Bulgarian thoughts from abroad

30/10/2008 by Christopher Buxton

Being away from Bulgaria is a bit like coming off cocaine.

UK is gripped by financial crisis and a febrile debate on whether to publicly decapitate two highly paid TV/Radio presenters – but it all seems incredibly boring. I trudge through piles of leaves, the days are alternately crisp and then soggy, the daily drama is just not there.

My fingers stray across the keyboard to access Bulgarian sites – somehow to recapture that daily confrontation with excessive melodrama. I see that “suicide” has taken the place of street assassination in Bulgaria’s continuing soap opera of corruption in high places. A crucial Bulgarian question is whether a right handed man can shoot a revolver into the left side of his brain. Don’t experiment with this at home unless you’re sure the gun is unloaded and you have nothing to do with Ahmed Dogan.

Previous episodes of “It was suicide wasn’t it?” feature businessmen who were able to shoot two bullets into their heads. Police seem to be baffled. I personally knew a fine young woman whose tragic shooting in a firing range was described as suicide in the papers the next morning even before the police had been able to produce an inadequate report. It was fortuitous that the papers got her name wrong as everybody who knew her found the suicide allegation ridiculous. However the ex-DS owners of the firing range had access to important journalists – the kind that don’t ask questions, don’t get beaten up,don’t have their stories spiked.

Meanwhile western journalists see their articles on Bulgarian corruption driven to obscure pages by coverage of breast jobs, Madonna’s marriage, the banking crisis, celebrity bonking and the American election. Its good that Bulgaria still has those fearless fighters in Baties Boyko and Voden (Ha ha) Tout le meme chose – tout le meme shit.

Still no progress on A Bulgarian Story! Petrol continue to avoid contact with Milka, in spite of a promised meeting with Mitko (above me there is only God) Subev. The Town Hall too will not provide adequate explanation as to why a perfectly sound building must be pulled down. Implementation of the Subev doctrine that every building which is built before 1996 should be deemed unsafe would leave Burgas looking like Dresden after the air raid.

So while Milka sits in a raft without a paddle in the middle of the fast moving stream, Mitko Subev and the Town Hall watch from the bank. Now only just round the bend are the cascades, rapids and waterfall that will smash her raft to splinters and pitch a defenseless old woman into the rocks.