what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I see that my ratings („hits”) have gone down recently. I do realise my posts are too long – and too personal! Of little interest to most people. But – as I’ve said several times – the daily discipline is useful for me – even the travelogue stuff. So, if you’re a quick skimmer, please persevere….
I remain a nomad – and find that a change of location does bring new ways of seeing things – to steal the phrase the writer/artist John Berger used all of 35 years ago – even if I don’t venture far out of the flat or house I happen to be in (I counted recently the number of flats and houses I’ve lived in (excluding holiday places) and gave up when I reached 30). I soon create my own space – this flat was both metaphorically and physically cold when I arrived a week ago – but now is so cosey (hugelich as the Danes say) with my bright red old kilim; 8 modern (as distinct from contemporary!) Bulgarian paintings; smells of spices; a music system and special lighting.
Sunday morning was reflection and composition time for the blog – then coffee with Ivo at „Tobacco” (back of National Gallery). I’ve never smoked – except in the last 2 decades one Sumatra cigar each quarter year – but I hate the politically-correct banning of cigarette smoking. Another reason for liking Bulgaria. Ivo took me out to the upcoming Mladost area on the airport part of the ring-road to show me a cheap flat in a panel block which has admittedly better air than downtown Sofia – and which will by the end of the year have a very fast metro connection to the centre. But it it is still too much like the Wild West for my tastes – and the flat itself didn’t have the room dimensions I like and also needed a lot of work
Ivo and his colleague Ivan then quickly sorted out the problem I had with my 14-year old Cielo – whose rear brakes first seized up in the cold mid-week and whose battery quickly followed. I was prepared for a major hassle – but the 2 of them took only half an hour (with Ivo’s BMW off-road) to get the old dear back running. Ivo and I had major conflict with one another in the early months of our work together 3 years ago – but he is now one of my few really trustworthy friends. Verily, you have to go through fire to know your real friends! The same happened in Kyrgyzstan where I had a real outburst against a couple of individuals (one the Minister himself) who were, I felt, just a bit too overbearing. After that we became great friends!
I've come across one of the very few other blogs in English from Romania - and this posting tries to explain why the guy chose to live and work in the country - despite the many frustrations.

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