Grandma Talks

Episode 9: Grandma Sonia

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Saturday, ‎June ‎20, ‎2020
Montreal, Canada
📞 Sofia, Bulgaria

Notes: In this conversation I speak Bulgarian, while Grandma speaks Russian. Although she is Bulgarian, she religiously spoke Russian to the grandkids due to lifelong regrets she didn’t teach it to her own kids.

SONYA (Bulgarian):
You know what’s really awesome, now that I think about it. Given that this woman comes [to help you] every day, this means that if you have your own tablet, she can actually help you learn to use it.

Sonichka, when I decide to, I can do anything.

From most personal experience, without having someone who comes often, it would be very hard to learn to use any such device. Because when you go in some menu and you don’t know how to get out, and when there is no one who can look at it with their own eyes…

… Let me just finish. I’m just trying to tell you that now it’s really possible. I mean you will learn for sure, but to learn you just need a lot of repetition, maybe say 20 times for someone to show you.

Sonichka, I understand everything very well. When you haven’t ever touched something… A long time ago, I decided for myself that I won’t be going into all this new stuff. And anyone can think whatever they want.
On top of it… how can I tell you… you know I see how much interesting stuff there is on the Internet, you can read and learn such things there.

But in one word, the steps [to learn] will very large.

But I am very sorry that I didn’t do this at the very beginning, I didn’t go to this course where you started. I remember seeing you with your little fingers doing some stuff [on the computer], and I was thinking and thinking, to sign up somewhere. I probably should have looked harder. And then I gave up.

“How much more is left for me?” I was thinking. “Why start with this difficult thing now?” And that’s it, that’s all. I did this to myself. And I don’t blame anyone. I am alone at fault here.

If you haven’t created the impression for someone that you need them, that you can’t do without them, they won’t even think of you. That’s it.

And I wanted to just not touch them… you know all this time, your grandpa, when did he pass away? I was going to the country house by bus, no one ever knew when I went and when I came back. I didn’t ask anyone to bring me there or back, just so I don’t disturb their family harmony. Their plans… just not to disturb them at all. But you understand, a time comes when you can’t do that anymore. Whether you want it or not, you can’t do without them. Without other people’s help. That’s all, Sonichka. And now I am just a complete stranger to them, a foreign person.

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Grandma Talks is an online audio archive of anonymous phone conversations between grandmothers and granddaughters. The intention behind this archive is to allow the listener to witness the transforming experience of womanhood, captured in the exchanges between generations of women.

This website was created by Sonya Mladenova and Alexandra Knowles with the Digital Originals Canada Arts Council Grant.

Thank you for contributing to the archive – we are eternally grateful.

Sonya + Alexandra
September 2021