“Regional Development and Public Works Minister Asen Gagauzov managed to shock the entire Bulgarian nation with his statement that all of the country's services were in place during the heavy New Year's snowfall. Nothing can faze the authorities: not the seven cold-weather casualties, not falling awnings, not the pile-up of cars on Sliven's Pentacle Intersection….”
"Looking at the bigger picture, contributions from EU funds make up barely two or three percent of the budget, and I'm sure that the Bulgarian economy can get by without them."
Issue 19, April 2008
When I first arrived in Bulgaria, I was struck by the open countryside and the pleasant scenery. As my travels progressed my attention was also drawn to a rather unusual use for litter. 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.
“I could become a journalist.”
Issue 20, May 2008
Learn the bloody lingo!
Is this what the Bulgarians think about us Brits?
"This is an old Bulgarian trick - we get a letter and don't answer it, and in this way we've solved the problem."
Issue 21, June 2008
I recently found these on a menu at a restaurant near Svishtov - I've added the proper English translations and explanations.
The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation hosted its first annual summer fiction-writing seminar in Sozopol in May 2008
I thought I might share my views on something I think is very indicative of Bulgaria. It's about the stray cats and dogs. Yeah, I know, but I'm not going to lecture you about it. It's just a few thoughts. 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.