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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where Streets Have No Names…..But Memories

Sliven – my home town - was the second stop on our Christmas Balkan tour. I grew up in Sliven and lived there from the age of 3 to the age of 19. Sliven has a special meaning for me. My childhood and my adolescence had the blue Balkan mountain as background. That’s where I kept bruising my knees, climbing the trees and smelling the limes.

That’s where I spent endless summer days with my neighbour friends chasing the ball in the morning, playing cards in the hot afternoon hour, then chasing the ball again and later in the evening – playing hide-and-seek and even later telling stories before our mothers started calling us home after 10 pm. In Sliven, I discovered sexuality when being no older than 7-8, my neighbour Vanina and I went to our house basement and pulled down our pants to show what was hiding there. Of course, many more things happened there: that’s my entire childhood and adolescence after all.

My point in writing this post was about streets having no names in Sliven but layers of memories. Walking there is like walking in Troy, Efes and the Partenon at the same time. I hardly know the names of more than 5 streets around my place but the whole city is scattered with memories of events, walks, conversations, fights, biking, hiking, spying the girls from the neighbouring class and what not. As if I see myself biking in the rain or kicking the ball in the yard of the school or most often walking the streets of my neighbourhood looking for my friends Ivo, Krassi, Borislav, Rumen, Ivan, Anton, Vanina, Sabin, Katja.

I am not saying that this is bad. Sometimes it is nice, sometimes it is bitter but whatever it is, it is not empty.

1 comment:

Greg Spencer said...

" ... my neighbour Vanina and I went to our house basement and pulled down our pants to show what was hiding there."

Good Lord, I thought this was a family website. You can't go anywhere without this filth hitting smack in the face!

God Save Your Soul!

Rev. G. Spencer