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Commenting article: 1 Dead, 7 Injured in Chain Crash in Bulgaria

One man has died and another seven have been injured in a heavy chain crash in Northern Bulgaria, near the village of Lukovit.

The crash involved three cars and two of the casualties are in critical condition.

No further details were immediately available.

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#1
Dutch - 9 Jul 2010 // 14:06:31

"Life's simple in Varna? Maybe only if you follow orders from TIM"

That's one way.....another way is to stay out of any business TIM is involved in. I agree TIM is pretty much a decisive power in Varna, however for the ordinary citizen they do not pose any threat.

I just do my thing, work just as an employee for a Bulgarian company, which has no ties with TIM, and earn western standard, all white, money. My Bulgarian colleagues as well, so it's not because I'm a foreigner.

So yes....with enough money to burn, life's very simple in Varna. The lack of sufficient funding to get through the month is what makes life hard for many. All other things which contribute to a nice life are equally available to everyone.

#2
CJB - 9 Jul 2010 // 13:21:00

Dutch: "Life's simple, good and.....the summers are a hell of a lot better than in Holland :-)"

Life's simple in Varna? Maybe only if you follow orders from TIM:

http://sofiaecho.com/2010/07/09/930213_back-alley-deals

#3
A.Nother - 28 Jun 2010 // 22:37:27

Dutch, again (sorry),

"...However, a couple years ago, when I urgently needed a document, at a time my Bulgarian was definitely good enough to read..."

I think dominating factor here was "urgently". I've not been in a situation where I really urgently needed an official to do something for me. But from what I've heard urgent = pay my brothers company to fill out this form for you/give me some money otherwise this isn't going to happen anytime soon.

#4
A.Nother - 28 Jun 2010 // 22:34:05

Dutch,

"That entirely depends on the notary, his/her mood and his/her ties with a local interpreter. I got away without an official interpreter involved when I was not able to decipher the cyrillic (some 9 years ago), translation from my wife was enough. However, a couple years ago, when I urgently needed a document, at a time my Bulgarian was definitely good enough to read, write and speak, the notary insisted to involve a (befriended) interpreter the moment she saw the copy of my dutch passport which had to go with the documents."

I've found the trick is to use the same notary everytime! Worked for me last week when she started making a fuss and I told her she'd already notarised one document for me last year without an interpreter. Also, in my experience, having the wife accompany you doesn't help as there's an obvious conflict of interest. It's almost as if all BG notaries are infact Nellie: "What, you TRUST your wife to interpret for you? Well, you might, but we don't - go and get an interpreter...."

A general question to all you knowledgeable novinite folk: is BG like the most "notarised" country in the world or is that just what happen when you run a company (in any country). I've never had to go to a notary before moving to BG. But it's always for the company. Is that the same in other countries???

#5
jingsmaboab - 28 Jun 2010 // 22:03:12

Well it is nice that things are working for you guys. For us, things were okay during the boom, I was prepared to put up with the excuses, the delays, the petty thieving, the surliness, the corruption, the crazy bureaucracy. When the crisis hit our business took a nosedive in turnover. Rather than work for less and still have to deal with the usual BG bullsh1t we sold up and moved on. We didn't lose money but maybe we would have if we stuck at it.

I guess IT is a slightly different market: doesn't matter so much where you are based and customers are global. For us, dealing with physical commodities, the disadvantages (poor infrastructure, chaos, Bulgarian "mentality") began to outweigh the advantages (like low tax, cheaper wages, etc.)

Good luck in BG! You will need it.

#6
DrFaust - 28 Jun 2010 // 18:46:52

Dutch,

sorry to hear about your negative experience in Varna. I have very little contact with foreigners in Bulgaria, but the few I know more closely have a similar background like me and are decent people. From the others (BUlgarian or foreigner) I stay away as good as I can.

#7
NellieotAmerica - 28 Jun 2010 // 16:56:01

For all the guys who got swindled into marrying Bulgarian sluts--my sincere condolences! If you knew then what you know now, you would not have done it, I am sure. Still, there is a silver lining to every cloud. Old relatives die and you are free to go back to your own nations and families. Why is it that Bulgarian women are tied to their mother's apron strings and HAVE to live close to home? All other women in all other cultures join their husband's families and live in their husband's nations.

#8
Dutch - 28 Jun 2010 // 16:38:31

"My own Bulgarian is good enough to convince a notary that I definitely do not need to pay a crappy interpreter 100lv to ensure I know what I am signing"

That entirely depends on the notary, his/her mood and his/her ties with a local interpreter. I got away without an official interpreter involved when I was not able to decipher the cyrillic (some 9 years ago), translation from my wife was enough. However, a couple years ago, when I urgently needed a document, at a time my Bulgarian was definitely good enough to read, write and speak, the notary insisted to involve a (befriended) interpreter the moment she saw the copy of my dutch passport which had to go with the documents.

#9
Bill - 28 Jun 2010 // 16:18:08

A.Nother:

"I agree you should make an effort to get by in the local lingo. My own Bulgarian is good enough to convince a notary that I definitely do not need to pay a crappy interpreter 100lv to ensure I know what I am signing."

Agreed! My experience in Germany would have been much more strained, had I not learned the language. I don't know the situation in Bulgaria, of course, but here the Germans are well aware that their language is difficult to learn, so if you address them in even the most horrible language possible, you'll find them friendly and more than willing to help, but not if you hit them in English first. A German friend told me, "It's not any intention to be rude, but it's a holdover from the war. If you hit them in English first, they'll freeze. The young American military personnel here act as though they won the war instead of their grandfathers".

However, tourists aren't any help, either. I was on the cable car up the mountain to Heidelberg castle one day, and I was chatting with an American tourist lady. When we arrived at the castle station (there's another one at the top), the driver made the usual announcement that it was the castle station, and please exit through the doors on whatever side it is at the time. The lady asked me what he had said. I translated for her. She said, "Hmph! Why didn't he say that in English?". I asked her, "How many American bus drivers do you know who speak German?".

The whole key is integration.

I keep repeating, the whole key to successful living in any country is getting a working knowledge, if not fluency, in the local language.

#10
A.Nother - 28 Jun 2010 // 15:54:00

Dutch,

"Their mouths only speak, their ears only hear, their hands only write and their eyes only read their respective native languages, but certainly not Bulgarian. That fact alone already defines enough what utter garbage the majority of foreigners in BG are."

I agree you should make an effort to get by in the local lingo. My own Bulgarian is good enough to convince a notary that I definitely do not need to pay a crappy interpreter 100lv to ensure I know what I am signing. How anybody can run a company in BG without this level of Bulgarian is beyond me (unless you want give full power of attorney to someone you probably don't know very well).

As for the majority of foreigners. Those I know are definitely good guys - admittedly I don't know that many. What I do find though is that when I do notice foreigners here it's the same as with the Bulgarians. They APPEAR to be complete arrogant idiots, yet all those that I know are really nice guys.

This is something which still baffles me here. People in this country are so rude to each other until they actually start speaking to each other (assuming they don't start by shouting) and realise the other guy is NOT a complete jerk. The general rule here seems to be "everybody else is not worthy even to wipe my ass" until proven otherwise.

And multiply that by 10 when cars are involved. I'd love to visit the coast more often, but until they have finished that motorway to burgas I don't dare put my family's life at risk more than once a year. Last time

"Just got back from a trip cross country through BG and, due to other people's inexperienced reckless driving, I had four near death experiences."

I had that experience last year coming back from Varna. When I first came here I did the trip Varna to Plovdiv quite regularly and it never concerned me much. Now with two little kids in the car it scares the hell out of me.

"IT business may be somewhat down on its a$$ compared to the 90's, but it is still alive enough to give us more than enough opportunities"

Didn't start work until the late 90s when it really was a piece of cake to get a job in IT. But IT is here to stay no matter how many jobs they outsource to India (and India outsource to China - which is happening by the way). There's a massive market for niche products which can't be built through outsourcing (long-tail philosophy). Outsourcing is OK for big corporations - it doesn't work when you are an SME working directly with the client. We have at least one client who keeps on being fooled by the cheap rates and "promises" made by Indian companies. He keeps on coming back to us because he can't get them to do what he needs (he's not very good with words as it is). Hell, I can't even understand what he's on about most of the time.... sorry I digress....

#11
Dutch - 28 Jun 2010 // 15:18:32

"my case is a bit similar to yours and I think this is a quite common phenomenon amongst foreigners living in Bulgaria."

Hmm, I do not completely agree here. It certainly is not valid for the city/region I live, which is Varna. It of course may be different in other parts of Bulgaria, however here the vast majority of foreigners are nothing but blood- and moneysucking scum who'd be ready to sell their own parents if that'd mean 1% extra personal profit/gain. Even among those foreigners who are in a relation with a Bulgarian a lot of garbage can be found. Likewise, they may give me the same honorable title of being a tough, selfish m.f. because I refused to lend or give them some money as they don't have anything anymore due to epic predictable failures throughout the years: Living like kings, pretending to be gods, blowing their lifesavings in a heartbeat without thinking for the slightest moment. Now they are with their butts in the gutter......and can not arrange anything as all those years the money did the talking for them.....not their mouths. Their mouths only speak, their ears only hear, their hands only write and their eyes only read their respective native languages, but certainly not Bulgarian. That fact alone already defines enough what utter garbage the majority of foreigners in BG are.

#12
EuroBoy - 28 Jun 2010 // 14:58:09

Bulgaria is also a better option in the EU if you are a Bulgarian living and working abroad, but spending your money in BG on hollidays. You get more for your money as a visitor in BG.

#13
DrFaust - 28 Jun 2010 // 14:49:20

Dutch,

my case is a bit similar to yours and I think this is a quite common phenomenon amongst foreigners living in Bulgaria.

By the way, I have worked and lived in several countries and can only say that 'chaotic environment' in Bulgaria can be only said by people who either look for an excuse for their personal failure, or for those who don't know that in most countries of the world the business environment can be really chaotic. Not that I think there is no room for improvement in this respect in Bulgaria, but from a realistic point of view, Bulgaria is already in a better shape businesswise as many other countries.

Me personally, I enjoy a lot less bureaucracy, easy procedures and low taxes, compared with let's say Germany. On the other hand public goods or social security are either not available or not on the same level. When you have a good job/business Bulgaria might be a better or at least more interesting place than many European countries. When you are old, ill, unemployed, Bulgaria can be horrible, especially when you have no family to support you.

#14
Dutch - 28 Jun 2010 // 14:24:07

"what I wonder is why you decided to stay in BG, despite the chaotic environment?"

The reasons are pretty simple. Looking at myself, I can go anywhere and make it a success, I will and can adapt to any surrounding, however having a wife who's only child (her sister died in an accident in Sofia decades ago) of parents now a fair share over 80 years old, where to go? Bulgaria is not what one would call a friendly environment for the old, weak and lonely. As we (my wife and I) do extremely well for Bulgarian standards by doing honest work and putting in many hours, it would be in our case very selfish to abandon my wife's parents just because we (I) would not be able to deal with the chaos as money is no valid reason for us to pack our bags and to go to wherever. Job wise both my wife and I could easily land a job anywhere in the world - IT business may be somewhat down on its a$$ compared to the 90's, but it is still alive enough to give us more than enough opportunities.

Anyways, as long as I can let of some steam (vocally or physically) every once in a while, I can deal with a whole lot more chaos :-) Just please allow me to bitch about it at times is all I ask from people :-)

Life's simple, good and.....the summers are a hell of a lot better than in Holland :-)

#15
jingsmaboab - 28 Jun 2010 // 12:21:14

" I don't say I'm the best driver, but for a fact I'm more experienced and a better driver than 99% of the a$$holes on the roads here."

Not so surprising when you consider that many, maybe most Bulgarian drivers never bothered to study and pass their driving test: they just pay 300 leva to some official through a corrupt lawyer with the right connections in the administration, and hey presto! One full BG driving licence, valid throughout EU!

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