In his powerful memoir, Alcohol, Kalin Terziski defines his parents generation by their hushed reaction to all life’s challenges typical in communism – “awful, awful”. Sudden deaths, arrests, cuts in water and electricity, queues outside shops, divorcing couples, ungrateful children, holes in the road, suicides of young poets and petty crime would evoke the same frightened response of “awful, awful!”
One imagines these words ringing out more loudly round Bulgaria today as the news spreads from the town of Oryakhovo of the baby allegedly stuffed alive into a hospital freezer and the spectacular arrest of the responsible doctors. The baby’s mother was a shy Bulgarian school pupil, terrified of her violent father and the baby’s father was a gypsy. Whether the baby was indeed still alive when stuffed into the freezer will emerge from an inquiry.
What has emerged is that in their hastily written report of the “death” they got the gender and age of the baby wrong.
Revealing of the current environment of State Paranoia is that this story only emerged as a result of phone tapping. A conversation was overheard between the hospital chief and the local mayor about the baby. This led to spectacular scenes as anti Mafia police – normally used for arresting gangsters and corrupt politicians – rushed into the hospital and arrested doctors at gun-point.
The Hospital chief has shared his astonishment that doctors should be treated as dangerous criminals. Leader of the Conservative Party has demanded the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs, following the latter’s decision to quote from the tapped conversations.
Self elected bard of moral outrage, Martin Karbovski has seized upon the freezer as a powerful metaphor for the state of modern Bulgaria. And the fact that the words for miscarriage and abortion are the same in Bulgaria has allowed him to portray the citizens of this frozen realm as “abortions.”
Helpful though his comments may be in provoking a chorus of “awful, awful!”, they will have done little to worsen Bulgarians’ already fairly jaded view of everyday life.
In a desperate attempt to bring a smile to the lips of his fellow citizens, Greatest Living Bulgarian, Boyko Borisov has brought out the latest episode of “Government – The Soap Opera” – in which he confesses that he and his colleagues were completely taken in by the beautiful former chief of the Agricultural Fund, Kalinna Ilieva. Not only did this young woman succeed in fooling them all with a falsified diploma, but incredibly she passed off her pregnancy as a cancer tumour.
In another twist of the absurd, former chief of National Security, Alexei Petrov, who is threatened by investigation of years of corrupt links with the underworld, is being persuaded to run for the post of president in next year’s elections. Subject to a highly publicised police campaign, the so called Tractor and head of the Octopus has already had talks with that Dorian Grey of Bulgarian politics the outgoing president, Purvanov.
Former Communist, Purvanov has clearly despaired of the chances that the Socialist party under the anally retentive Stanishev can challenge the super-popular Boyko Borisov. So with the aid of a few well chosen pals, Purvanov is launching his own left-leaning party in time for the next Parliamentary elections.