A New Start

Yep, it’s all true: I decided to retire Bucharest Life. Well, kind of.

There is no one particular reason for doing so. It is more an accumulation of factors over the past few weeks which made me eager to ditch the old blog. First and foremost is the simple truth that after ten years writing almost exclusively about Bucharest, there is not a great deal left to say. It was becoming clear that I had on more than one occasion just rewritten a post I first published years ago. Not my fault (not entirely, anyway): more a reflection of Bucharest’s failure to deal with its many problems.

Then there was the hosting question. Since I began Bucharest Life back in 2007 I had been hosting the site with Bluehost. They were fine for a long time, but late last year it became far too expensive to continue with their service. On top of that, they never really offered me full control of the two domains I own (bucharestlife.net and craigturp.com). Changing any settings (from DNS to MX records) was tortuous.

I switched to the Romanian company Easyhost in December. They were initially very welcoming and fell over themselves to integrate Bucharest Life into their systems. They were well priced and customer service was generally very good.

About a month ago however I began to receive emails from them telling me that the domain bucharestlife.net was being used to send spam. I was warned that if it didn’t stop they would suspend my account. I took what action I could (I have actually for years used Google’s App Suite for email) and tried to convince Easyhost that the problem was not mine: it was clear that bucharestlife.net (along with millions of other domains around the world) was being cloned for the purposes of sending spam.

Nevertheless, last Saturday Easyhost suspended my account. I received the notification while I was wandering around the magnificent Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, near Lisbon (a kind of Horniman Museum with added tunnels). I was told that the account would only be reinstated once I had proven to Easyhost that I had taken all necessary action to remedy the spam problem. This proof would be submitted in writing by the administrator of my company, complete with company stamp. Being a strange kind of person I don’t usually wander around Europe’s leading tourist sites with my company stamp.

Maybe I should.

I quickly wrote back and asked them if they could help? For a fee, of course. My technical capabilities are not up to scouring databases in search of malware which almost certainly does not exist. They did not reply. One guy did, however, switch my access back on long enough for me to export all of my content. (The Bucharest Life archive has been saved for posterity, but until I sort out some issues old links not working and some photos not displaying, it is not live and can’t be viewed).

That was the straw which broke the camel’s back. Yes, I could have moved to a new host and paid somebody to clean up the databases but after giving it at least ten minutes consideration I decided it simply wasn’t worth it.

At the risk of repeating myself, I was beginning to repeat myself. Time for something a bit different. More travel, and (probably) less Bucharest.

I am now off to Faro for the day. Without my company’s sacred stampila.

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