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An Unfortunate Truth

Today I’ve decided to share with you one of the things I hate about J-O. Yes, you heard me, something I hate about her. It’s a strong feeling, to be sure, but once I’ve explained it you’ll understand why. You’ll also then understand why it’s something that doesn’t make me hate her, but rather makes me want to change it, and I believe I can change it.

She is racist. When I was chatting to her over Skype I got a few hints of it, but not anything to make me overly concerned. Yes, she asked if there “many black people” in Southampton, but I shrugged off the question and thought little of it afterwards. Yet both times we have met in real life, she has made racist remarks about how there are “too many black people” living in London, and at one point soon after I mentioned the tan I got while on holiday, she kissed my skin and said it was “nice and white”.

I did not say anything about it at the time, and for that I am ashamed, for to not condemn something bad is to condone it. Or, as Churchill said, “all that requires for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. However, in the future, when the subject comes up, I will make a stand.

To me, and to many others, racism is wrong. It has no scientific basis, despite what some might claim; it has no sociological basis either. It is unfounded fear of the unknown, no more. I also view it as part of the British national psyche. Yes, Britain has had it’s racist elements, it’s racist periods. Yes, many of the officers and officials of the British Empire were motivated by racial thinking. But equally, Britain has made many notable achievements in this field: it was the first to outlaw slavery in 1807 and in the British Empire (except India) in 1833, it did not have any immigration control until 1905. Although visiting US soldiers during WWII were allowed to import segregation in their bases, it was not the case elsewhere. Indeed, outside US bases, when US soldiers attempted to assert segregation, British people fought in support of the black soldiers. Furthermore, all Commonwealth citizens have, since 1945, had the right to live in the UK, and most British people are very tolerant of minorities (see the recent, and very relevant, backlash against Bulgarian fans’ racist chanting in the recent England vs Bulgaria football, or soccar, match).

Many may argue that I should not even be with her for this reason, but I don’t agree. I disagree not because she is the only girl I think will ever like me. I disagree because it is a racism that is not angry, not deeply embedded. It is something that has been impressed upon her by her society, both officially by the state and socially by relatives, friends and notable community figures. As in many countries, it is something borne from many centuries of being part of an empire, in this case the Ottoman. From this view, it is understandable how J-O thinks this way. But it can be changed, because it is something that is derived from society, it is benign, and benign views derived from society can be changed when people are still this young, when confronted with the reality, the truth, the facts.

I believe I can instigate that change. I believe that I must, and must succeed.

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I Blinked

I kept thinking about J-O over the holiday, and on Sunday night I finally gave in and texted her “I miss you”. The next day when I managed to get on the internet, there was a message from her saying hello. I responded back but couldn’t get on the internet again until Friday. She’d asked how my holiday was going and I said ‘fine’. Then I noticed she was on fb chat so I said hello. We got talking and she thanked me for the text.

That did it for me. I said “sure that sounds good. sorry about the text, I wasn’t sure if I should have sent it or not”. She said it was “fine, you can say to me what you want”. I said “no I cant, because it wouldn’t be fair on you”. She told me to say what I wanted to say. I said “I still love you”. She said “we will meet up when you are back”.

She then asked me if I wanted to go to Bulgaria with her for a few days (she’s going back for a month, before uni starts). I said it would be nice and I’ll “see what I can do”. I will look into it but I am not sure if it is possible.

Then she said she’d be back in a few mins, and while she was away I told her that my offer for her to come down to Southampton for the weekend was still open. She said she liked the idea, and that we’d talk about it after I’d ok’d it with my parents. I then said I had to go, and that was that. Yesterday she seemed to back away from that idea but today she sounds like she wants to come.

The State of Play

As you may know if you read my blog regularly, J-O is now in the UK working as an au pair. Well, I have phoned her a few times over the past few days and she did not seem to be finding the life of an au pair “agreeable” to her. Certainly, the amount of work the family she is working for is giving her she doesn’t find agreeable.

I phoned her today and she said that yesterday she told the woman (mum) of the family that she felt she was not able to do all the work she was set. Apparently – and understandably – this did not go well. So, tomorrow (well, today now, UK time) she will leave this family and go work for a different family, of whom she knows nothing.

She admitted, though, that the expectations of her are likely to be the same whoever she works as an au pair for. I agreed with this, though in my mind, I didn’t say this to her. She said that she might even go back to Bulgaria. I don’t mind this really, I’d rather she’d be happy in Bulgaria without me than miserable in the UK with me (though I am still in Southampton, not London, but you get what I mean), though I would be very sad and disappointed.

So at the moment she is not sure what will happen. In fact, she’s not even sure we’ll be able to meet on Sunday. She said she will text me when she knows what is going on, which will probably be tomorrow (today, effectively). I really hope we are able to meet at least once, if she does decide to go back. If not, I will be devastated.

Other recent developments:

Predicting My Situation

As I said yesterday, me and J-O are taking a break. As I said, “I don’t understand how it will make much difference if we’re together or apart to stop her feeling” lonely. But last night, as I was trying to get to sleep, I think I worked out why. It’s because she’s not going to come over for a while, perhaps only when university starts in about 10 months time.

Why do I think this? It’s simple. She wouldn’t do this if she thought she would be coming over soon, because what would be the point, suddenly stopping after 8 months when there is only a month or two to go? She must then think that she won’t be coming over for ages, so she doesn’t want to feel lonely in that long time. She thinks she has time for other relationships, perhaps.

Not to mention the fact that I’m sure that it would be easier for her to stay in Bulgaria until university starts, as Britain isn’t exactly in a good position on the jobs front, and this must be much harder for non-British workers, even those who are fluent in English and are very clever. I’m sure she realises it would be easier to stay at home in Bulgaria and work, since obviously that reduces living costs dramatically compared to London, so even if she makes less money than she might in London, the much lower living costs would mean she may earn a fair amount more.

It certainly seems like a logical conclusion, doesn’t it? 😦

Drunken Texts

It’s funny, people texting when drunk. Or more often, annoying. One of my friends has the habit of sending texts when he is drunk, usually waking me up because of it, so now I’ve got myself into the habit of turning my phone off every night. A different friend sent me a text at 2am one night, waking me up, which was so frustrating, I couldn’t believe it. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have my phone set to bleep every 10 minutes if I haven’t read a newly received text. Admittedly I could turn that off, but I can’t really because I don’t check my phone otherwise, so I’d miss lots of texts.

The only drunken texts that are ok are the ones from J-O. Partly it’s to do with the fact Bulgaria is 2 hours ahead, so they never come in at ungodly hours, but mostly because they’re actually sweet and not annoying. It’s only happened three times, but those three times have always been sweet texts about how much she wants to be close to me, which is great, especially compared to the annoying drunken texts from my mates that either say something stupid, or say something completely indecipherable.

I Wish I Could Just Get On A Plane…

Last night, when trying to get to sleep, I suddenly thought ‘I wish I could just get on a plane and visit her’. What probably prompted this thought was when my friend J said that him and M were going to visit Bulgaria and joked (I think it was a joke anyway) that I could come along with them and see J-O. However, looking back on it I’m not even sure he said that. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that I dreamt he said that, or imagined it somehow. Anyway, I would love to visit her in Bulgaria. I have time – 3 months (from today) to be exact in which I could do it.

There are only several major problems with this idea. Firstly, how to explain about J-O to my parents and then convince them to go on my own or with J and M (if it turns out I didn’t dream J saying that). If that wasn’t difficult enough, I’d have to then organise it, spend lots of money on flights and converting currency to spend while I’m there. (Oh yeah and I’ve talked to J-O and she said I could stay at hers rather than stay in a hotel, so that would save a lot of money) And I’d have to ask work if they’d give me a week off, which I’m not sure they will do even though they’re always very accommodating.

And this is all presuming J-O’s parents can be convinced to let a-random-stranger-that-their-daughter-has-only-met-on-the-internet stay in their house, probably in her room(!),for a few days (not the whole week – J-O suggested we go away to the beach for a few days you see). Yeah, that sounds like an easy obstacle to get over. Not. (And similarly with my parents, letting their son go to a far-away country on his own to meet some random girl (who may not be who she says she is!).)

It’s a nice idea. But it’s never going to more than an idea, a pipe dream.

A Letter and a Poem

The other day J-O asked me for my address so she could send me  a postcard. She had before, a long time ago, asked for my address so she could send me things, but I’d previously refused due to internet safety issues. This time though, I said yes, and duly gave it to her (not like that, you sick-minded individual! lol). Then I decided that I would send her a love letter and a romantic poem.

The content of the letter is not really that new, much of it I’ve said to her before, but I thought that as a letter is more personal, that I would still do it. Basically I wrote about how I felt when she first talked to me, how my feelings then developed, how I felt when asking her out, and how happy I felt when she said yes. I ended with a look to the future, of us finally being together. I typed it up first and now I plan to write it properly myself, and I will probably send it in the next few days. I think – I hope – she will like it, it is very sweet, I think, coming right from the heart. It is something physical she can have, before we are together.

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