Thames. In stark contrast, in Goldsmith’srnThe Citizen of the World, LienrnChi Altangi, is portrayed as an urbanernWestern gentleman, albeit with a slightlyrnflowery turn of phrase, and Burke’srnshort story characters are at least as gentlernand sensitive as other people, likernCheng Huan, the poet who attempts tornrescue a Cockney girl from her brutalrnand drunken father in The Chink and thernChild. (It may be of anthropological interestrnto note that the Cockney rhymingrnslang term for somebody Chinese isrn”Tiddley,” as in “Tiddleywinks,” whosernsecond syllable, of course, rhymes withrn”Chinks.”)rnThe caricature and the romance survivedrnVictoria. Travel writer and journalistrnH.V. Morton, in his 1940 essay Fan-rnTan, wrote: “The squalor of Limehousernis that strange squalor of the East whichrnseems to conceal vicious splendour. . . .rnAs you go on . . . past hunched figuresrnwho give way before you, it seems that, atrnany moment, you might stumble on thernkey to the mystery; that you might openrna filthy door and find yourself in a palacernsweet with joss-sticks, where queerrnthings happen in a mist of smoke . . .rnsuch silence in den and in street; the uncannyrnsilence of people who do not thinkrnas we think, whose ways are not ourrnways.” The caricature became an affectionaternone when George Formby describedrnthe industrious Chinese laundrymanrnin his Chinese Laundry Blues: “Oh,rnMr. Wu! / He’s got a naughty eye thatrnflickers / You should see him smilingrnwhen he’s ironing ladies’ [pause] blousesrn/ Oh Mr. Wu! / What can I do? / I’mrnfeeling kind of Limehouse Chinese laundryrnblues.”rnEven though we are all official residentsrnof the “global village,” and despiternthe unobtrusiveness of the Sino-Britonsrnthemselves, a sense of difference persistsrntoday. There is something wonderfullyrnoutre about this reverse colony in therncenter of one of the major Westernrncities.rnLuckily, this sense of strangeness isrnnot accompanied by vague resentmentrnon the part of the indigenes. Sino-rnBritons seek nothing more than to get onrnwith their lives. They are not interestedrnin minority grievance politics. They arernself-contained and largely self-supporting.rnThey are not a drain on welfare.rnChinese food is very popular, its downmarketrnimage notwithstanding. Mostrnimportantly, so far there are relativelyrnfew people of Chinese origin living in thernU.K. One can only hope that the probablern—and probably large-scale—influxrnfrom Hong Kong due later this year intornwhat is already an overcrowded islandrnwill not drown England’s sense of wondermentrnin a sense of England drowning.rnDerek Turner is the editor of Right Now!,rnpublished in London.rnForeignrnCorrespondencesrnby William MillsrnBulgarian Autumn, Part IrnAlexandr Nevsky Cathedral, Sophia.rnRather than dropping out of the sky intornBulgaria at the Sophia airport as I did,rntravelers would be better advised to enterrnby other ways. Driving up from Greecernthrough the Rhodope mountains wouldrnbe one appealing way. Another fascinatingrnapproach would be to sail into thernBlack Sea city of Varna or the town ofrnNesebar. The beauty of Bulgaria wouldrnstrike one straightawa’. Either of thesernland or sea routes postpones the inevitablernblow of the Marxist “architecture”rnin the old Soviet Empire, a blowrnwhich has set back beauty by 100 years orrnso. The economies of Eastern Europernwill have to improve dramatically beforernthey can raze these buildings. The goodrnnews is that since many are very poorlyrnbuilt, they will not survive as long as thernstriking Roman amphitheater in Plovdiv,rnor the exquisite Backova monastery.rnI was in Bulgaria partly because of thernpresidential elections. The office of thernprime minister, which is the more powerful,rnwas not up for a vote. This was justrnas well, for the present Bulgarian SocialistrnParty (BSP), after being in office forrnabout a year and a half, is extremely unpopular.rnThe government allowed grainrnto be exported last year, and since domesticrngrain prices are kept artificiallyrnlow, grain producers sold to the worldrnmarket. Now there is a real grain crisis;rnthere are long lines at the bakeries, and inrnsome towns bread is rationed. The Bulgarianrnmonetary unit, the lev, has steadilyrnlost value in relation to the dollar.rnThis time last year, with BSP in control,rnthe lev was 70 to the dollar; last July itrnwas 188, and in December it was 560-rn600 to the dollar. Naturally this affectsrninflation and interest rates. Inflation isrnexpected to be over 200 percent for thernyear, and interest rates are well over 100rnpercent! Bulgarian families on averagernspend a little more than half their incomernon food.rnAll of this is not just the result of thernBSP in the last two years. As in so manyrnex-Soviet bloc countries, the politiciansrnand bureaucrats in place at the time ofrnthe “changes” have generally resisted privatization.rnInsofar as some businessesrnare privatized, they are tunneled torncronies of government officials, financedrnby spurious bank loans. (The Orion financialrngroup is a good example, and itsrnshenanigans have cast a long shadowrnover the current prime minister, ZhanrnVidenov.) Meanwhile the people are beingrnrobbed, and Swiss bank accountsrncontinue to swell. To a great extent,rntherefore, the October election reflectedrnthis discontent.rnThe principal opponent of the BSP isrnthe United Democratic Forces (UDF),rnan alliance of 15 parties and movementsrnwhich include the Democratic Party,rnpart of the Agrarian Party, part of thernChristian Democrats, and also ethnicrnTurks. It must be said that while some ofrnthese coalition partners were in powerrnfrom November 1991 to October 1992,rnthey opposed mass privatization, too.rn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn