Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day 56: Другата България - The Bulgarian IT Mafia

8 Bulgarians at one place!

Hello there. Saturday was a great day for the Bulgarian IT community in Holland :-) During the week Nikola and Marinela invited me to go and see them in Haarlem. We went to the beach in Zanvoord and met five Bulgarians - 3 of them work in IT companies and the other 2 were guests from Bulgaria going on their way to Egypt through Amsterdam. /On the photo from left to right: Lubo, Harry, Nikola(Don Corleone), Marinela, Katia, Katia, Todor, Misho(former BSH colleague)/.

Тук ще бъде България. Казах!

The kite

Girl power - Katia, Katia, Marinela

(2 Bulgarians + American) vs 3 Dutch men, score 5:3

Nikola, Lubo, Misho

Downtown Zanvoord

Monday, April 9, 2007

Day 51: Magic Easter in Luxembourg

Христос Воскресе!
Happy Easter!

Hello, friends. After a week in Bulgaria, then a week in Holland, this weekend I went to Luxembourg to see a Bulgarian friend of mine and his family. I know Dimitar from the soccer fields of Sofia and we were the biggest rivals :-) ... but life surprised us and decided we to continue our "sport argument" on a neutral land :-) . They've been living in Luxembourg for 2 months and as every newcomer are happy to see a Bulgarian fellow. Easter gave us the chance.

It took me 5 hours to go by train to The Grand Duchy. On my way I could see the cities of Rotterdam, Antwerpen, Mechelen and Bruxelles. I had only half hour for sightseeing in the Belgium capital and what I saw ... huge administrative buildings and fountains. We were watching these images every night on TV while Bulgaria was in the process of joining EU /the all beloved "euro-commissioners" give directions from here staying in their comfortable chairs and telling us to stop the hundreds of years old tradition of brewing home made alcohol or to shut down our "dangerous" nuclear reactors/. By the way, Dimitar's life is going to work as a translator of laws and documents issued every day by EU organizations.

As I was moving farther south I began to listen more often passengers speaking a language that sounded like a melody. Who said French? Right! I've heard before that French is beautiful but it really is /... or am I comparing it to Dutch :) / In The Netherlands everyone speaks Dutch and English, in Belgium they speak "softer" Dutch and French, in Luxembourg they speak Luxembourgish/more like German/ and French. Few people got off from the train in LUX, if I didn't know this was the last stop I would never say it was the capital of the country, ok one of the smallest countries in the World.

To me Luxembourg looks like a resort, something like Borovetz/if it was bigger/, there is something special in that place, a colleague in Holland says: "It's like Harry Potter town" :)) There are many hills covered by pine trees. The old center is compact and neat narrow streets cross it. A large bridge leads you to the modern part where you can see the buildings of EU. I was told that before World War II the main occupation was cultivating cabbage and potatoes. Lately LUX became ?tax free? and attracted investors and bankers.

SURPRIIIIIIIIIISE: One of the reasons to come this weekend in LUX was that my friend's wife was pregnant and the baby was kicking harder and harder :)) but they expected it around the 17th of April. On Sunday, Easter, we woke up, drunk a coffee and were making plans for the day when Dimitar said: "We'll go to the hospital because Nevyana(his wife) has prebirth symptoms". After being examined doctors said that she should stay in hospital and we left her there. Went for a walk, lunch in McDonald's, rested at home when the phone rang ... and Nikolay was born :))))))

Good luck to the little baby and congratulations to his mom and happy family.

Magnolia tree

Luxembourg center

Happy Sofia