LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

DEAR VAGABOND

Dear Vagabond,

I've been pondering about my dog, our little memento from Bulgaria. Do you know what breeds these Bulgarian street dogs come from? Is it a mix of Scenthound and Karakachan? Or international influence, perhaps German shepherd? I have attached a photo of her – she's a little grey around the snout now – nine years old next month! She doesn't really have any English dog friends, she prefers people. We joke that it's because their barks are foreign to her!

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 11:17
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DEAR VAGABOND

I was invited to offer my perspective on Poets & Writers as well as the wider world of literary magazines, and for six days I got to know some extremely talented writers from Bulgaria, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States while learning about the literary culture of Bulgaria – first in the capital city of Sofia and then in Sozopol, an ancient town on the Black Sea. Truly remarkable.

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:37
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gorrilahead_12.jpg

DEAR VAGABOND

During the past seven years I have been taking tours into the Rila and Pirin mountains using snowmobiles, Rangerovers and off-road buggies. During the summer, I spend time in the mountains learning the routes, places to shelter and so on above the village of Bachevo where I live.

It was during one of these "study days" that I noticed some interesting rock formations and standing stones. I uploaded the pictures to my computer. On the big screen the rocks looked worked or sculptured... not the usual erosion.

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 13:26
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

The source used by myself in the Encyclopaedia of Islam to which I am a contributor is a short remark by Rupert Furneaux in his The Siege of Plevna, Anthony Blond publishers, London,1958. On p 198 you can read that Pleven cost the Russians 30,000 deaths to take it, the Turks 10,000 deaths to defend it... On p216: "In all, some 50,000 Turks died in Russian captivity. Out of 43,000 men who set out (as prisoners on the way to Russia), only 15,000 reached Russia, and only 12,000 returned to their homes after the war."

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 13:32
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Too many liberals in older EU member states, for example, fail to understand the insecurity and anxieties of ordinary people (particularly in these times of crisis and cutbacks), and too many venal politicians and shoddy journalists understand these all too well and try to exploit them for their own benefit.

I am writing this letter partly to disown the insularity of the British government, partly to try to help people understand why they are behaving this way, and partly to try to refocus the discussion.

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 12:24
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

We rented a car and after a considerable amount of beach-hunting (all of them seem to have beach umbrellas and plastic chairs installed), we settled at a relatively empty beach near the oil terminal in Rosenets (beautiful views of a small island called, I am told, Bolshevik).

We sat down near some beach umbrellas, but a thick-set man came up immediately and demanded money. We told him we would only stay for an hour and did not want to use his umbrellas, but he ordered us out of the beach.

Is this the right thing to do in Bulgaria?

Jennifer S.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:22
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

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.

Mon, 07/02/2012 - 12:07
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

This is the first time that I read such a clever and sharp article in Bulgaria. So thank you for that.

I've been in Bulgaria for four months now and everything I read and hear on the Bulgarian TV, radio and newspapers is mostly a panegyric of the government and its policies – when it is not a 15-minute report about the prime minister cutting a ribbon somewhere.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 11:59
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

It was even more difficult for me to understand. It had something to do with my British citizenship and passport. The Russian consulate in Varna said that the UK and Russia had not signed a certain agreement that would have allowed the Russian consulate to issue me a visa?! To complicate the matter further, the Russian consulate associated me with somebody they had had telephone conversations with. I had never called the Russian Consulate in Varna.

I prefer to travel on my British passport. I do not hold a valid Bulgarian passport.

Fri, 10/22/2010 - 11:34
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

I am always elated when I see the new issue of Vagabond at the Onda located across the road from the Russian church. Since my arrival in Sofia two years ago, much of what I have learned about Bulgaria has come from your well written and interesting articles. I thank you for being a part of the English language community here in Bulgaria.

Michael Branch, USA

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 14:33
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

All had gone well on the outward leg of the journey. On our return we made our way via taxi to the bus station in Sofia at approximately 7:15 pm, just in time to miss the 7 pm coach. Then there was a three-and-a-half-hour wait for the next departure at 10:30. Now at 10:30 there are three coaches that all leave at the same time, all to the same destination, all stopping at the same places and each a third full. What great planning, whoever arranges timetables must have a strange sense of humour.

Thu, 02/11/2010 - 12:22
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Even before acquiring that miniature idol for self-worship in the shape of his own superhero action figure, the notorious Tinseltown specimen had developed spectacular delusions of superiority over the rest of the world, my native country included. In an interview for The A.V. Club, while discussing the diversity of his film projects, Downey graciously offered the following revelation: "Am I going to be stronger, wiser, and gladder at the end if I go to fucking Bulgaria to shoot this whatever?

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 12:49
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

It also provides information about the "transparency" of everything and the mystical ways things seem to work here... For about three weeks now I've been trying to pay the postage fee of 60 leva through the bank – what an adventure it's been! Seems as though they never heard of such a thing as a money transfer. Today, suddenly, it seemed to work – until somebody called me back later to say it didn't, and I had to come back to the bank again, because of some ima problem, or there's a problem.

Sat, 08/01/2009 - 11:15
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

First of all, I am a guest in this country, so I have to follow the rules of my hosts, whether they obey them themselves or not.

Secondly, we can't complain of corruption here and at the same time find nothing wrong with passing a 20 leva note to a policeman. I know they don't get paid much and need some extra income in order to feed their children. But hey, this is not my problem. The Bulgarian state should pay decent salaries to its employees; it's not my duty to make up the deficit. Their job is to protect me, not to rob me.

Tue, 06/30/2009 - 09:10
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

I find that there is nothing more infuriating than an American who feels that he can criticise (this, of course, is from a representative of the nation that induced the international credit squeeze!) on a country that he wishes to renew a residential card for (not sure if he refers to the United States or Bulgaria as the location of residence is not mentioned).

Hopefully, by the time renewal is necessary, the Civil Service will have installed computers, then bureaucracy will be rampant and many applications for renewals will be lost somewhere in outer space!

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 11:40
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