In the past as well as at present to be born in Gabrovo is next to a privilege. The citizens of Gabrovo are both good at moneysaving and bargaining, for economy runs in their veins; they know how to get something out of nothing – an invaluable lesson taught by their ancestors; upon the very hint of a crisis they set their sense of humour going, for they are left with no other alternative. Numerous anecdotes are told about this shrewd and most careful with money part of the Bulgarian population. It is these anecdotes that created the phenomenon Gabrovo Humour being as viable and vital as ever.
It is said of the Gabrovians that …
…they cut off the tails of their cats so they can close the door quickly and save heat when letting a cat out; hence, the black cat with a cut-off tail has turned into a long-lasting symbol of Gabrovo town.
…they fit taps to the eggs to tap as much as they need and no more for a soup, for a whole egg seems too much to them;
…at night they stop their clocks to save wear on the cog-wheels;
…they put green spectacles on their donkeys’ noses when they feed them shavings so as to make the poor beasts think that it is hay;
… they sweat both in the smithy and in the market place – when bargaining;
…when they invite people to tea, they heat the knives so the guests can’t take any butter;
…to save money on sweeps, they let a cat down the chimney;
…when something new has only just hit the headlines somewhere, it is already being done in Gabrovo.
And hundreds more anecdotes and amusing stories told about Gabrovians by Gabrovians. Small part of them is published in the booklet Gabrovo Anecdotes that has been translated in over 20 languages.