“I Know You” She Said to Us This Morning

Stephen F. Dennstedt

“I know you” she said to us. Seriously? We arrived in the small Bulgarian city of Shumen on Thursday (today is Saturday) so how could she possibly know us. Are the Muppet Brothers really getting that famous—doubtful. Infamous maybe.

We were having breakfast in the small cafe across the street this morning and asked our server if she spoke English—that’s when she blurted out: “I know you.” She was cute but we were pretty sure we had never seen or met her before.

Operative phrase: pretty sure. Because our memories and ability to recognize faces beyond a few minutes have deteriorated mightily in the last few years. She spoke excellent English by the way which immediately put us at ease. In answer to our deer-in-the-headlights look of surprise she explained her colleague (who had served us breakfast the day before) had mentioned two Americans (presumably two old Americans) who had come in and had a hard time explaining what they wanted. I wrote about our breakfast experience yesterday and it all worked out fine (after a fashion)—however, this morning was so much easier with English.

Bulgarian Sausage & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (Internet File Photo)

Taking advantage of her excellent English I asked if there was a cash machine (Bancomat in Europe) nearby and she said: Do you mean an ATM? We haven’t heard the term ATM since leaving the States in November 2017—when asking for one we always get confused looks. Obviously this young lady’s English lessons (probably from American movies & TV) included American vernacular. Turns out there is one just around the corner from our hotel next to the large market we passed on the way to dinner last night. Breakfast this morning: sausage & melted cheese sandwiches, coffee and orange juice (7.50 BGN or $4.37 USD pp).

Fresh Ground & Brewed Coffee with Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (Internet File Photo)

Field Notes: The traditional breakfast sandwich served in Bulgaria is a Princess (don’t ask me why) and it sort of reminds me of a slice of pizza without the sauce. Not to fear—our sandwiches arrived with a small cup of mayonnaise and a small cup ketchup, a sliced tomato and a few slices of cucumber. The coffee was fresh ground & brewed (robust) and flavorful and the orange juice was fresh squeezed. Everything was tasty and very inexpensive ($4.37 USD pp): we’ve spent that much on coffee alone in other places around the world. Breakfast seems to be a different kind of animal in Bulgaria but everything is fresh & inexpensive. SFD 

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