"Bulgarian Lace" by Hannah Anderson

October 1999

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After giving up learning how to tat, I asked Kolka why she comes to the market with her lace. "I'm a pensioner," she said. "It makes me happy, and it also buys bread." At the end of our chat with Kolka, I bought four embroidered coasters with tatted edges for seven leva. Frusetta bought two cup holders and a doily for six. Our purchases totaled about seven percent of the average Bulgarian's monthly income. She gently placed our purchases into orange plastic bags, firmly shook our hands and invited us to come back soon.