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Weekend reading: All abroad

My regular Saturday comment followed by this week’s blog and financial site links.

Straight into the links this week, as by the time you read this I’ll be somewhere in Eastern Europe, visiting my girlfriend who is doing some research work and eating too many pigs.

This is not the first time her work has taken her there, and it’s not the first time I’ve visited the area, which is one of Europe’s most ‘charmingly undeveloped’ regions. The sort of place where a man might boast on the first date about how many goats he has.

On the one hand, it’s retro frugal, and often beautiful. It’s also interesting and sometimes moving to see a whole nation trying to build a country they can be proud of for the 21st Century .

On the other hand, it’s depressing poverty and corruption, which my girlfriend tends to see as an exciting difference and I see as unlucky for people who still live four to a room, plus the pig.

On the other, other hand – yes, three hands, I told you it was rural – she is trying to do something about it, whereas I just assume that capitalism will solve the problems while undoubtedly creating new ones, whatever people like her do.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Nevertheless, it’s more surprising to me than it should be how one can still find such regions in Europe in 2009. It’s good to have your eyes opened to other realities.

I ended up waffling – so now the links!

From this week’s personal finance blogs

Other interesting financial and money articles

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