Author Archives: Naifang Hu

United We Are Stronger (Bulgarian Proverb)

Сговорна дружина, Планина повдига

zgovorna druzhina planina povdiga

A united team can lift a mountain.

If you work together, you can achieve more than if you worked alone.

сговорна -/zgovorna/ – united or conspired
дружина -/druzhina/ – party or company
планина – /planina/ – mountain
повдига – /povdiga/ – to lift

United we are stronger is a proverb in English that has essentially the same meaning.

22 Off Ramp in Garden Grove

KT: We took this trip to Garden Grove, and they say if you drive by at night don’t take the off ramp to Brookhurst on Garden Grove because there will be an accident. And I remembered getting told that while driving there and for some reason I decided to take a detour instead. And like a minute after I turn off I hear 2 cars crash, it was spooky! It could have been me man!

Me: What did they tell you about the ramp?

KT: They say there was a woman who had a kid in the car when she got in an accident, and the kid died, so now she wanders around the area looking for her kid or something. Or she’s looking for the people who killed her kid, or something like that. My professor told me about some people driving by there who saw a woman trying to cross the road, but they can’t see her until the last second, so they slow down late and stop right in the intersection.

Me: It was already known for accidents?

KT: It used to be, yield to left turn off the freeway, so people coming off at night don’t think there’s anyone driving by there. They changed the layout there, and also that thing I said about visibility. You can’t see people crossing there.

The following article is one of many describing actual accidents that happen at that off-ramp. The stories exist to warn people away from driving in the area, because it is legitimately dangerous due to impractical ramp design.


Haunted Train Tracks

The informant used to live in the Gulf Coast region of Texas.

SC: I did once hear the obligatory “haunted train tracks” legend in my town back in Texas. Some kids were joyriding along the tracks and got killed dead. LEGENDS SAY that if you park your car on the tracks and cover your windows with powder, you can see their handprints form as they try to push the car off.

There’s a lot of train tracks in the area and a few crossings in town don’t have warning lights or bars, so it’s not too hard to believe someone was acting stupid and got into an accident.

The legend actually caused some people to park their cars across the rails in hopes of meeting the ghost kids, but the inherent danger in doing that and obscuring vision to catch the ghosts in the act made the traintracks even more unsafe. Since then, fences and crossings have been built across more of the railroad crossings in the area.

Granny Said Two Things

Ба́бушка на́двое сказа́ла.

Babushka nadvoei skazala.

Grannie said two things.

No one can know anything for certain; all things have two sides.

This proverb’s meaning is difficult to ascertain just from the wording, as it has been shortened. A longer version of the same proverb is, “Granny was telling fortunes, said two things.” It alludes to the ambiguous nature of prophecies.


Pickled Grudges

Pickle a food item, and keep it for 40 days because that’s how long a grudge should last. On the 40th day, you have to throw it away to remove the grudge.

The belief is that the pickle withers and dies in place of the relationship between the people involved, so that the grudge would not poison their connection.

LB mentioned this as an extreme of grudge-holding among her people when she jokingly told me she would hold a grudge toward me and strike when my guard was down. While she was joking about her grudge, she used this story as an example of how I should beware around her, because her people (Armenians) are supposedly infamous for holding out grudges for extreme measures of time.

LB first heard this from a friend of hers who was carrying out this practice at the time, over a perceived snub from a close friend. Because she could not act out toward the friend as they saw the wronging unevenly, and their long-term relationship is more important to her than the perceived wrong. She placed a cucumber in a jar of vinegar for 40 days, and on the 40th, the jar should be broken to release the resentment. The cucumber is used as a sacrifice in place of an important relationship.

LB’s friend’s jar actually never made it to day 40, as it broke on its own on day 35. While it was a mess to clean up, LB’s friend took it as a sign that the grudge had run its course before the time was even up.