Issue 26

driving in bulgaria.jpg


For a year I was driving around in my Lada, completely oblivious to how much it was blighting my social status. Then I got my Ford Escort. Granted, it wasn't that much of an upgrade considering the Ford's scratched panels and 1995 birth date, but it ticked over much better than the 1985 Lada Combi with home-made LPG conversion. I noticed a difference right away. I was able to drive in the fast lane without a bigger car driving on my tail just to prove a point. I got cut up less, and people didn't block me in at parking spaces.

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 11:52
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Is the expat community full of certified alcoholics who, instead of spending their time in Bulgaria visiting cultural sites and learning the language, sit in English bars watching satellite TV and hitting the bottle? Equally, is the indigenous male population full of alcoholics who on waking at 6 am reach for the nearest rakiya bottle?

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 11:46


"What do you mean?" I said, though I knew exactly what she meant. A week earlier, driving home from my girlfriend's place late at night, rain blurring the windshield faster than the wipers could clear it, I'd pounded my fists against the steering wheel and hollered, "What am I doing here!" I didn't mean anything about my girlfriend. What I meant was, what in the world was I doing in Corvallis, Oregon? It rains constantly in Corvallis. When it's not raining, it smells of cow manure. I'm from the beach. I'm from San Luis Obispo, California.

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 11:20


If you're already staying in Bulgaria, you know that no specific vaccinations are required for visitors to this country. And if you have already checked yours and your dependants' immunisation record with your GP or practice nurse in your home country, have the due tetanus and polio vaccinations or the usually advised hepatitis A and tick-borne encephalitis shots, you may skip this article. But if you haven't or in the meantime a child was born to you, your child has become a teenager, or you now need immunisation of hepatitis B or influenza, you can have the relevant shots here.

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 08:53
svetlana's journey.jpg


The last 18 months have been a whirlwind of reshuffles for the Bulgarian Government in its efforts to iron out creases in the infamously weak judiciary – marred by grey areas and organised crime. One of the less publicised appointments was that of a new secretariat to the National Anti-Trafficking Commission in June 2007. In June 2008 the US State Department Trafficking in Persons report noted this change saying that "the Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so."

Sat, 11/01/2008 - 07:47