I read Mr Borcic story and all (at this time feedback info). Judging by Mr Borcic family name, I can't help it but think that he is of Serbian descent. This immediately puts the whole story into historical prospective. It is not a news the Serbians foster serious grudge toward Bulgaria. Perhaps the envy of the past when Serbia was a small country that had difficulty dealing with their powerful neighbor. It is obvious he started with an "attitude", but I have to disagree with Mr. Smith, he did not behave like "North American" but like Serb. If we look in the story through that prospective, it comes as no surprise.
Unfortunately, it is true that the service, and I speak not only of the Sofia Airport is less than standard. But I also noticed that the delayed flies and the angry crowd were created by Jess's Air poor handling of the flight schedule, not the airport officials. If that was to happen in America, the airport would've try to calm down and comfort people, but in Bulgaria, the airport regards this as Jess Air business. One can argue who is right and who is not, but if you don't push Bulgarians around, they are actually friendly.
Reluctantly, I agree with Rob Borcic's opinion that the airport in Sofia is a mess, and since the first contact of a traveler with a remote country is usually the landing airport, his negative attitude about Bulgaria is understandable. His jump "back to civilization" must have been a real relief.
Of course, the exact meaning of "civilization" is a completely different question.
I would like to express my appreciation and thankfulness to Mr. Christopher Smith for his good words about Bulgaria. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Alexander Poulev, pure Bulgarian
Since I'm a Bulgarian, I find it quite offensive for the writer to refer to coming "back to civilization" from Sofia. Perhaps he should have researched the culture, current political/economic/social situation more thoroughly, rather than being "pushed" into traveling through Bulgaria. Bulgaria certainly needs tourism, but as any other country, it does not need "unwilling" tourists, who would rather (and I would advise them) travel to a more suitable to their condition Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic/Slovakia/Hungary).
Unlike the cheapskate who took Jess air to Bulgaria, my wife and I had an enjoyable experience visiting the oldest nation-state in Europe. Of course rather than taking the now bankrupt Jess air, we opted to travel with Lufthansa. Although the airport does not rival those of say Denver or Atlanta, we found people there to be generally helpful. Of course it is easier to obtain help when you ask for it rather than demand it. I take exception to Rob's comment that returning to North America was akin to returning to "Civilization". I suspect that his condescending attitude is probably what caused his problem in the first place. Bulgaria as a nation is older than Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France. It is true that world geography and history have dealt this small country a few bad breaks ( the Ottoman empire, forced alliance with Germany in World War II and post war Soviet dominance). However to characterise Bulgaria as "uncivilized" merely displays the writers own arrogance and ignorance. Remember, he who acts as an "Ugly North American" will be treated as one.
A twentieth generation American
I am looking for long lost relatives. I happen to stumble on Rob Borcic's story on Bulgaria. Please forward my message to Rob and have him contact me via email.
Thank you in advance.