Bivol is pleased to introduce the latest addition to its staff – writer Stoyan Nikolov – Torlak, author of the book Northwestern Novel, who will write a weekly column on current issues.

The government had dealt “well” with the “disaster”, some politicians say; I fail to understand, how come these politicians are not sick of themselves by now. In fact, I know that they have fundamentally proved able to swallow everything for the sake of their interests and to turn the black into white without even batting an eye. Furthermore, so what, they can now speak unperturbed, because those tens of thousands of households, who still have no electricity, cannot hear them. There is no TV, radio and internet without electricity, end of story…

So, dear people from the Rhodope Mountains, you know now. You may have already been freezing for a week; you may have been trapped in the snow and you have not had the opportunity to go to work, to school, to give birth in a hospital or to receive life-saving medical care. You may have been frozen and died in snowdrifts. Maybe your property is destroyed by the monstrous “disaster”? It does not matter. Just know that politicians are taking care of you round-the-clock, both from the central government and local ones.

And if you don’t feel the omnipresent political hand supporting you and pulling you weary from work bodies from the drifts of poverty and marginalization; if on the contrary, you feel that State men and women are doing everything within their power to bury you with the snow shovel as deep as possible, then the electric power utilities come to their support. Here is a simple example. A representative of one of them, not without pride, explained that a week ago, when the month of March covered you with a white blanket of snow, there have been two hundred thousand households without electricity, and now this number dropped significantly. No, this is not carelessness and violation of fundamental human rights. On the contrary! If this is not help, what else is it? They are doing it for you!

Another such chap did intervene in the good old discussions about power utilities, you see, having no money to replace and modernize their network because electricity in Bulgaria was too cheap. He forgot to mention their annual profits of hundreds of millions, so what, the man just missed something. What matters is that you are the guilty ones, not the power utilities! If you paid for more expensive electricity what happened to you would not have happened. Because the utilities love you very much and want to take care of you, but they are poor as church mice and cannot do so. However, their thoughts are with you.

Snowdrifts were several meters deep, the snow – heavy and wet, so how come you have the gall to have claims for snow-removal companies. Surely, they are not the ones feeding from local mayors, offering bribes and jointly robbing the municipal money; that is your money. There are not the ones that are unprepared, without any quality equipment and professional staff. Nothing like that! You are wrong! The heavy, wet snow and deep drifts stopped them from digging you out from villages and towns that turned into bear dens for an entire week. So, where else does this happen in the 21st century!? Haven’t you heard that in France, Italy, Germany, in all Scandinavian countries, people stand quietly in the dark, buried under snow all winter and wait patiently until the spring for the institutions to dig them out and to finally free them.

And stop whining! People around the world pay huge money to stay somewhere alone with their families, cut off from civilization, without mobile phones and TV. And they are longing for romantic candlelight dinners. They call this romance. But you are too dumb to get it! You only know how to complain against the supposedly bad institutions because you are ingrates! These institutions are simply supporters of patriarchal values, and, above all, they provide you the opportunity to get a real extreme experience, if you have such desires.

Furthermore, think soberly. Institutions are not acting like this only towards you. Bring the map of Bulgaria closer to the candle and look at it, but be careful for it not to catch fire. Find Sofia. See where the highways coming out of it lead. If you live five to ten kilometers north or south of them, or in the capital itself, you are lucky. You may have more or less normal living conditions. If however, your ancestors had the imprudence to settle in Strandza-Sakar, Northwestern, Central Northern Bulgaria, the Ludogorie, Dobrudzha, Rila … If you had even the greater imprudence to remain there instead of emigrating…

Well, then you only have yourself to blame. Nobody is obligated to take care of you, regardless of what the Constitution says. Equal rights, blah blah! You can only expect some attention from politicians just before elections, when they come to you to tell you a bunch of wishy-washy banalities. Oh, and one of their cronies might take you under their wing in their company for illegal felling and give you pocket change to ruin your homeland’s nature. And then they, the politicians, will have even more reasons to find excuses in the nature’s wrath. And you will still stay buried under snowdrifts or will be taken away by floods and will remain silent. In this country we should maybe just rely on our luck…


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