmas bell. She loved it and gleefully rang it so everyone could hear it as well as see it. Unfortunately, within 5 seconds of receiving the gift, it slipped from here hand and shattered on the floor. I was—of course—shocked and saddened, and even wanted to give here another one that I was going to take with me to Germany, but she reassured me that breaking glass or ceramics in Bulgaria is considered good luck! Later in the day one of my coworkers accidentally knocked a glass of wine to the floor not one meter away from the first incident; to which I immediately said: “Oh great, more good luck!”

Well, tonight is the Serdon office Christmas party, and tomorrow I have to be at airport at some unholy hour of the morning to catch my 6:00 am flight to Budapest. The flight arrives in Hungary at the same time (they’re one hour behind us,) and in the afternoon I fly another two legs to Düsseldorf, where Oncle Werner will pick me up—it’s going to be a long day.

As this is my last post from Bulgaria for the year, let me wish you a “Vesela Koleda” (Весела Коледа) [that’s right, in Bulgarian, Vesela’s name means “merry.”]

Oh, by the way, it’s snowing...again! (intoned like Forest Gump)
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