Bulgaria. Middle of Nowhere. The fictional village of Plodorodno (meaning “fertile”) is in dire straits. As Bulgaria is gradually opening to the outside world, many of its residents have emigrated in pursuit of a different life, while others cast their hopes on winning the lottery instead of on working the fertile land nearby. One fine day, a true Englishman named John buys a house in the village and settles there. He is a retired chemical engineer yearning for the tranquillity of rural life in the countryside. He has chosen Bulgaria because he has been to – and enjoyed – the Bulgarian seaside several times and he has even taken a Bulgarian language course. He dreams of a few acres to call his own, of a garden to cultivate, and of cattle to look after. And while John is delighted to sink deeper into the joys of Bulgarian rustic life, trouble rears its ugly head in the person of his Bulgarian neighbour Nikolai. Victim to delusions of grandeur, Nikolai has assumed the name Nottingham Forest and has even named his cattle after world football stars. Not long after John is making paper hats from The Guardian’s torn pages and denouncing Queen and country.
The English Neighbour
Автор: Mikhail Veshim
Преводач: Милена Бълок
Дата на издаване: 2015
Преведено от: български език
John woke to the sound of the cock crowing. In Manchester,
he was used to being woken by traffic.
He blinked and wondered for a moment just where he was.
Then he saw the cobwebs, the cracked ceiling and the broken plaster in the
corner, through which he could see the roof tiles, and he knew he was far away
from Manchester. He was in his own village house. No matter that the place
needed urgent repair, his soul was singing.
He got up, had some porridge and a coffee and picked up his
He started digging the neglected front garden. As he was
turning the soil over, he was thinking about how his life was also turning
At the same time, his neighbour Nottingham was feeling very
‘It’s that damn whisky. Foreign muck!’
Nottingham went out of the house and over to the well. He
drank straight from the bucket, and then poured the rest over his head. His red
shirt was soaked, as if he’d been in a long, hard game in the Premier League. He
snorted, shook his head and looked across to the neighbour’s garden. There,
John was leaning against his spade watching the rooster. The rooster was
standing on the fence, watching the Englishman.
‘Ko…ko…ko…’ said the Englishman.
‘Ko…ko…ko’ the cock
‘He’s not Koko!’ Nottingham interrupted them and approached
‘He’s Figo… Louis Figo.’
He straightened his wet shirt, wiped his hand on his
trousers and stretched his arm through the fence:
‘My name is Nottingham’… Nottingham Georgiev Nikolov. I was Nikola,
but I changed my first name. I wanted to be Nottingham Forest, after my
favourite team. I’ve supported them ever since they played CSKA.’
‘Nottingham, yes!’ John nodded and put down his spade.
‘I love those guys from Nottingham. They were champions
then; now they’re in Division one…’
The Englishman took the hand proffered through the fence:
‘John’ he said, ‘My name
‘Hey you speak Bulgarian! Where did you learn that from,
‘I like Bulgaria. Four times I
visited your seaside. Attended Bulgarian language course. Then sees this house
on Internet and decides to buy. Bought house, lives here!’
Nottingham glanced at the old building with its crooked
walls, flaking plaster and sagging balcony. He frowned:
‘Sorry mate, but that’s a terrible investment. Ten grand
for that shed! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I would’ve sold you mine for
nine. Hey John, mate, our people are running off to England and you come to
live here, in this dump!’
‘Nature here good. Fresh air,
‘Huh, cheap you say? It’s bloody expensive mate! The only
thing European round here is the television. The Mayor put cable in and now we
have 43 channels. We have a cool Mayor. He might hook you up too…’
‘Doesn’t want TV, wants silence,
doesn’t like TV.’