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History & Culture

Quarantine Stories: Pavel, Bulgaria

Even though the lockdown situation is different in every European country, we all had to adapt our habits of eating, cooking and grocery shopping. Several people across Europe have opened up about the way their lives have changed during these strange times.

Pavel (47), Goritsa, Bulgaria 

I live in a small village in the East of Bulgaria (Varna region) together with my wife and my three children, aged 9, 11 and 13. We have self-isolated in our house in this deteriorating village. During the weekends, we can bike and hike around the forests or go to the nearby seashore. Once or twice a week, one of us (mainly me) goes shopping in the nearby town. Before the pandemic, it used to be three or four times a week. We try not to stock up or hoard any food, which is also not necessary since there are no shortages in the shops. 

I believe that we have a healthy and balanced diet. Our cooking habits have not changed much during this period. Every day we prepare fresh meals and sometimes the kids help with the cooking. Overall, I would say we cook the same, but we do experiment a bit more than before with our dishes. Yesterday we ate a Shopska salad (a traditional Bulgarian salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers and so-called Sirene cheese), a fruit salad, drank rosehip syrup and had moussaka – our favourite dish – as a main course. 

One thing that has changed, though, is that we do not order food anymore. For us, it is normal to eat meat every day, which has not changed during this time. We do not have to throw away any food, since we can give the scraps to the animals we have here and compost whatever is left. 

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