Posts Tagged ‘just so …’

don’t ever look them in the eye

just that? and then what?

“Don’t ever look them in the eye!”, my friend said after he had seen me surrounded by a group of gypsies in the square. “If you stop to talk to them, you’ll never get rid, so you’d better not even look at them.”

When I talked to one of them on the phone recently and explained that I cannot possibly go on supporting financially their 18-member family, so they should try to find jobs, do the things I have taught them to, she was amazed and asked, “Is it unpeasant to you [to give us money whenever we ask you to, no matter how much]?!?”

I don’t even remember what I answered. I was pissed off. What if I had never looked anyone of them in the eye instead of spending so much time with them and giving them so much money? They wouldn’t be pissed off by me now. I just know it.


observer walk

While I was walking through the square early in the morning, I heard someone play the guitar. There were people sitting on the benches and watching the performer on the big stage. There was no guitar player but a mime artist. I took some poor photos of him and went on. While I was taking pictures, I felt a lady’s look on me. It was someone who works in the same building. When I approached her, she asked me “What is this free trial for 14 days?” looking at a billboard of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company. “Internet”, I read for her. Then she asked why there was someone on stage, and I said there were theatre days in town. Then she said she could not walk slowly and hurried up the street, so I said “Bye”

She is not blind; she is not even short sighted. I have known her for several years. For 2 of them her office was next to mine. Back then she asked me many questions. For example, “Please, tell me if my printer is color or not”, so I had to read the label on the printer for her and say “Color”. Then she asked, “Where could I find ink for it?”, and I said “Downstairs, from the company which sells computers, printers and ink”. “Do you know their phone number?”. “Yes, I do.”

As for the theatre days, there are huge posters all over town. I do not have much time for theatre these days, and I don’t know the exact days and stuff, but it was enough for me to see the posters once, so I was not shocked to see the mime artist today.

What if there were no posters at all? Would everyone in Haskovo be shocked by a mime artist and not know what to make out of his sight? What if they did not explain it on TV? How would people know what to think about that?

dazed: feel like being useless

You know the lady who took English classes next door last year? The crazy one.

I met her today – neatly dressed, with a handbag as usual. It was about 8 a.m., and I thought she might be going to work. I wondered who would hire an obviously insane person. Then I thought about the hundreds of people I see in the streets of Haskovo. I so often ask the same question – who hires these people? I have always wondered what services they could offer, how they go about their jobs. Today I just saw them through my sanity measuring glasses. They do not seem insane to most people, but they do to me. Just like my son looks insane to his teachers and not to me.

When I crossed at Pingvinite and walked on up Rakovska, I saw her again – she had taken a turn ( I thought she was going towards the center or the bus station). She walked in her usual incredibly fast way, as if she had something really important to do (Don’t I often walk this way? Just like the guy whom I overheard saying, “I am not in a hurry, but I am in a hurry!”). Then she took some irrational turns and walked up Rakovska, and soon I lost sight of her.

I wish I had a camcorder and ran after her for hours, so that I could show you the video. If I could walk as fast, I would, perhaps, lose weight. Sometimes I feel there’s a paparazzo in me. I wonder what people pay me for.

confused: can you tell showing from telling?

(the difference between Slavi Trifonov and Martin Karbowski)

Slavi believes he should always show his position on issues clearly, while Martin says he doesn’t want to show his position but a snapshot. Slavi tells people what they should do. Martin lets them decide for themselves.

Slavi tells. Martin shows. However, sometimes we could show through words and tell through pictures, couldn’t we?

Martin was in Slavi’s show and was told that when a Bulgarian looks at a snapshot taken by Martin, he either likes to see himself in the picture or not, and if he doesn’t, he dreams of emigration.

Is it possible for a journalist to be objective? Is it never right for a journalist to share his attitude?

Hm, is Slavi a journalist? Isn’t he a showman? He never investigates – he reads (what his team have clipped for him from the newspapers) in a funny way (or that’s what he used to do when I used to watch the show).Still, so many people watch Slavi and are subtly influenced. Big Brother is a show, not journalism, but it has already shaped a generation who finds it OK to masturbate in class, and a generation who finds it ok not to notice the masturbating generation in class.

Have you ever heard ANYONE discuss Martin’s “show”? Well, perhaps art is not as useless as Oscar Wilde thought 😉

would you take up meditation at college?

You don’t have to fight darkness. Just turn on the light.

I remember “Twin Peaks”, “Blue Velvet” and “Lost Highway” as very dark films. Well, I guess I should see them again now that I have heard their director David Lynch talk about transcendental meditation and his dream of building a world of peace.

David speaks in front of Berkeley students a lot on enlightenment and a bit on filmmaking. Then a quantum physicist (John Hagelin) you’ve seen in “What the bleep do we know” joins in. A medical doctor discusses brain activity and demonstrates it with the help of a student whose head is wired to a machine so that we could see the graphs of brainwaves.

Meditation? They say it’s another form of brain activity (the rest being waking, sleeping, dreaming). The physicist suggests it should be part of your college education. Here’s why he has started a university of world peace .

David Lynch Foundation wants to make sure every student (from primary to college and up) who wants to take up meditation be offered the opportunity.

How about taking meditation classes for credit?

does sex sell?

here I hope to post my favourite ad! the piggy-eyed girl, advertising ice-cream near egoist cafe

Here, in Bulgaria, everybody seems to believe that The-Thing-That-Sells is sex. Uniform beauty, practically naked, is touted to sell best. Ads do not have to be funny anymore. The message seems to be “I am pretty. I am longing for sex. Buy the product and I’ll make it with you. You’re not craving sex with me? Are you sure you’re OK?”.

At the beginning at least there was some joke in the ads. Vodka Flirt used to by hyped by some implicit messages about passionate sexual experience, e.g. bruised knees, “She said she had fallen down the stairs”, etc.

Then it evolved into a series of ads presenting sex as the dark temptation you cannot resist, the mysterious sin you cannot help committing. Some angels of ambiguous sexuality were featured with a heterosexual couple. “Are you prepared for tonight?” meant “Are you prepared for a dose of dark sensation which is part of your nature?” There used to be something special about the occasion, no matter whether it was meant to be celebrated on a daily or weekly basis.

Well, today Vodka Flirt billboards sport a blonde in black underwear and widely open legs. No more suggestions, no implications, no hide-and-seek, no play, no ambiguity, no ambivalent human nature. You are shown in no uncertain terms the exact location where you should place your most precious body part.

I was thinking of just painting or punching a little hole on the billboard, but it would seem to revert to metaphor somehow. A hole would be the intersection of the abstract and the representational that sets your imagination free. You might place a body part there or have your soul squeeze through it to nirvana, or both.

Imagination?!? Oh, come on girl! You’re in Bulgaria! You cannot afford being subtle here. You won’t get the message across. The magic image is ladies’ breasts. Explicit! They should remind men of their true nature, of the real meaning of their lives. They should remind women to go on a diet and work out in the gym as their purpose is to help men in their sacred mission on earth. They must exude sex on any occasion. As for male images? Athletic men doing sports? Too good-looking, sorry! We hate homosexuals here. Well, you could sometimes show men watching soccer on TV – that’s what real men are supposed to do. As we are now Europeans, guys are drinking beer and watching the match in the pub, not having affectionately slapping their property on the buttocks while being served rakia and shopska salad in the living room. As for ambiguous angels, Azis reigns without a rival.



I envy Dimitar who’s going to Santa Fe to become a student at my favourite college Saint John’s.

For many people it’s really hard to choose a career. They explore all their passions only to find out that so far they have given up too many of them because they’ve grown bored. These people are afraid of making a firm decision as they might actually mistake what is to become a nuisance for the passion of their lives.

I do not think people should fret about that, especially if they’re going to liberal arts colleges, and even if they are not.

First, they should realize that it’s not only they who are changing all the time, that constant changing is not a fault but universal reality. So, people, embrace change and celebrate it. The world is changing, and if you’re not changing with it, then you might be in trouble. You should be prepared for lifelong learning to cope in an ever-changing world.

Second, when planning for their education, they should avoid attending college with the single idea of training for a specific career. Even if they’re being coached for a career they are keen on right now, they should not perceive this as the only thing they should be doing. They should realize that this is just a part of education, so they should supply the rest from other sources.

If I had focused solely on what people believe I am supposed to do with a degree in English and Bulgarian, then I would still be teaching at school and translating some stupid texts to earn the rest of the money I need to survive. You all know that I am doing neither of these.

I’ll be 36 soon, but I know that tomorrow I won’t be doing what I am doing now. I don’t know what I’ll be up to next year, in five years. I might become a medicine woman or run for the president (on the Lyd – Radina ticket). I might be doing a master degree in Eastern Studies / Liberal Arts at Saint John’s College or on in Social Enterprise at Cambridge. I might be a Feng Shui designer or a carpenter. I might be a writer or a publisher. I might be sweeping floors at Oxford or cooking meals as a happy housewife. I could become a school teacher again or a nun in Tibet. I could be the Minister of Education or a private business consultant. I could be running my own business empire or saving the world, or both. How could I possibly know?

I believe that good education is what prepares you for the transitions in your life. If you start getting it and never stop, then you’ll never feel as if you’ve made the wrong choice. You’ll be happily making choices every day.