My work took me to Bulgaria for the first time – and perhaps the last.
After working long hours and munching on supermarket salad for three evenings while slaving away on the computer until the wee hours, I decided to go out and treat myself to a dinner. Knowing that my trip was going to be very busy, I did not carry any book to read, and thus found myself desperate enough to grab whatever tourist literature was available in my Radisson hotel room, with absolutely no hope that it would be even remotely interesting, though it sometimes proves useful as a deterrent for unsolicited conversation.
Anyhow, within something like 15 seconds of opening Vagabond and reading your keynote (that's how desperate I was – reading the editorial of what I thought was a promotional touristy glossy publication to try to make it last), I found myself completely engrossed in Vagabond. I think I might even steal it from the hotel room. Not only was it witty and coincidentally in line with the way I like to look at the world, but it was full of insights, and it helped me understand many things I was supposed to figure out but nobody bothered to explain before I started my meetings here (many of which with the government).
So that's it. Thank you for the lovely evening.
One of the many reasons that made me decide to come and live in Bulgaria, apart from the countryside (a reminder of England 40 years ago), the climate, friendly and helpful people, (whether it be in cities, towns or villages) and yes, the excellent food and drink and, of course, the low cost of living, was the fact that I was totally sick of hearing my countrymen complaining!
Yes, Bulgaria is a bureaucratic country but that is a quirk to live with, the way of life here, just be prepared that every 'I' is dotted and 'T' crossed – and accept it with a smile. How about buying or selling a house in Britain in recent times? Apart from the high costs (solicitors, search fees and stamp duty), there is the paperwork and then there is the British officialdom, 'jobsworth' at its best!
The fact that we live here and contribute to the economy, we are still guests in this country and the people are very patriotic and proud of their country (as they should be) and will, naturally defend it to criticism.
I love living here and watching the development of the country, similar to the growth of a butterfly only slower, but it will get there!
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers