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!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Balkan bites and Russian robberies

I’ve not been in the mood for blogging since a Russian theft, a Bulgarian dog-bite and a Bulgarian eviction last week.
Early Wednesday morning a Russian stole into one of the (Russian) sleeping wagons - which are the only ones now to ply between Bucharest and Sofia (the great old German rolling stock of Bulgarian and Romanian railways have been progressively taken off since 2009) – and stole money from my sleeping partner who was coming for a visit. She woke while he was replacing the purse! With the help of a Bulgarian next door she immediately phoned emergency services - and saw police enter the neighbouring carriage at Pleven station.
 I was initially impressed with the squad of 5 transport police who were waiting for the train as it arrived on Wednesday morning and corralled all the passengers – the Bulgarians are fed up with the frequency and scale of the theft on this line. But she then spent 6 hours at the police station making statements; waiting while the Russians (who had locked themselves in their compartment and came out only when ordered by their Embassy) were being interrogated; and then trying to select the offender from a line-up. 
That was Wednesday. 
Thursday morning I was moving some paintings from the old to the new apartment and was bitten by a stray dog just outside the new place. Fortunately I had a physiotherapy appointment at the Military Hospital an hour later and was therefore able to have an immediate swab and anti-rabies injection. Apparently everyone gets bitten here – Bucharest (despite Brigitte Bardot’s antics) seems to have been able to get the stray dog problem under control by a programme of sterilisation. Here in Sofia there is only talk – no action. 
That was Thursday.
Friday morning came a phone call from my new landlady who had entered my flat without warning or permission and found the cat who adopted us last summer. I had told the Agency to inform her – but they failed. “No cats” she now says –  a soulless, cold and noisy flat and wild dogs have already alienated me and we reach an amicable agreement to part. By the next evening I was ensconced in a much more amenable old flat in the heart of old Sofia (Khan Khrum St) for 270 euros a month!   

The painting is "Patriots" by the powerful Sottish painter - Peter Howson - who has done a series of harrowing paintings from his experience of the Balkan Wars.

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