Well, if the Mayans are to be believed, the world is going to end today. If so, I’ll be quite annoyed as I’ve just spent quite a lot of time and money doing my last-minute Christmas shopping.
But I’ve been quite taken aback by how much the idea of the end of the world (or края на света) seems to have captured the imagination of the Bulgarians. I don’t even have that many friends here, and even so I’ve been invited on facebook to a number of events to celebrate the end of the world, including:
- An organised run (why anyone would want to spend their last moments on earth running is beyond me)
- A night-time cycle ride
- A pub crawl
- A gig
- A careers event tomorrow (presumably for those who have been putting off making career choices on the grounds that the world will end anyway)
I wonder whether the idea of the world ending taps into some kind of Bulgarian pessimism. Not everyone is like this, but I really was astonished recently when I covered another teacher’s classes at a school in Sofia and asked the children to write a list of positive and negative things about Bulgaria. In every one of the classes that I taught, their initial response was that there would be a lot more negatives than positives. This response saddened me; why, even at such a young age, are Bulgarians so hard on their own country?
In fact, every class ended up with a longer list of positives, ranging from the beautiful nature to the merits of lyutenitsa (a sort of Bulgarian tomato sauce/ratatouille). And they’re right. This is an amazing country. Which is why (presuming that the world doesn’t end today) I’m very sad that I’ll be leaving it again in a few days…