As I wrote about earlier, on the Camino I complimented one of the French Femmes on her bracelet and she took it off and insisted I keep it. Later, I admired the other French Femme’s necklace, and she did the same. Walker told me I had to stop complimenting people on their accessories.
On Sunday here in Sofia, we went on a walking tour led by Lyuba Boyanina. We’ve known Lyuba since 2000 and I can’t imagine a better person to lead tours of Sofia. When Rick Steves is here she wirks with him. (Walker is going to write up a history lesson on a separate post.) Lyuba had just gotten back from leading a three-week tour in Iran which she said is a wonderful place to visit. Well, in addition to some pretty jewelry, she was wearing a lovely turquoise and purple scarf. As we were walking, without thinking, I verbally admired it and asked her if she had purchased it in Iran. Don’t you know that when we said our farewell after lunch, that she took it off and gave it to me? She bought it in Sofia, so I didn’t feel quite as bad, but still! Note to self – Don’t compliment anyone on anything. unless they’re wearing Manolo Blahniks!
We depart in the morning for Athens, so we’re beginning to get our things together to pack. As I looked around our hotel room, I was again reminded of the generosity of people here. As if taking time out of their busy schedules wasn’t enough, many also gave us gifts.
I made a little display which includes:
– a bottle of wine and flowers that friends had delivered to our room. There was also a bottle of bubbly, but that’s a memory
– the chakra bead bracelet from a French Camino friend
– a handmade decoupaged basket
– a notebook
– a ceramic bowl and plaid tablecloth (two of three gifts our Baba gave us! Today we found a store that sold yarn and I was able to buy enough yarn for her to knit a sweater. Georgi from the Tabitha Foundation will make sure she gets it.
– a traditional woven table mat from a young man who was a guard at the Embassy when we lived here, but has since been promoted several times and now works in the Consular Office
– the necklace originally from Senegal given to me by another French Camino friend
– a box of Cocoa Tea from Colombia
Walker and I feel so blessed by the friendships we have here that have lasted despite our being gone for twelve years.