Съединението прави силата

Until yesterday, I knew no more of Bulgaria than the average person: Sofia is the capital city, it was the birthplace 1100 years ago of the Cyrillic alphabet, and Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski twice won the Ice-Dance competition at the World Figure Skating Championships. But after eating at a Bulgarian restaurant last night to celebrate a friend's birthday, my eyes are open. Stunning topography, a rich appreciation for its cultural heritage, and the best spinach-stuffed chicken breast in a dill cream sauce this side of the Danube make Bulgaria my new favourite former Eastern Bloc country.


First snow

The best-laid lesson plans went awry at Rainbow International School this afternoon, as Seoul experienced its first snow of the season. For the eight students in my class from Saudi Arabia, this was their first snowfall ever, and its arrival was greeted with nothing less than rapture. They frolicked and made merry, trying to catch snowflakes in their mouths, as I chased them around for their first face-wash.