by Svetlozar Zhelev

I believe in a Bulgaria bordering on three seas.

I believe in Bulgaria's history and Bulgaria's tourism.

I believe in Vanga and in Petar Danov. I believe that Mother Russia has always rescued us and goes on loving us.

I believe whatever Bozhidar Dimitrov says. I believe in Sozopol vampires, in the bones of St John the Baptist, in the pithole in Tsarichina, in the treasure of Valchan Voyvoda, in the tomb of Bastet in the Strandzha, in the new ruins, in the foam concrete fortresses, in the plastic dummies replacing destroyed monuments of culture because they stood in the way of organised tourism.

I believe Ataka, patriotism, Alfa and Skat TV stations. I believe in the Turkish Yoke.

I believe that it is better for me if my neighbour feels worse. I believe that a stooped head will not get chopped off.

I believe in home-made Rakiya and drunk driving. I believe that I will get away with 20 leva.

I believe that I can achieve anything with the right connections. I believe that someone else will come and put order into our house. I believe that Chalga is the rhythm of my heart.

I believe that everything was better previously. I believe what my TV is telling me.

I believe that elections are held so that we can get some 50 leva.

I believe that our Black Sea coast and our mountains are the deepest, the highest and the cleanest, and that an additional 5,000 hotels, 300 casinos and 20 ski runs will make us the top tourism destination in the world.

I believe that there is a world conspiracy and that Jews are responsible for everything.

I believe that all tourists need just sun, water and four walls, no matter they will never return. There are more like them wherever they come from. I believe that those hicks, the tourists, are coming here only to disturb me and ruin my own holiday. I will take their money this way or the other, anyway.

I believe that having a tattoo of Botev and Levski and putting up a picture of the Bulgarian flag on your profile will make you a genuine, real Bulgarian, and that no one else, who hasn't done that, is a real and legitimate Bulgarian. I believe that I have fulfilled my obligations to Bulgaria through doing that.

I believe we are the greatest but everyone wants to cheat us.

I believe that a five-storey house with 10 bedrooms in my native village is the only thing I have to live for and it is worth spending 12 years in London sharing the same room with seven other people in order to be able to build it.

I believe that you are not a loving parent unless you take a 20,000-leva loan for your kids graduation party, find a Bentley and some silicon for them, and let them spend at least 5,000 leva more on booze, drugs and napkins for two nights.

I believe that we Bulgarians are the brightest, the Bulgarian women are the prettiest, and the Bulgarian men are the greatest lovers.

I believe we are small and everyone wants to destroy us.

I believe everyone is a crook.

I believe that I know and I understand everything.

I believe that to steal and to cheat is not a sin, unless you get caught.

I believe that I can get drunk, batter my wife and kids, and curse everything and everyone as long as I feel like. This is my Constitutional right.

I believe that I can shout, party, destroy someone else's property and intrude into everyone else's private space. It belongs to me.

I believe that speeding up in the opposite direction lane without having a proper license will make me a better man.

I believe that refugees are coming to break into my home and take my Rakiya and my car, because I hardly have anything else of value, and to take my job, because I have been unemployed for the past seven years, and to rape my wife, though I don't know who'd want to take her after so much toil and beating, but still...


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