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German Journalist Takes In-depth Look at Bulgaria

Date: 26.10.2009

The German journalist Tomas Magosch published recently his book about Bulgaria in which he tells his experiences, impressions and observations about the country.

The book titled “Bulgaria – Used Sceptre of the Golden Sands” is based on Magosch's 5 years of living in the country and includes themes such as the chalga (pop folk music ), Azis (openly gay pop folk star), the Black Sea, the monasteries, Boyko Borisov, the mutri (criminals), and the Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia.

Alexander Andreev writes for Deutsche Welle that Magosch is a talented narrator, who had taken the time to get to know Bulgaria more in dept than other journalists, has accumulated a significant amount of information about the country and plenty of sympathy for its people.

Magosch describes current Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, as a man reacting in his own specific way – slightly nonchalant and always turned to the outside. “Borisov is someone that is easy to notice at any press conference,” Magosch says, adding the PM rarely wears a tie, but is not an individual without a style. “He usually is slightly slouched to one side, has an air of being bored and follows the events from behind his tired eyelids” – this is how the German journalist describes Bulgaria's Prime Minister.

According to Andreev, Magosch does include the mandatory topics every foreigner talks about when describing Bulgaria - the cheating cab drivers, the monasteries, the heavy drinking at the Black Sea resorts, the martenitsa, the criminals and Borisov, but he also offers, as Andreev calls them “surprising journalist excursions,” such as the children kitchens, the problems of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the inexplicable alienation between Bulgarians and Romanians.

The book is filled with the author's self-irony, great sense of humor and affinity to marginal topics and people, Andreev points out.

Here are two of the journalist's observations:

In the taxi cab: There is always that fear that you will be cheated. You will be lied to, drained, robbed, they will even steal one of your organs.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church: The Church is busy only with itself.

Magosch is, however, critical not only of Bulgaria and Bulgarians, but of his fellow Germans, who, he says, come to Black Sea only for the cheap booze and the endless party.

The book is a bridge not so much between two countries, but between their people, Andreev concludes.

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