Recently there was a very sad occurrence here in Bulgaria, and I didn’t share it or post about it, because the family concerned deserved to have some time to take in the news, the lady that was taken from them, be respected.
But, as usual the media took hold of it and turned it into a “hyped piece of media crap that they know is full of bull, but will sell newspapers and make them money! They know that degrading something, publishing hype and negativity attracts people to their websites and makes them even more money, because people sadly are so uninformed about places they have never been to – and often times never even heard of, that they will pick up on what the “newspapers” report and believe it ……..
So what is this post all about? I was going to write it myself, but today on Facebook Danny Opticom Barton someone I have had the pleasure to meet in the virtual world since moving here to Bulgaria, and he took the words out of my mouth with his well written and insightful post, so I asked him if I could share his words here instead of writing my own today.
Here is what Danny has to share:
I felt I had to throw my two pence in on this to ensure my friends don’t buy in to the hysteria and utter tripe the UK papers and news throw out, but have waited out of respect.
Recently, a UK citizen was murdered here in Bulgaria (Condolences to her family and friends, especially her poor husband). The UK papers have reported it, and, yesterday I read some of the articles and took great interest in the comments sections of the on-line newspaper articles.
I was a little more than shocked at the views expressed in the comments section about the crime rate in Bulgaria, how unsafe it is, how people had warned her not to come here, some even went on to say ‘What would you expect to happen in a third world country like Bulgaria’. It amazes me when I read these views, so, I wanted to clear a few things up based on my personal experience of living here.
Bulgaria IS one of the poorest EU members, the wages are low, and there is a poverty issue, but not in the way many would imagine. I’ve been here for close to a year, and, have seen vast improvements, for example, what was once an old dirt track running through my village is now a road as smooth as any UK road. I have yet to see anybody starving to death or wandering around in rags. I have experienced beggars, just as I did in London, Cardiff, Newport and Manchester.
There is little in the way of a society dependant on credit, most own houses and don’t have a mortgage, most grow and rear their own food in the rural areas and cash rather than credit cards are used for most things. Most work hard to make a little money to cover the bills, take part in activities they enjoy and to pay for transport, social events here are just as important as work.
I have seen more Mercedes on the roads here than I ever saw in Britain. If the country was so poor, why do my neighbours knock my door on a daily basis to give ME food? Is that a trait of a third world country? It’s hard to monitor a country financially on paper when most people don’t have credit or debt of some sort.
I see more people smiling here than I did in Britain, probably because they realise the importance of helping each other out, socialising and having fun. It’s a nice balance.
How many Brits will spend this week working non stop just to pay the bills and maybe go out for a drink on the weekend, get hammered, have a fight, go home, only to do it all again a week later.
I once asked a Bulgarian ‘Have you ever been on holiday outside of Bulgaria’….His reply – ‘Why would I want to?’. I wonder how many Brits could give the same answer.
Now on to Crime. In the first 6 days of 2015, there were a total of 17 violent murders in the UK (Figures from the Telegraph), surely that makes it unsafe, I’ve actually only heard of a handful of murders here in Bulgaria and this is the first I’ve heard of involving a Brit.
- I once got stopped by a neighbour here for trying to gain access to my own property (bad eyesight),
- Children play in the streets here without fear.
- Neighbours look out for one another.
- I often get scalded for locking my car when going to the shops, and, when I have left it unlocked, nothing happened.
Crime here is no worse than the UK, if anything, I feel much safer here than I did in the UK. I’ve walked the streets of Sofia, (the capital) at 2am, and, 6 am alone. One dude asked to see my camera, I told him to $£$@ off, he left me alone. I felt safer than I did in any UK city. When I questioned my lawyer, if my memory serves me correctly, there’s been 2-3 break ins in 10 years in our village, the same total was WEEKLY for Cwm, my little Welsh village. Now, I do live in a rural area, and, I’m sure crime is much more rife in the more popular destinations, particularly Varna so I’m told, but again, I had no problems in Varna.
I had the same view as many Brits, in fact, I knew NOTHING about Bulgaria until I visited for a week, and realised I didn’t want to go home. The awful incident that took place is an isolated one that saw the Bulgarian PM get involved and throw as many resources at solving the crime as he could, and, they arrested the perpetrator.
If third world means a place where people share, where people smile, where you can leave cars and houses unlocked without fear, where neighbours help each other, where social events are as important as going to work and making money, then you can keep your first world…. Danny
For me this post of Danny’s says it all – the media hypes things up to suit themselves and create fear amongst everyone. People are badly educated and informed about this beautiful country called Bulgaria and maybe it is time that everyone stopped buzzing around bad news, untruthful media reporting and started to talk to people, to learn about places they have never been and find out the truth before commenting and adding fuel to a crappy fire started with no other reason than to sell newspapers??
image: Coffee With Newspaper” by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net