DEAR VAGABOND

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Dear Vagabond,
Beautiful Issue 101! I enjoyed your photos of Sofia under snow (no snow in Berlin, alas), the impressive research on Kolyu Ficheto (I had seen some of his work in and around Veliko Tarnovo but did not know that they were all done by the same man), and especially the thought-provoking essay on the Border of Death by Dimana Trankova. We wonder what will happen to the 100,000 Syrians and Iraqis waiting in Turkey to cross the same border from the opposite direction. Difficult situation – the debate in Germany on refugees is heating up.

Michael Geier,
Former German Ambassador to Bulgaria,
Berlin, Germany

Dear Vagabond,
I advertised in Issue 101, and read with interest the other articles in the magazine. I want to congratulate you for the interesting, intelligently written and beautifully designed publication.

Associate Professor Dr Marin Atanasov,
Plovdiv


Dear Vagabond,

Wow, has it really been 100 editions – congratulations!

This occasion has brought memories of those early days and pipe dreams in the wee hours flooding back. As I sit here in my office in Cornwall, I'm suddenly transported back to a Sofia café, the smell of coffee, cigarette smoke and Rakiya in the air, as excited conversations on the very first issue of Vagabond are taking place...

And here we are, eight years on, and Vagabond is still going strong – "not reprinting political press releases... Instead, we chose to do our job correctly, reporting on and analysing events in an unbiased, timely, precise and I dare say intelligent manner."
Bravo to that, and long may it continue!

Here's to the next 100.

With very best wishes from a fellow Vagabond!

Lucy Cooper
Former Vagabond Editor,
UK


Dear Vagabond,

I am Bulgarian living in the UK. I read your article And God Created Bulgarian Women. The bit about Bulgarian women expecting their partner to fix things and take charge is soooo true. It's not about being indecisive or unable to take care of ourselves, we just love a strong, yet courteous and caring man. A man who grits his teeth and bears it...

My dad used to get up at 5 am each morning to prepare breakfast for me and my brother simply because he wanted to, he is almost blind (eye trauma) but cycled to work every day, took care of all DIY chores around the house, and he never complained.

BG men are simply very caring. And BG women are extremely feminine – and demanding. This is the reason for the plethora of cultural clashes in mixed relationships where the female is Bulgarian. Women have really high standards but at the same time give 200 percent if treated right. I can say this without exception about all the Bulgarian women I know.

Elise


Dear Vagabond,
Referring to your article Are Bulgarian Traffic Police Corrupt?: I have to get this
off my chest. THE BULGARIAN TRAFFIC POLICE ARE CRAP!

I was reversing my truck into a parking space between two cars I had full left lock on and looking in my wing mirror. All of a sudden this taxi hit me on the right side corner of my bumper and glanced off my Bull bar.The taxi managed to stop some 15 meters away. His passenger door had a nice crease in it and my new bumper is wrecked! He phoned for the police and they turned up in a rusty Lada estate.They went straight over to the taxi driver and spoke to him and never gave me a look. I was expecting them to ask for witnesses and looking at the position of my truck which was half way into the parking space and a full left lock on. The only thing they did right was to breathalise us both. We then had to follow the police to the police station. We stood there whilst they did their paper work and then the young officer asked me in his best English what happened after talking to the taxi driver. So, I pointed out a couple of facts like where my truck was positioned etc. Whilst this was going on, the taxi driver was shaking hands with police officers as they came through door which set my alarm bells ringing. The older police officer started arguing the younger officer about who's fault it was, which threw me as I have never seen the like of it. So the older police officer – and I use the term officer – lightly bullied the young officer into submission and became judge and jury!!!!

I used to be with the traffic police in Suffolk and I pointed this out to them which didn't do me any favour as I started to argue with them as this older officer found me guilty of the accident. So now I have to pay a fine and my insurance company has to cough up!
However I will be composing a letter to their superiors asking what SOPs there are when attending an accident, and I will point out that they never asked for witnesses or took photographs of the scene, and they never took any measurements.

Andy

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