Creating Balkan-Babylon Consulting V.O.F.

Trip Start Oct 1994
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Trip End Oct 1994


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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Sunday, September 17, 2006

The period of dissolution of former Yugoslavia and the deathbed hours of the Yugoslav National Tourist Office was only partially nail-baiting and stressful beyond comprehension. It required a lot of composed thinking and planning, meticulous execution of even the smallest and totally insignificant acts because the people, the officials, I had to meet were on guard against anything and anybody coming from former Yugoslavia. Resident and work permits for The Netherlands, transfer of property and administration of an office which promoted YU-tourism to the tune of some 500,000 Dutch tourists a year, searching allies and partners in Macedonia after two years of absence, arranging income, sheltering the family, trying to see what the future holds for me and devising income - that was a burden which would crush me now.

Still, Amstelveen was and continues to be an ideal location for doing business, doing anything, even growing old. It allows one to walk or ride among very cultivated relaxing landscapes, attending events which take one's darkest thoughts away and draw on whatever inner resources one commands.

The Dutch are a nation of tradesmen before anything else, middlemen, deal-brokers. Thus: trade and consulting were to be the two main activities. Trade in porcelain (it is hardly perishable product when top-class) and consulting (in tourism as probably the only industry with a chance of immediate or very quick return hard currency) whether the Dutch or the Macedonians. So, travel to places like Worcester and Stoke-on-Trent, Barlastone, Stone became a must. When that was wrapped, came Luxembourg with Villeroy & Boch.
Thus purchase in Europe from the top producers and sell in Macedonia to the top customers. It had begun as a song and ended as a bloody drama.
Travel to Luxembourg from Amsterdam is about five hours ride via Maastricht and Liege, roughly the same as to Stoke-on-Trent.

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