LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

WE'VE GOT MAIL

I showed the magazine to a Bulgarian friend and, whilst his English is limited, he was extremely impressed, especially with the photography. He is the director and choreographer of the Sofia–based Bulgarian folklore ensemble I dance with. Both of us being dancers, and immersed in folklore in general, we loved the preview of the next issue's cover in Vagabond 28–29, with the photo of the girl in "costume." It is very clever, and I'm looking forward to the March edition which features her. The photo of her rear view is also very amusing.

Sun, 03/01/2009 - 11:42
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Hardly any other European country can boast with a magazine with a concept like yours, at such a high level in both style and diversity.

Congratulations and keep on like that!

Jerry Schu, Luxembourg-Sofia

 

Dear Vagabond,

My wife and I were avid readers of your magazine whilst we lived in Bulgaria, but due to family reasons we have recently returned to the UK after two and a half years in Bulgaria.

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 12:15
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

However, whilst staying at the Srebana guesthouse last week I found myself looking for some reading material to pass the time (ahem) and reached out for the Vagabond. Suffice it to say I haven't put it down since!! Marvellous writing, honest opinions and incredibly funny to boot.

Glynn Clarke, Botevo, Varna

 

DEAR VAGABOND

Wed, 10/01/2008 - 12:23
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

The way I see it, a great many people look after them. I have no other explanation for such a large population of street animals. However, feeding them your stale bread and uneaten food and changing their pots of water is not enough. Well, some cats wear flea collars and some dogs have been neutered. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. All my neighbours who have a soft spot for the dozens of stray dogs and cats in the neighbourhood seem to think giving them pills or taking them to the vet to neuter them or even cleaning after them is too much.

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 12:31
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Well, some cats wear flea collars and some dogs have been neutered. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. All my neighbours who have a soft spot for the dozens of stray dogs and cats in the neighbourhood seem to think giving them pills or taking them to the vet to neuter them or even cleaning after them is too much. They love and take care of the animals but would not go that far in their affection. It makes me think Bulgarians believe in everyone doing their job, meaning they never do anything which in their opinion is not their job. The same thing goes for dog poo.

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 12:14
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Yellow Cheese Balls - Fried pieces of kashkaval
Potato Balls With Yellow Cheese - Mashed potato patties with kashkaval
Chicken Parson's Nose - Grilled chicken rumps
Chicken Lungs With Onion - Chicken livers with onions
Tolstolob - A genetically engineered hybrid between a trout and a carp
Panayorski Eggs - Yaytsa po panagyurski are poached eggs floating in yoghurt sauce
Pork Lung with Onion - Like chicken livers, but pork

Sun, 06/01/2008 - 13:51
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Clearing out the old junk that had accumulated on my computer, I came across an article that someone had sent me as an email attachment after the terrorist incidents in England in 2005.

Reading it again, I realised that I and all British people living abroad were now the immigrants. The comments made by the unknown author applied to us as much as the new people who live in Britain as our replacements. Maybe we foreigners in a foreign land should read it and see just how much it applies to us now the shoe is on the other foot. So here it is:

Thu, 05/01/2008 - 10:41
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

It appears that there is a year long litter festival. This festival consists of adorning the trees and bushes with litter, and also along the roadside litter can be seen. There is normally a pile of litter outside each village. Presumably this pile is to further enhance the surrounding area; it can be dipped into as and when required.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 13:06
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

What (if any) are the guidelines on this? I have been told that the electricity companies are now supposed to offer “domestic” tariffs to UK owners. Could you please help to clarify the legality of this. Also, my December bill seems excessive to me – what can I do, if anything, about it?
 

Sat, 03/01/2008 - 13:09
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

More's the pity most of the acquired habits mentioned don't travel well. I was reminded of that at a Christmas reunion back home when I was nodding, apparently negatively, as in incredulously or cynically, when friends were telling stories. That and the slow, deliberate conversation style acquired from speaking to others in English as a second language makes those in New York suspect some terminal brain damage has come from the heat they feel we're getting too much of here.

Fri, 02/01/2008 - 13:14
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

I am told that I should be getting my own doctor, a GP, if I want to be able to use the state health care system. However, I can't find out how to proceed. The Zdravna kasa give me conflicting info and I don't really have the time to go there very often.

Can you help?

Jamie Brown, Sofia

 

Thu, 11/01/2007 - 13:21
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

This situation has now been clarified by customs authorities who confirm that cars can be left anywhere in accordance with Ministerial Act No. 725. So readers can now disregard the information on this particular subject in our June issue.

Susannah then wrote to us again.

Dear VAGABOND,

Wed, 08/01/2007 - 13:29
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

I took out a subscription to your magazine in order to get to know your country better and to keep abreast of current affairs and developments. I find “Vagabond” very interesting and informative. I would recommend it to any English-speaking visitor or anyone considering investment and other business opportunities in Bulgaria.

One question – I am intrigued by the choice of the name “Vagabond” for your magazine. Is there any particular significance in this unusual name?

Anthony E. Guillaumier, Malta


VAGABOND responds

Sun, 07/01/2007 - 13:46
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

Unlike Turkish customs, who take only two minutes to check your car, (Marhaba!, Pasaport! and Tamam!), their Bulgarian counterparts have never been very fast, especially when it comes to lorries. This is why I was not particularly worried by the five-mile long lorry queue approaching Kapıkule. I thought I would drive through Kapitan Andreevo through the EU-only counter, smile at the customs officers and continue on my way to Sofia.

It didn't work like that.

Thu, 03/01/2007 - 13:54
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

For example the first stanza of the original written by Tsvyatko Radoslavov in the first half of the 20th Century was:

Proud Balkan Mountains (Горда Стара планина,
Blue North by their side до ней север се синей.
Vitosha shines like gold in the sun Слънце Витоша позлатява
Istanbul is white and far away към Цариград се белей.)

But the Communist rulers decided it was not good to mention Istanbul in the anthem - Turkey was an "enemy" NATO and capitalist state at that time. So it became:

Thu, 02/01/2007 - 13:56
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WE'VE GOT MAIL

As I drive frequently, I am stopped frequently - usually for speeding. The best advice to foreigners that I can give is, when stopped by the police, be sure to speak absolutely no Bulgarian - even if you can. Even a basic understanding of the language is a sure indication to the police that you should know better than to break the traffic laws. You might even try saying in your most innocent mid-western American accent (if you can do one) " I am sorry officer, but I just don't understand... I am sorry... what". Complete ignorance is the best defence.

Fri, 12/01/2006 - 14:14
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