Category Archives: Living abroad

Един ден…

Един ден ще гласувам за “DADA, България”…

 

Disclaimer: This is not a political statement.

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-7. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“Expats”

FB Groups/Forums – most of them seem to be rather futile efforts. I just left a group called “Foreigners in Sofia & Friends” which “has the goal to connect all the expats in Sofia and their friends and aims to be a self-help Community where members are supporting each other.”

I left because:

– I am not an expat – I am a migrant. (Many of the smug “expats” will not understand that remark, I am rather sure.)

– I am already well connected with my wonderful Bulgarian and a few other migrant friends, and don’t have the particular wish to connect “with all expats in Sofia.”

– I don’t find it very appealing that on the few occasions I wrote a comment to a post in this group, I was verbally abused by a number of hardcore resident expat trolls for no obvious reason.

– I don’t find it very appealing to read in too many threads that Bulgarians are dumb and rude.

– I don’t find the overwhelming number of posts appealing that could have easily be answered by using a simple search engine.

– I don’t find it particularly appealing that the vast majority of posts are questions like “where can I find an English-speaking N.N. in Sofia?”

– I don’t find it very appealing when simple questions such as “can someone recommend me a Latin American restaurant in Sofia” are almost exclusively answered by people who haven’t obviously read or understood the question (or why would they recommend Iranian, Iraqi, Chinese restaurants instead of answering the question?)

– I am tired of reading again and again how terrible Sofia and Bulgaria are. If you feel like that, what are you doing here? A practical lesson in masochism?

No big deal. It’s just: these kind of forums are nor for me.

They are for – “expats”!

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-7. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Balkans – full of miracles!

The Balkans – a region full of miracles!
 
For example: because on Saturday Albania celebrates Independence Day, we in Kosovo have a day off – on Friday!

 

Logical, isn’t it?

 

albania
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-5. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Broken Glass

A lot of broken glass at work today. The whole car park, entrance doors and windows of the Ministry of Trade and Industry vandalized by “protesters”.

A sad day, but what to expect when even in Parliament elected representatives show their “respect” for democracy and the rule of law by throwing tear gas grenades…

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-5. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“For good mood”

Most of you know what a fortune cookie is – a cookie with a fortune inside, i.e. a message that predicts a hopefully bright future or at least a positive aspect of the future. “You will make a new friend”, “A surprising journey is waiting for you”, “A lottery win”. or “You will meet the love of your life”, or a similarly harmless message, not to be taken seriously.

As far as I know, this trend comes originally from China and has spread all over the world now. As it happens with such trends, some changes and adaptations have occurred in some parts of the world.

One of these changes is that the fortune can be also a quote by a famous person, an aphorism – preferably funny or philosophical, something that makes you think or smile. Something that enhances your good mood.

The other change that can be observed in many places is that the fortune comes without the cookie. You order a coffee, and it comes with a rolled fortune message.

As a curious person, I usually unfold these fortune messages. Not because I believe in the truth of these fortunes, but because they can tell you sometimes something about the mentality or the culture of the place.

During my last visit in Sofia, I had a coffee with a friend. And – it came with a fortune message:

 

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The text reads as follows:

“The bigger the lie, the easier it will be believed.” (Adolf Hitler)

Yes, this is not a joke! Where usually quotes by famous philosophers, spiritual persons, scientists are printed, you have to read the quote of one of the biggest mass murderers in history.

And as if this was not already enough, the fortune message says (below the logo of the company “Happy”, the biggest chain of fast food restaurants in Bulgaria):

“For good mood”

No, “Happy”, I was not at all in a good mood.

Are you just plain stupid, incredibly insensitive, or do you really want to bring your customers “in a good mood” by offering them fortune messages from a mass murderer? Or do you possibly think that this form of marketing is even clever?

In the last case, I bet that your next fortune messages will be like this:

“A man, a problem – no man, no problem.” (Josef Stalin)

“Everything I did, I did for my country.” (Pol Pot)

“You cannot run faster than a bullet.” (Idi Amin)

“Happy” – the inventor of “Genocide marketing”. Shame on you!

 

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Living abroad and its impact

Working and living abroad can transform you into someone a bit more humble, especially when you come from a country where things usually work like they should – ok, let’s not talk about the comedy of errors at the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport…

When you survived over the years unhealthy drinking habits, a confusing… body language (nodding means “no” and shaking your head means “yes”), the worst drivers in the world, and a mafia war (Bulgaria), temperatures above 45 degrees in summer (Jordan), one of the highest lead and dust congestions in the air worldwide (Cairo/Egypt), temporary lack of water (Jordan, Kosovo), government officials with the manners of cattle thieves (Turkey), blood feuds, “sworn” virgins, and disastrous consequences of a change in the government (Albania – after the tenant living upstairs became an EX-Prime Minister, the new government decided wisely that all inhabitants of this building should become EX-clients of the water and electricity company for about 23 hours each day), and natural disasters like earthquakes and volcano eruptions you can watch from your window as long as the dust doesn’t force you to move to another place (Indonesia) – after all these experiences and a few others I am not mentioning here you are either a case for a mental institution or you have successfully learned to enjoy life even more when minor things don’t work as you would have expected it in your previous life.

And hey, after all I had and have a lot of fun in all these places!

Therefore the two days without water in Prishtina are just a minor nuisance – but ask me again tomorrow when I start to smell like a badger 😉

(originally published on my FB page on June 13, 2013 – but since I had the same experience again very recently, I decided to post it here again)

  

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2013/4. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.