Tim Ireland

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Postcard From Bulgaria

by Tim Ireland Bezgranichana vusmojnost (unlimited possibilities) I’ve been coming and going from Bulgaria for 20 years – which is to say my knowledge of the country doesn’t reach back to the fall of the Iron Curtain, but it started in the heady days of pseudo mafia rule in the years that followed. Most of the people I know here were teenagers of young adults when the wall fell. Some were actively involved… they all remember what life was like before. The somewhat depressing refrain I’ve heard from many – especially those with international exposure and who know how pervasive and demoralising the lockdown has been in the UK – goes roughly like “I thought we threw this junk out, dealt with the joblessness, disenfranchisement, and community decline of the transition to capitalism so we didn’t have to live like this. The reward for that price was supposed to have been liberty”. A high school best friend – still a very good mate and sardonic at the best of times – shrugs his shoulders and proclaims as if narrating the history of the human species from a pulpit “That’s it. Those that have lived, have lived. Those that have travelled, have travelled. The end.” He’s actually among the more chipper of his countrymen, has worked hard to build a career,...

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May 2024
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