Brush Fires

Friday was kindof slow. My in-laws had business meetings all day, so Eli and I were in the office together. It didn’t feel bad, but odd – my wife and I in an office, doing work, instead of at our house where we usually interact. I was wary of working for my sister-in-law because I didn’t want Eli and I to get off work, at the same place, and have nothing to talk about. I’m glad that hasn’t happened. Or couse, we don’t have the same job, and I also have other things to draw my attention. Still, I’m glad it hasn’t been a bone of contention.

We left Sofia at 15:49 GMT, picked up my nephew at soccer practice, and headed to Smochevo for the weekend. We spent the ride talking about an upcoming tourism / investment conference in MOscow we may attend. Unfortunately, none of us speak Russian fluently, so there may be no point. Still, we have a connection that will be there, and we plan to at least have him pimp the company to the Russians. I’ve suggested we create a video which can be played at the booth. We’ll see if that comes to pass.

It was close to 18:30 GMT when we turned off the highway, into the Rila valley. All around us, the sky was filled with smoke and the smell of burning brush. You could see people in the fields, walking to and fro as fires hungily consumed the bushes and grasses. It seemed as though I was witnessing some pagan ritual; I have expected to see druids and other such personages circled by chanting faithful.

It was nothing like that of course. It’s late February; Spring is almost here, and people want to get the fields ready for planting. To keep bushes and weeds and wild grasses in check, they burn off the vegetation and till the ash into the soil – the added benefit being a richer soil for planting. It was still unsettling, though.

When I woke up this morning, the fires were still burning.


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