Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We made it!

YYYEeeeaaaaa!!! Bulgaria is set to join the EU on Jan 1st, 2007!!! okay, romania too...but BULGARIA! today, in lieu of english class, my coworkers huddled around the director's TV to hear the reports from the European Parliment. In my heart, I sort of expected to hear "Sorry BG, Romania, but you're not gonna make it this year. better luck next time!" so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that 2007 is in fact, the date. Bulgaria and Romania began their EU accession application proceedure back in 1995/6, and talks formally started in 2000. This, needless to say, has been a long time to wait for accession espeically when you consider that a lot of their "expectation" may or maynot be met. As all this time has elapsed, many Bulgarians have become uninterested in the EU, and many have also become extremely pessimistic towards Europe and everything that comes with it. A commen complaint I hear is that "only poor countries want to join the EU," and those critics want bulgaria to be self-sustaining entity. I think some of these people are also concerned that the cultural integrity of Bulgaria will also diminish with the distraction of Europe's boarders be more permiable. my old boss used to say that the second bulgaria joined the EU- "kaput!" no more bulgaria because all the bulgarians would leave.

on a similar theme of "we made it," my women's choir recorded its first CD last weekend! For months we tried to find "ydobni" (comfortable/convinient) dates for the whole group, and the middle of september finally worked for everyone. After months of talking about this recording and the studio we were going to use, I was started to get really impressed by bulgaria's level of technology, and even more impressed that my ugly miner's town had this stuff! When we arrived at our studio, i was suprised to instead be walking into a lecture hall built in the early 1900s. The acoustics were great, and the decor something to keep me fascinated during breaks. This particular building is the "mining administration building," though in name only as the mines have been closed for years. inside is also a museum, a brank of the national bank, and of course, an automatic coffee machine. well after about 4 hours of verbal abuse from our director, we finished up and we're currently awaiting the finished product! and if you ever wondered what it sounds like when an american sings a solo in russian with her bulgarian choir...then this CD is not to be missed!

On sunday, I headed into to sofia to attend mass and to meet a friend who was arriving from Athens. I ran to catch my train, and sat in the compartment which appeared to have the least threatening environment; non-smoking old people. about 10 minutes into the trip, the old people - who weren't aquaintences- began chatting. it soon came out that the oldest guy was on his way home from a folk music festival in Macedonia, where he had been a participant. The rest of our trip was then filled with Macedonian folk songs sung by this 80 year old man with the voice of someone perhaps twice his age. It was really quite pleasant, and I was pleased to have such an unusual occurrance that was also a positive one! a typical "unexpected" event on bulgarian public transportation usually means you get grossed out or annoyed, so this was a great change! before we all got off the train in sofia, the man gave us autographed pictures of himself. totally sweet.

okay, this is my update for now!


At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Angeline said...

Yea! I mean...I think it's a good thing. Right? I guess we will know in about 50 years...

At 5:46 PM, Blogger -bio-olga said...

For me joining the EU in 2005 has changed absolutely nothing in my everyday life. Still I am very happy that we took that step to be more European and I hope Bulgaria will use the advantages wisely and make the most of it.

p.s in 50 years there will be no more EU!!!


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