It is difficult for me to follow what is going on in Bulgaria while I’m in the States. Or when I travel. In general. It is difficult to know what is truly happening even if you are there, in the midst of it all.
I remember feeling out of place, trying to accommodate to my old life after my first visit to the States after a 1-month long youth program in North Carolina. When I first got on a public bus just the next day after I had returned, I got surprised to see how angry people were with one another; how meaningless things could trigger a massive negative reaction and how this energy was to be found almost everywhere, contagiously spreading from one person to the next.
I often get angry with my mom when she becomes over-cautious, counting every cent (stotinka in Bulgarian), always looking for the cheapest products available (concerns with quality of food are alien for most of Bulgarians, the lower the price, the better!). I hate it, but I get it. The financial shortage and its offspring- the extreme frugality encapture all of your attention and turn you into a beast whose only matter in life is securing that his very basic needs are met. I get it, because it is crucial. Of course, you need food. And your kids need you. You need to be alive to be humane, right?
But there is more to that story. Poverty in Bulgaria is not only about the low standart of life. It is about the persistent lack of perspective; the inadequacy experienced by both old and young as to what should be done.
We are all set on fire. Comforming to ease the pain, or crying out loud for a change, we are all burning in a steady rate.