Memories from Burgas on my way to Roma

22 Apr


They say that life is a series of memories that events we’ve experienced had left with us. Something like traces in the time. Everything is transient, nothing lasts forever. Unless, of course The Eternal CityRome. I do not really know whether all roads lead to Rome, but somehow today my present crossed its paths with Rome in the past. I recalled memories which haven’t been visiting my mind for years. This oddly nostalgic mood may be caused by planets, or it’s just the spring, the Easter, or the clamor from the Burgas Sea Garden and all the family gathered together for the holiday – all mixed to blow some long forgotten pictures from my childhood. 25 years ago this place was a gas station. I do not remember when exactly it was built. Somewhere in my early childhood years perhaps. This gas station known as the Gas station in Lazur, was there ever since I can recall. I spent the best days of my early life in this area. When people asked me where I live, I used to say – there, near the entrance to the Flora complex, next to the gas stations. Everybody knew that place. The Gas station was there when I was coming back from school, was there when all the kids from the neighbourhood were gathering in big groups to play, it was there when I was coming back home from the college, it was there when years later I was visiting my parents.
This year I spent Easter at home with the family. The next morning I woke up, I went out on the balcony to have my morning coffee, and looked at the old gas station by habit. Several children were playing on the swings in that morning, their parents were having a cup of coffee in the smoker’s area and staff of the Bistro Cafe Roma restaurant was busy preparing for lunch. I smiled the Italian flag encircling the four sides of the restaurant building, had a sip of coffee and I said to myself how well this place goes on the background of fresh spring greenery. It seemed like the Italian restaurant has always been here. As you know, since I can remember, this restaurant has held a green area between the blocks and the Sea Garden. Great idea, I thought, to have a nice bistro where to drink a beer in the evenings when you’re too lazy to get dressed and go down to the town center. To have your restaurant two steps away from your place is great. It’s much even better when the cozy restaurant is an Italian restaurant! I sipped the coffee again and went back inside.
3 hours later, I realized how odd the human brain is. How quickly we forget and how in the most unexpected moment can it resurrect back memories out of the blue. If you think about it, you decide you’ve forgotten those childhood stories years ago. The Gas station was in front of my eyes all my life. And now it’s no longer here. Two months ago, in January they demolished the old building and started a construction of a new facility. It was nice realizing that the new building is in fact the new Bistro Cafe Roma in Burgas. I recognize it right away when they put the metal structures and the ApolloVersace ornaments on top. The owner of Bistro Cafe Roma is Bulgarian, but the restaurant is known as pizzeria and the atmosphere represents a typical Italian restaurant in Burgas, Italy and worldwide. Except for the tablecloths – they aren’t red and white squared. Apparently there is something in common between the Italians in Burgas and Apollo – another bunch of are funny memories from my very recent past.

Let’s go back to Roma. My path is still somehow curved around this Eternal city. I’ve missed visiting Rome at least 4 times. Still the rest of Italy is quite familiar to me. We have our history. Whether we love us or not, like or dislike – this is debatable. Surely there is some karmic connection and un/healthy relationship between me and Italy. I love Italian food. Friends say that the pizzas I make are more delicious than the pizzas in any Italian restaurant in Burgas. For the Italian pasta am not an expert, although I learned a thing or two the last year. I already know what andente means. I learned how to tell when is the right time, to take the boiling pasta out of the heat and drain it properly. I understood the difference between small types of Italian pasta and the methods of cooking and choosing the right ingredients. I discovered the importance of the so-called farfalle – small type Italian pasta in the form of ribbons or butterflies. In search of farfalle, and stocking it “just in case” one day it turned out that not only there were 4 packages of this type of Italian pasta in the kitchen cabinet, but there were two cute little raw farfalle or butterflies living comfortably in my bag.
Back in the old days, as kids we chased to catch butterflies in the green grass around the gas station that thrive almost as much as our height. We ate green peaches with the moss straight from the peach tree that grew in the yard. At the entrance of the old gas station was a white painted stripped bench .We were not allowed to hang out there during the day. After 16.00 when it was closing time, all kids gathered and sat on this old scrubbed bench and we began to play “movies”. The game was easy – describing a certain movie with mime and gestures, and the others had to guess it. Now when I think how little we knew about cinema back then. Yet the films were different. Today we often look for a restaurant with a TV. Sometimes we played ball in the yard of the gas station. Now we are looking for a restaurant with a TV where to watch football games or matches from the World Cup 2014. On the same white bleached bench we made our first steps in foreign languages learning. Whichever of us has had a big brother or sister and knew two-three words in English, Italian, and French was sharing the knowledge with the rest of the children. We were writing the foreign words on the pavement with chalk and arguing about the correct to pronunciation. Today, you can sit at one of the tables in the friendly Bistro Cafe Roma, open the menu and learn some Italian by reading it. The Italian dishes menu includes: Tagliatelle Roma, Pizza Prosciutto is Fungi, Pizza Quattro Fromaggi, and Chocolate Mousse with Mascarpone.

italianska kuhnia
It seems like the past and present stand somehow naturally together – they fold and unfold individually and collectively blurring the lines between them. Has everything changed, or it’s somewhat more or less broadly the same. The old gas station is gone. But again there are voices, flow of people and a place where can children play. Maybe foreign words are not written with chalk on the ground, but are there – printed with ink on the menu of an Italian restaurant Bistro Cafe Roma. The “movies” game is more about telling stories from our lifes or listening to a dramedy conversation between two lovers on the next table.
I remembered one more thing – the game of “Jokes” – two or three children conspired to joke and show it out like a theater play to the others. Now it seems the biggest and funniest jokes that we tell is how much we have changed since then, how life has changed, how we have grown… The truth is we’re actually the same kids, only we want more and bigger things of life to enjoy. While everyone has took its way, sooner or later it will lead him to Rome. If not, I recommend you to visit Bistro Cafe Roma in Burgas and who knows, you may meet your Italian who will take you to Rome.
roma italia


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