On the other hand, when the venerable woman is as eternally charming and fine-looking as Bulgaria, who in this world can blame me? I suppose I should not be so open about it, given that I have an outstandingly beautiful and talented wife of my own (considerably younger than 1,325, I will inform you at once). So, I suppose this has to be called "an affair," which would be perfectly respectable in France, but would be frowned-upon in the United Kingdom, where I was born. Even more complicated, but less uncommon these days, is the fact that my wife is in love with the same woman.
My mistress and I first met when she was going through a messy divorce with Communism in 1990. She was, like many ladies in this situation, having an emotional crisis, and kept going back to her former spouse, who continued his bad ways, despite promises to the contrary. He still keeps coming around and moving into the home, but it is just hard to get rid of someone with whom you were forced into marriage for over forty years.
A collection of my love letters to her was published in the early 1990s, through the Academy of Sciences dedicated to one of Bulgaria's greatest writers, Aleko Konstantinov, son of Svishtov, who died so tragically young. Perhaps one of the happiest experiences of my return has been to see his book "To Chicago and Back" finally published in English. I called my book "To Sofia and Back," and tried to emulate his style - quite inadequately. Every time I return, (notice I say return and not come back) and before long I hope to settle here I am happy to see more and more progress - all vigorously denied by the people of course; it would not be Bulgaria if they did not - I feel happy for this calm and welcoming corner of the Balkans. So once again i look forward to renewing friendships, and making new ones - so easy in this country. Resist the pressures to become like some other place, and remain, forever, Bulgaria.