na gosti- to go on a visit
baba- grandmother; a name the whole community calls any woman with grandkids
The other day I had my first na gosti at my friend Yordanka's (Dani, Danche) house. Her father was there; he's a local artist and showed us his studio, very cool. While we were walking to Dani's house I noticed this amazing house with an immaculate garden. Now I've never wanted to be friends with someone just because of their garden, but there is a first time for everything. So being cunning and thinking about how to find a way to befriend whoever lived in that house I asked Dani who lived there. "Two babas." she replied. Hum... I'm still trying to develop a strategy. All I need is to let them think I can't cook, or get them to find out I don't know how to can. Baba's are the best of the Bulgarian life. They live to take care of other people and make sure everyone is doing ok. Everyday on each street corner you can see a gathering of the the baba's where at least 4 and maybe 9 grandma's sit in the early evening sun and talk about the day, thier husbands, garden, or kids, the weather, and other assorted subjects you can only guess at. They look at each person who passes by taking the time to think about whether they have anything to say to them, or about them. If you say hi to them sometimes they just stare at you... probably because they didn't hear, maybe because they are in shock. Other times they say hi back. They might be the most stereotypical thing about Eastern Europe, and I have to say all the stereotypes are not stereotypes at all, they are fact.
Baba's, or babushka's as my mom likes to call them, are usually found wearing black or navy scarves over their hair. Many walk hunched over, others with a cane. They work long hours and are often found doing tasks that people half their age would find too strenuous and difficult to pull off. I take my hat off to all the baba's and hope that I can find a way to have the two with the nicest garden I've seen adopt me.