Issue 3

WHOSE ARE THESE ILLUSIONS, ANYWAY?

Hackscomplainthat little is happening in Bulgarian literature these days, but they are wrong. In October, a book by a young woman made headlines in the tabloids, some of which took the unusual course of kindly publishing both sympathetic interviews with the author and large excerpts from her oeuvre. Some Bulgarians old enough to remember Communism and its collapse at the end of 1989 were infuriated, but others hailed the book as a "literary phenomenon".

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CULTURE ШOCK

OK, you've been to Greece, Turkey, and possibly southern Italy. You've kind of got used to manic drivers, street dogs, piles of litter, and Roma women approaching you with offers to read your palm. You had a dodgy tummy in Athens; you developed aches, pains and allergies in Istanbul; and your purse got nicked in Naples. You think you've seen it all? Bulgaria can still surprise you.

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CONSIDERING BULGARIA'S POST-COMMUNIST TRAUMATIC DISORDER

Georgi Lozanov is Bulgaria's most prominent intellectual. A philosopher, a professor of mass communications in several universities, a former member of the Electronic Media Council, the incumbent editor-in-chief of a popular lifestyle monthly magazine, and an outspoken critic of the system, he is by Bulgarian standards the equivalent of Noam Chomsky, with a strong dash of the Wildean penchant for bons mots - no matter whether he is talking about the legacy of Communism, organised crime, the petty games played in the Bulgarian media or the best restaurants in Sofia.

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BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME

Driving innocently along a Bulgarian road when you're flagged down by a cop who wants 20 leva not to write you a ticket? Want to open a guest house, but an official won't give you an all-important certificate unless you give him a kickback? A customs officer at the border won't let you bring in your laptop because he says you're going to sell it in Bulgaria? All these situations, and many more, are all too real. But you needn't despair. With some sound advice, and a lot of common sense, you, and not some dishonest official, will be bringing it all back home

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WINTER RESORTS

"Would I be happy about buying a holiday home right next to a ski run if I couldn't use it?" This is the question that people who want to invest in the top three Bulgarian winter resorts of Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, are asking. Not that the ski runs in these resorts are bad, they are just as good as those in the Alps. The problem is that soon they are likely to be insufficient to meet the needs of the increased volume of tourists wanting to use them. For example, the ski runs in Bansko were planned and constructed to accommodate about 5,500 skiers at a time.

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