On Track

Boys, of all ages, love to play with trains.

This blog has become rather negative. After two “Bad BG” posts, it is time for something positive.


Yes, it is true that life here in Bulgaria has been very busy and rather stressful since we came back from China, just over a week ago. There has been a great deal of fuss about documents, copies and translations, plus lots of visits to the office of the notarius (the Bulgarian equivalent of a solicitor) and various dingy and run-down government offices. We need to do all of this in order to get our Bulgarian Residency Cards (BRCs) and we need these silly cards because we have to apply for Russian visas. Yes, I know it all sounds a bit crazy and this Kafkaesque nonsense seems to have been going on for ages.

You cannot do much about official documents in Kalotina, so we have been traipsing into Sofia I do not know how many times. Usually we drive to Dragoman and then get the train into the city. Well, that is a round trip of about three hours! Yesterday, I finally took my old Nissan X Trail to the dealers in Sofia. It looks as though they are going to be working on it for at least a month. The thing that really annoyed me was that they did not give me a courtesy car, like they did last year. Well, perhaps they will have one for me next week. The other bad car-related news is that I cannot find my small car registration document. (For some strange reason, everything in Bulgaria has its duplicate, so you have two driving licences, two registration documents and two BRCs.)

One last moan: the weather here in Bulgaria is absolutely horrible: cold, wet and grey!

Now for some positive things. We saw these two splendid steam trains in the railway station in Sofia. As we had a few minutes before our train left for Dragoman, Irena said, "Let's take a few photos for your blog." So here they are!

The Microwave Woman said that our BRCs might be ready on Friday (tomorrow), so we are going to telephone her this afternoon. AGS, the shock therapy freight company, have finally accepted all of our documents and so they have given the green light to their colleagues in China, so at last they will be sending off our freight. Hooray! We were quite impressed with Vladimir from “Eurotherm” and we are hoping that he will come to our villa in Kalotina and do some measures, before giving us some advice about what sort of central heating we should install and how much it is all going to cost.

Another positive: I find the big registration document, but I have given up hope of finding its little twin brother. However, the Microwave Woman’s place is just along from the office where you get the car registration documents, so we will not have to make a separate trip. As I already have the big one, together with the documents of the sale from the Nissan dealer, I am hoping that the car registration people will not make too much fuss about giving me the little registration document as well.

The BIGGEST positive of the lot has to be the wireless Internet that is working really well, thanks to a magic box of tricks from Vivacom. Hooray!

Last, but by no means least, the weather forecast for next week is much better, so we should be able to get out into the garden and finish cutting, collecting and burning the grass.  

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