city of legends

“You live in the region where Buhalov lives.”

I look up, puzzled, toward his bushy beard and his green eyes, wide in excitement.

“A9! The region of Trakiya! Nikolai Buhalov! The Olympic rowing champion!”

My look remains. Upon this, he rolls his green eyes and takes a big gulp of his beer. He then leans in,

“You know. He was one of the best Bulgarian Olympians. 2 times he won the gold! He is from here in Plovdiv. So when he came back from Barcelona, they gave him an apartment, in Trakiya, in your region, cause those were the only ones built!”

“They still do that, you know. The mayor still has the power. They hold a meeting and give an accomplished athlete an apartment upon their return.”

He chugs the last gulp of his beer, and slams the glass on the table.

“One of many wonderful Bulgarian Traditions!”

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