I remember riding my bike one day and stopping by the side of the road to get a drink of water. An old man sitting an ancient horse cart called me over. I thought he wanted water, but when I offered he refused. He just wanted to talk to me about how he was going to die soon.
That sort of raw honesty about life and its disappointments, as you know, is omnipresent in Bulgaria. As a man who thinks of such honesty as a virtue, I appreciated it. But in the dead of a Bulgarian winter, alone in Ihtiman, I don’t think I was tough enough to handle it.