Older and bolder

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.    
– from Warning, by Jenny Joseph

Last week, as I cycled through the park on the way to work, I noticed a number of scantily clad old men sunbathing. I thought to myself, ‘that’s interesting, in the UK you would rarely see anyone, let alone old people, wearing so few clothes in the city.’

Two days later, on Saturday, a couple of the lovely Bulgarians that I’ve met offered to take me up Vitosha, the mountain that towers above Sofia (and of which we have a lovely view from our living room, if you ignore the tower blocks). As we climbed, we walked past a couple of old ladies, who (I am reliably informed) shouted ‘hello, sparrows’ at us, because we looked so chirpy. I turned around to smile at them, and realised that one of the ladies had completely unbuttoned her shirt to reveal her bra.

I was a little surprised, but this was just the beginning. As we walked up the mountain, we passed a never-ending stream of (mostly old) women wearing only their bras, and men wearing nothing but y-fronts and shoes (and sometimes a bum-bag). At first I found this somewhat distressing, but the more I walked, the more I thought the following:

  1. I am incredibly hot. It seems eminently practical to wear as few clothes as possible.
  2. These people have exceptionally good tans.
  3. I think growing up in Britain has made me a prude.
  4. I bet old people have more fun in Bulgaria.

About sozofia

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One Response to Older and bolder

  1. philinsofia says:

    Your Point 1: Yes. Yes.
    Point 2: Painless, beautiful colour, after 10 minutes in the sun, it seems. Not like us Brits!
    Point 3: Generally, yes. Personally, throw away that attitude – now!
    Point 4: They seem to, even though they may have little spare money. Attitude, again.
    Extra: wait until you’ve visited some less-popular (but gorgeous) Black Sea beaches – no bras, no Y-fronts at all. Then think again about Point 3!

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