So today we meet Nachko the builder. He speaks no English so our estate agent’s assistant translates for us. We want Nachko to give the house the once over and particularly look at a couple of cracks in the internal walls before we make an offer.
Nachko is fairly young (30s maybe?) and our agent describes him as ‘tame’. I am not sure how to take this. His brooding sidekick says nothing but looks at us in an intensely manly way. They are a reassuringly masculine pair. So, we meet at the office and agree to follow them to the house. Nachko takes off at high speed in his old Golf before we’re even strapped in to our hire car. He drives at an average 100km per hour the whole way, dodging potholes in the road as if he were in a rally car. We struggle to keep up in our hire car. Luckily we know the way if we lose sight of him, which we frequently do.
Once there, Nachko looks at the cracks and seems faintly amused by our worrying. It is an old house which has moved over time, he says. The cracks are not deep, he says. When I ask if the house has finally finished ‘moving’ I think he may actually crack a smile. But no, it must have been wind. He continues to look vaguely amused by all our questions as though we are silly English worrywarts. Everything is either no problem or small problem only. The house is good, he says. The strong silent one stays silent.
This is as close as you get to a structural survey in Bulgaria.
Afterwards, as they speed off down the lane away from the house, I am struck by a song which I think should be Nachko’s personal theme tune. To the tune of ‘Macho macho man, I’ve got to be a macho man’ I start to sing “Nachko Nachko man…”. This amuses us for the rest of the day and still tickles me as I write this. I shall have to work very hard not to sing it in his presence. In fact, I’d better just get it out of my system now. Altogether now: “Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Nachko Nachko man. He’s got to be a Nachko man…”