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Showing posts from November, 2018

The Process

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Years ago, I tried to read The Trial by Kafka. It is not a cheerful book. The title is German is Der Process and at the moment I am going through a very Kafkaesque process.

Yes, I have a new teaching job, at St. George's International School in Sofia. That is the good news. 

The bad news is that I need a Police certificate from the copshop in Shenzhen, to say that I was a good boy while I was in China. 

The good news is that Alicia, the wonderful HR lady at GOS, has replied to my e-mail and she has  promised to help me get this certificate from the SZ Fuzz. 

The bad news was that first I had to get the Power of Attorney document translated from Mandarin into English and Bulgarian. Then the three documents all needed to be stamped by a notarius, after which the documents went to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. The BFM told me no, go away. The Ministry of Justice will stamp them for you, Mr Hill. I found the Justice Ministry behind the Ivan Vzov National Theatre in Sofia and collected t…

A Winter's Tale, Part 3

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Irisha, my dear wife, loves second-hand clothes shops. She was very pleased to discover that there are rather a lot of them in Sofia. Yes, the smell is usually pretty horrible, but the bargains you can find are just too good to miss. (Bring a clothes peg if the stink really bothers you.)
On Friday we had yet another visit to Sofia, as part of my ongoing battle to get my Chinese Police clearance certificate sorted out. The woman in the microwave oven at the Justice Ministry did not charge me much for the official stamp or apostille or whatever it is that they are going to put onto my documents, only 6 leva, but she told me to come back the following week. This meant that we had the rest of the morning before us and therefore Irena decided that we were going to visit some second-hand clothes shops.
First we found a very nice (and very warm) anorak with a fur-lined hood. It fits me really well. Then we had the discovery of the morning: an excellent and very snazzy ski jacket. It is black,…

The Fruits of Our Labours, Part 2

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There is one bad memory that I have that is to do with China. This bad memory is to do with the Chinese Embassy here in Sofia. The first time I went to get our Z visas, more than five years ago, it was a disaster. I queued for ages, but they would not even let me into the building. Finally the guard sent me away and told me to come back on another day. Great! It took me about an hour and a half to get to the Chinese Embassy from our villa in Kalotina. Eventually I did manage to get inside, but I had to queue up at five o’clock in the morning. There were already seventeen people ahead of me in the queue and some of them had been there all night. Finally, I did get into the building, at about eleven o’clock, and the Chinese official who looked at all of my papers scrutinised every line of every document. When she had finished, she went through them all again. 


I did, however, score one or two little points. First of all, she told me that I had brought “too many documents”. (Well, this wa…

By George!

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I promised you a big piece of news and here it is: I have a new teaching job in Sofia, starting in January. Yes, yes, I do know that I am supposed to be retired and in many ways I was looking forward to being retired. Now, however, I miss the buzz of school life and there is not much for us to do in Kalotina in the winter.
On Monday I went for what was supposed to be an “informal chat” with the headmaster of St. George’s School in Sofia. The photos on the school website make the new school building look quite posh (and huge) and the head also has quite a posh name, Justin Kilcullen-Nichols. The salary is not quite so impressive, alas, but the important thing is that we are going to get an apartment in Sofia as part of the deal. There is no way that I can commute from Kalotina each day. (It is at least an hour and a half’s drive from our house to the far side of Sofia.)

St. George’s School is an amazing place. I have seen quite a few schools over the last thirty-something years and I ha…