When the city is asleep, there is always somebody that is awake; somebody that is clubbing and dancing, somebody that is studying hard or writing a paper, but in the men time there is also people who just stay up waiting to look after the late-nighters.
Being far away from home and living alone in a campus, makes me miss a lot of little details from the living-with-my-parents life. What I personally seem to be missing a lot lately, is the after midnight fridge check (as I used to call it). I miss that feeling of being hungry late at night and being able to cook something for yourself, or just have you mom make something for you! The student life unfortunately does not please you that well, that often. But conducting a student life life-style though, teaches you how to use subsidies very well.
There is a place near my campus that can please late-nighters, and hunger very well at the any hour of the night, or morning. And if you ask any AUBG-er about getting an after-midnight snack, I bet they will lead you to 3 AM Banica. For all of you who don’t have a clue what I am talking about I will explain briefly.
Coming and living in Bulgaria, made me learn a lot of tradition and getting familiar with the culture as well. At the beginning you might as well pass through a culture shock! But it takes just a little time to appreciate everything that Bulgaria has to offer you; you get to appreciate even the little simple things like Banitsa.
Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian food, prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of cheese between filo pastry, in simple word it is a sort of cheese pie. This kind of filo dough pies, are typical for middle-eastern and Balkan cuisine, and in the Bulgarian they are the usually the typical breakfast.
The 3 AM Banitsa, also known as Jumaica, is the place where almost every AUBG-er gets their early breakfast, or late night snack. Krasimira is the nice blond lady that takes care of us when we are craving banitsa after 3 am.
My and my friends happen to visit her a lot, but tonight was the first night that I really got to know her. “I have been doing this for 12 years” she told me, and right there I understood why that banitsa tastes so freaking good! She also bakes pica, jumaica, and croissants, but what seems to be the most sold is the banitsa. She opened the business a long time ago,
“This is a family business. When we first started it, the whole family involved. I have 2 sons, and since they were in high school they have halped me a lot. Now the elder one works at the police station and is very busy so of course he cannot help me anymore. The younger one is in England. They were brought up with the love that banitsa gives people every morning.”
She stars preparing and baking banitsa everynight from 1am- 3am, and at 3 am sharp she opens her little shop which stays opened until noon. She confessed that even though it’s tiring, she works with a lot of passion and pleasure.
“Meeting a lot of people, and getting to know them gives me a lot of incentive. There is a lot of people that come here just to get something, and that make feel good, that give me some kind of incentive for my work, students from AUBG too, or even you for example, all of these make me love my job”
Of course, AUBG students are not the only ones that buy banitsa from Krasimira, she told me that a lot of taxi drivers, body guards, people that coming from clubs and bars go there very often too.
I am one of those people that is usually awake when everybody is sleeping. And is 5 am now and I am still working on all the little things that I should have done during the day. It’s already Monday and most of you have a busy week ahead.