Jim Guittard’s Place

Truck Explosion Shatters Windows in Pernik

Posted in Bulgaria, News, Pernik by guittard on March 6, 2007

PERNIK, Bulgaria (News.bg) — A truck with 3.2 tons of amonium has exploded in Pernik.

Three people have been injured. So far there are no reports of fatalities.

One man has pieces of glass in his eyes. Another man is in hospital with a serious head trauma, officials announced.

The emergency management unit in Pernik said a truck loaded with ammunitions has exploded

Pernik. Three people were injured in explosion in the residential area of Iztok in Pernik, the National medical coordination center reported. One of the men, aged 49, has a trauma on his head, and was received in the hospital of Pernik without danger for his life. The second man, aged 49, was received in the eye department of the hospital with pieces of broken glass in his eyes. The third person has cut wounds. So far there is no information for other injured people.

(Everything is cool here. I heard the explosion just before noon and my windows sorta shook but nothing shattered. All is intact. Students of mine were concerned about checking their blocks. I let them go. Oh well. Jim Guittard)

Source: (http://international.ibox.bg/news/id_1045889789)

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Cool Rock & Roll in Pernik

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Pernik, Psychedelic by guittard on November 19, 2006

Friday night I went to see this band play in a club/cafe in the center of Pernik.  I had been told about this place by a teacher at the school.

I went a couple of weeks ago but I missed the band but this night I saw them play.  I was impressed with the musicianship.  And the songs were all in English.  I knew most of the songs but maybe not all the names but here is a setlist of what I did know:

1.  Norwegian Wood – The Beatles

2.  And I Love Her – The Beatles

3.  Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

4.  Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival

5.  Honkey Tonk Woman – The Rolling Stones

6.  Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

7.  Who’ll Stop the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival

8.  Black Magic Woman – Santana

9.  The Midnight Special – Creedence Clearwater Revival

10. Learning To Fly – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

11. American Woman – the Guess Who

12. Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

13. As Tears Go By – The Rolling Stones

14. Cocaine – Eric Clapton

15. Stevie Ray Vaughn Song

16. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

There were other recognizable songs that they did but I don’t know the names.  They played over two hours with breaks. The sounds pleased me very much.  The Bulgarians danced to the music and they dug it.  The guys said that when I come back that I must play.  I better get my stuff together.

I wrote this song about that night.

Be Real True

Be Real True

In a far off land
I saw some band
They played Rock & Roll
They had soul

I spoke with them
I said, “My name is Jim.”
They said, “You should play here.”
I said, “Well, I have some fear.”

It’s been so long
Since I sang a song
God help me along
To be real strong

What else can I do?
But be real true
and follow you
For a better clue

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2007

It was cool to shoot the breeze about cool music.  I told them I would turn them onto the cool psychedelic scene in California that I know about: the Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, the Quarter After etc.  The drummer said he just loved Psychedelic Music.  So it seems that I met some people with common interests.  “Pretty neat, pretty neat, pretty good, pretty good, all right.” 

Chao

What’s the Deal? You’re not an Iraq War Fan?

Posted in Bulgaria, Life, Music, Pernik by guittard on November 16, 2006

A month back maybe, I was eating at a little restaurant outside and a late 50s overweight man kept saying Amerikanetz (American in Bulgarian) and pointing and carrying on.  After much uproar, he finally came over and just sat with me and was drinking Rakia and he bought me a beer.  He seemed a bit angry and cursing under his breathe.  I had heard the words before by kids at the Black Sea.

I sat there and gave the guy the benefit of the doubt.  Eventually, he got on the subject of Iraq.  And in my broken Bulgarian I tried to say that I wanted peace and didn’t like conflicts and that I was there in Bulgaria and not Iraq.  And that yes America does have problems.  It was a strange encounter.  He kept toasting me but it felt like he didn’t like me or Americans.  He kept saying this word that sounded like “Боклук”.  I was quite curious so I took out my dictionary and searched for a word sounding like “Боклук” but I couldn’t find it.

To ease his mind, I started to talk about the Beatles and Bob Dylan and how they were very much for peace back in the day.  We left the restaurant and as we were walking he said that his life was the Beatles.  As we walked through the streets it felt like I was in a parade and the object of attention.  The man asked old babas (grandmas) sitting on outside benches, “Do you know the Beatles and Bob Dylan?”  And he said this guy is American.  I heard the old ladies say “Beatles” and “Bob Dylan.”  Very weird. 

Two days ago, I was at another restaurant and I saw him again.  I was across the room.  When I saw him come in I was like “oh no, not again.”  He motioned at me and I hesitated to go over but he kept motioning.  So I went over and sat with him again. I quickly noticed that the guy had the same attitude and still muttered “Боклук.”

A few minutes into round two, some of the restaurant staff began laughing.  I wasn’t embarrassed. I really just wanted the guy to leave.  I didn’t feel threatened.  He said it was his birthday.  And I finally heard him say тръгвам.  So he was leaving.  I was so curious about this word he kept saying, “Боклук.”

So I texted a Bulgarian and Боклук means “trash” or “garbage.”  So I think that I will avoid this guy if I see him again.  I don’t know if he was calling me trash or America or what.  He did say Hitler at one point.  Doesn’t seem like a pleasant kinda guy.  But anyway, “What’s his deal?”  I’m like the most peaceful non threatening guy around. 

The highlight of our friendly conversation was when he said, “Ti si pich.”  Meaning: you are a dude.  And I told him that in English and so the guy kept saying in two syllables “duduh.” And not just dude.  I still laugh about this drunk guy trying to say “dude” but saying “duduh.”

It is interesting that this guy said his life was the Beatles. I can only hope that others would follow suit. There is too much chalga influence here and not enough influence with substance.

I did find that there are a few Beatles fans here.

Beatles Graffiti

Integrating Into Foreign Culture

Posted in Bulgaria, Life, Movies, Pernik, Society by guittard on July 14, 2006

Interesting story. So I was on my balcony and my neighbor was on his too. We spoke and then he invited me in to drink coffee. We talked on music, movies, etc. He then wants me to take all his porn to my pad and watch. I’m like, dude, we just met. I can’t be watching all your porn.

This guy is my next door neighbor and I say hello whenever I see him. But he never resists the chance to talk on porn and even tries to invite himself to my place so that he can use my internet connection to download porn. Needless to say, it only hello after these 2 porn incidents.

Kinda weird.