Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fishing in Bulgaria

When we took a vacation in Bulgaria our eldest son decided that he would like to try his hand at fishing. Frankly fishing is a complete mystery to us, however, I tried my best to fulfil his hopes and ambitions. I went down to our local Woolworths store and bought him a very nice little fishing rod in its own holder complete with all the necessary accoutrements.  He was delighted, and could hardly wait for us to arrive at our destination.
The seaside where we stayed had a little wooden jetty, which we headed for as soon as we had settled and unpacked.  Arriving at the jetty, we discovered a whole row of elderly men already fishing and seated on little stools.  They seemed to have only bamboo canes with lots of little hooks attached all the way down their line.  We watched them for a while pulling in loads of little silver fish, before daring to reveal our rod.  Eldest son assembled his rod and turned the fishing reel which made a delightful metallic click, click, click sound as the line was lowered into the sea.  As this happened all of the little old men turned their heads towards us and looked on in admiration at our 'Woolworths best'.  However, after a while, we had caught absolutely nothing whilst their buckets were spilling over with fish.  Eventually one of the men, with a fine set of gold teeth, came over to offer some help.  It was then we learnt that every fishing situation requires different hooks and bait, not the simple pop any old bit of bait on and hope for the best.  The man became extremely excited about the ‘Woolies’ rod and indicated that he wished to have it.  We kept saying “no” “no” pointing out that we had only just arrived, and that it was our son's. We did, however, indicate that he could have the rod at the end of our holiday.
The following day we were sitting on the beach, enjoying the sand and ozone, when in the distance we saw a camel led by a little old man.  As the vision came nearer, we realised that it was our little man with the golden teeth again.  When he spotted us, he came rushing over with the camel, and started saying “hey English” making gesticulations of winding in the fishing line.  From then on, we could hardly go anywhere without him suddenly appearing around the corner, and grinning at us.
On our final evening, we decided to go to a restaurant hidden deep in the forest that fringed the coast. We had learnt that they had musicians playing gypsy folk music and wearing local costumes.  We were having a lovely time enjoying the whole atmosphere when we suddenly became aware of a person taking photographs, and who should it be, but our little grinning man again?  He was so excited when he saw us, and insisted on taking our photograph, and checking on the time we were leaving the next day. He said that he would send us the photograph free of charge, so we gave him our address. We did not expect anything to arrive from him, but as you can see we were proved wrong.
Next morning he was standing on the steps to our hotel ready to receive the fishing rod. I do hope that he had more luck with it than we did. I had visions of him turning up on the jetty that day and showing it off to all the other men.


Picture taken by the fisherman/camel-man/photographer - a “Jack of all trades”.


Further post on Bulgaria here

16 comments:

  1. Rosemary, you show me something new: that if one loves a place it is a good idea to leave something behind with its inhabitants. Who knows: our little gold-toothed fisherman may be there right now, making monster catches.
    He sounds a bit like Nr Ben, turning up all over the place. He was obviously very solicitous of the rod the moment it was promised to him...
    Lovely, lovely picture.

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    1. Dear Kate - what an apposite comparison to cite Mr. Benn - I love it.

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  2. A delightful story — your persistent friend was meant to have the rod, and I'll bet he adapted it in interesting ways for his own use. It's interesting how the memories of strangers stay with us. I remember traveling as a teenager to Taipei with my mother and being treated to dinner by a man who turned out to be the city's treasurer. He had gone to college in the U.S., and missed speaking English.

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    1. Hi Mark - Encounters such as these linger long in our memories, and are one of the rewards of travel.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your story, I remmeber these people doing different things at the coast from my childhood...at least he took great pic of you!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed my memories of Bulgaria Jana, and that it reminded you of your childhood.

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  4. I hadn't seen this post before and suddenly noticed it at the bottom of your blog. It's special moments like these that make holidays unforgettable. That is a lovely image of you all too. Sarah x

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    1. I actually wrote this post when I first began blogging, but decided to show it as a feature post when Blogger informed us that we can now do that a few weeks ago.
      It was good that our little Bulgarian man sent us the photo, that kind of gesture restores your faith in human nature.

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  5. What a lovely picture of you and your family.

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    1. The picture bring to life the memories thanks to the little man - a jack of all trades.

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  6. A fun story and great picture of your beautiful family!

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  7. Heehee the story popped up as recommended. Such much cuteness.
    Bex :D

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    1. Did you enjoy reading about your Dad?

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    2. Ye, I was reading to Dad and he was recalling the holiday. I like the photo :D

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    3. I am pleased that you found this family memory and enjoyed it.

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