Ivan Day

To Bulgarians, Name Days are more significant than birthdays, involving a big celebration of food, friends and presents. Last week saw Ivan celebrate his, so bearing in mind the glut of Ivans in BG, you can imagine how little gets done on and after 7th January. (Although to give him his due, our Ivan did manage to do a full day’s work.)

To counter the ridiculous number of Ivans who have been christened in Novo P, Ivan and his mates have worked out a nickname system between themselves. So as time has progressed we have been introduced to Ivan the Boozer and Ivan the Pig who has a funny shaped nose and is..erm pink. For reasons of political correctness we can’t disclose our Ivan’s nickname, suffice to say there was one in the woodpile…

To make things easier for ourselves we have also renamed many of the people that we come into contact with – Bulgarian names tend to sound too similar to our English ears. Our neighbours include Patrick Stewart, Baba Kotka (Grandma Cat) and Golyama Kosa (Big Hair) then there’s Bez-uzmifka (no smile) who runs the local shop rather miserably, Debel Sekretar (Fat Secretary) in the mayoress’s office and Maria ‘Microphone Head’ which distinguishes her from Maura’s neighbour Baba Maria.

We can only guess at what they’re calling us, but when I do find out, I’ll let you know…

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