The lawyers are coming, the lawyers are coming!

How many ways are there to entertain a 9-year-old in Europe? Apparently at least two: the American way and the local way. Guess which one requires more legal waivers?

On Sunday my daughter and I decided we needed a swim. And with most outdoor pools already closed for the season here in Sofia, we turned to the Holiday Inn.

To be sure, it’s a swanky setup. There’s a jacuzzi and miles of picture windows and a sauna hot enough to poach an egg. But first we had to sign a pile of documents. Did we examine all the rules? Check. Agree to supervise our children? Of course. Sign away all legal rights forever in the unlikely event that something unfortunate occurs in said pool? Naturally.

Holiday Inn Sofia /

We had a very nice swim. But for the two of us it cost $24 US for a single visit, plus $4 more for an exquisite bottle of Italian water, thank you very much.

On Monday we went to Kokolandia, a ropes course at the southern end of the magnificent Boris’s Garden, Sofia’s forested city park. For $2.75 US  and not a single signature, my daughter hitched into a harness and climbed happily up into the trees. She clambered over obstacles, grunted past obstructions, pleaded once or twice for divine intervention, and flew down a zipwire. “I can’t believe I did it!” she said afterwards. Continue reading