Some weeks ago I subscribed to Vagabond, which started arriving promptly. I take the magazine because it provides some mental nourishment, reliable information and something resembling culture in a country where patriotic-nationalist stubbornness seems remarkable.
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. When I got there, the woman, of course, was gone but somebody else said nyama problem or no problem. However, I will be excited to learn where the hell the money (plus 5 leva for the "manual bank transfer!") will wind up.
Konrad Watrin, Veliko Tarnovo
This happened to us while visiting the Municipality of Sozopol offices with our lawyer. We parked our car where we have parked innumerable times at the back of the offices, but not in one of the designated parking places. There were no signs to say "No Parking" so, as we had parked there before, we thought we were OK. But when we returned to our car we found it was gone. There was a policeman there and a "spider." Our lawyer spoke to the policeman, who informed her that the car had been taken away and was now in the Marina car park, as we had been illegally parked. She pointed out there were no notices but he just ignored her. I did notice that another car was parked where we had been, but that no one was bothered about that car. We walked to the Marina car park, where we were informed that we could pay 50 leva there and then, or wait for the policeman to return, who would then examine the car documents, fine us and take points from my husband's licence. We elected to pay the 50 leva, were given a receipt and allowed to drive away. When discussing the incident with our lawyer she was of the opinion that it was just a racket, and they were probably operating illegally. Now. On the following day we went to Sozopol again and what did we see at the car park behind the municipality offices but a new sign which said "No Parking." I can honestly say that the sign was not there the day before when our car was lifted by the "spider"!
Catherine Almond, Village of Rosen, near Burgas