Friday, September 4, 2009

Bulgaria - impressions roundup

As attentive readers know - I was about to move to Sweden. Now I am already here - the relative silence prevailing on maladets! was due to the rather demanding logistics of moving.

My girlfriend showed me this account from a foreigner living in Lund. As I am moving to the very same village, I take up the challenge, and try to sum up my own, highly subjective impressions from Bulgaria, arguably the EU's most corrupted and most beautiful country.


Sex, mostly in the form of more or less undressed women was everywhere, really. Chalga singers with swimsuits in the colour of water-melons... a store for bathroom interiors with a showering bare naked lady, life size, in the window. I laughed a lot about the melons the first time, but after three summers it was not so exciting. Moldova was very prudent in comparision. Sweden is a lutheran church.

Fast money

In Bulgaria, things happend fast and loud. Houses were built, magazines opened and closed. During my one and a half year in Sofia a thousand things changed, and yet it was pretty much the same in the end. The building projects, and most commercial undertakings smelled more of fast profits than corporate responsibility. But also at work, and in any kind of organized activities, I always had the impression that decisions were taken impulsively, often in a haste.

This contrasted to an impressive ability to relax in the face of huge problems. The ability to sit down, drink without getting drunk, laugh and take it cool. At the table, the Bulgarians struck me as a very elegant people.

Back to school

Coming back to Sweden in some way resembles being institutionalized. Foucault argued that the prison was the model of the entire industrialized society. I think in the case of Sweden it is more fair to say that the school is the model of the society. God knows what would make the model of Bulgarian society... In Bulgaria there is something of everything everywhere, and there is a feeling that anyone can do what they want.

Coming from Sweden, a country where people might earn ten times more than their neighbour but buy the same cheap clothes, and the same cheap food, it was very difficult to comprehend a society a city with big black jeeps, horse carts, and enviromentalists on bikes. All at the same time.


In the history of the peoples, the 1994 Fotball World Cup was the Greatest. On this Bulgarians, Swedes and also Romanians agree. I talked a lot of football in Bulgaria. Especially Zlatan Ibrahimovic, very un-swedish in name as well as manners, was remembered by many Bulgarians. But we seldom agree on the details, like whether Stoichkov was a brilliant striker (Bulgarian history) or a crybaby who threw himself on the ground whenever he was within the penalty area (Swedish history).

Bulgaria was a country so differnet from what i knew before. How could I not miss it? At least a little bit...

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