Bad BG, Part 2

Now it is time for some good news. Or maybe not.

Art or just vandalism?
On Monday morning, we woke up early once again and we took the train from Dragoman. Then we arrived in Sofia and went back to the notarius. First, we had to wait in the glass waiting room and then - guess what? Yes, we had to wait some more. It rather reminded me of my experiences in a Chinese bank. Then, eventually, we were told that we could come out of the greenhouse and go into the Inner Sanctum. There the assistant gave us the stamped and signed document for our Bulgarian residency cards, but he said that he could not do this for the other two documents, the ones for our freight company, AGS, because they did not have parallel English translations. (Oh, the joys of Google Translate!)
Sofia station, yet again
AGS should really be called a "fright company" because it was such a shock when they told us how expensive it would be and giving them all of the documents is a nightmare as well! When we went to the notarius, we had another fright: both of the documents that AGS sent to me must have parallel English translations. Yes, AGS could have told me that, but yes, you guessed it: they didn't. This means, of course, that I had to get busy with Google Translate and then send the two documents from AGS to the notarius with the English translations.
(So why can't the notarius translate them himself? That is a good question and I do not know the answer.)

Yet another chat with the Microwave Woman
Such a comfortable chair too.

Then on Tuesday morning we had to go into Sofia AGAIN, in order to go to the notarius AGAIN, collect the signed and stamped documents and send them to AGS. Then perhaps, if I am lucky, AGS in Shenzhen will send our shipment to Bulgaria.

After the notarius, we were able to go back to the woman who lives in the microwave oven. After lots of photocopies and a form-filling session, as well as lots of scrutiny of our documents, we were not given our new Bulgarian residency cards because the Microwave Woman's boss was away, so we have to come back tomorrow. 

Pretty slow going, hey? Well, we simply must get our Bulgarian cards done. "Yes, but why?" I hear you ask. You cannot do much with one. You can use it as an identity card, but of course you can also use your passport to prove your identity. So why all this bother with BG cards? So that we can apply for our Russian visas! Yes, we can apply. We might not even get them, but our wonderful Bulgarian Residency cards will mean that at least we are permitted to apply for Russian visas. Crazy, isn't? All these documents and visits to the notarius and the MIcrowave Oven Woman, all so that we can go to Russia. Bizarre BG! Well, the Russian Embassy will not accept our application forms for the visas if we do not have BG Residency. It was much the same story five years ago, when we applied for our Chinese visas.

Spiffy hats
On Monday afternoon, the good news was that Irena was able to sort out our travel insurance for our trip to Russia, as well as a year’s medical insurance for Bulgaria. (Medical insurance is required if you are applying for your Bulgarian Residency card.)

Well, the next day was Tuesday and we did indeed go into Sofia yet again (it was in fact our fourth visit and the novelty is wearing off). Finally, the notarius did give us the stamped and signed documents for AGS. The Microwave Woman was next. We had to sign another piece of paper and we were told to come back in three days’ time to collect our new BG Residency cards. Well, it looks as though all of our efforts are finally going to pay off.

Before going back to Kalotina, we managed to find the Eurotherm heating company, with the help of a friendly taxi driver, and they are going to come to our house and measure it, in order to work out what sort of central heating system we should install.

Bulgarian stationmasters (or stationmistresses) have spiffy hats, by the way. Apologies for the quality of the photo, as the windows of most Bulgarian trains are filthy.

More good news: Bill and Julia seem to be having a good time in the U.S. 


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