Written by Borislava Zaharieva
International Fellowship of St. John, Board Memeber
Wife of Pastor Stanimir Zahariev , Kyustendil, Bulgaria
A good woman and her three kids went on a trip. Being a responsible mother, always planning ahead, two days before the trip she buys the bus tickets online, but unfortunately she got the wrong date and time of their return. It's good she noticed it on time and walked all the way to the ticket center, explained to the girl at the ticket office of the mistake she'd made, the girl understood and they fixed everything. The next day the mother and the three little ones got on the bus, happy, arrived in 2 hours and an had amazing weekend with their friends. The time came to go back home. The four of them went to the bus stop and showed the lady the tickets they had bought long long time ago, before they had left. To their surprise she said, "Your bus has just left , ma'am. They gaped in surprise! What do you mean, it has just left, we have tickets for it- it says 1.30. Yes, 1.30 but from the next bus stop and from this bus stop- at 1.10. The woman got upset, fear creeping in- How can you pay to go one place and be given a ticket for somewhere else, how is that even possible, what am I going to do here at this bus station with the kids at this time of day? - begging, crying, no mercy coming from anyone, no understanding. The lady behind the counter looking at the screen/monitor repeating, that's what the system says, its your fault, not ours. "What do you mean its my fault?" I say. I said what I needed and I paid for it and it turns out I got something else instead. Four pair of eyes blink in harmony with the monitors/screens- one cashier, three bus drivers, and one monitor. How do I get home now I ask as I leave the room mad, ready to faint. All of a sudden someone's little black hand taps me on the shoulder. Excuse me, ma ám, can you come back and tell the names of the children? Me: But..but..what, why ? Him: It's no use, ma ám, arguing with the system, if the system says so, noone's going to help you, tell me the names of the children. I say them, still not understanding what's going on. "Here you go, Ma ám." He hands me four tickets for my destination. Tears start pouring down...I don't have a tissue...It's humiliating. Wait, you can't pay my tickets just like that... "It's allright, Maám..."
Waves his hand. "Wish you the best of luck, maám, please, don't."
So, why am I sharing this? Yes, I've poured out my soul, to let it off my chest, you say. And one more thing. The boy was a Roma.
The next time someone says the gypsies are much ahead of us, Bulgarians, I am gonna agree with that. I am going to agree wholeheartedly and I will never argue about it. I will even tell them the story.
The room was full of white people, white and whiter. And colder. Did I mention the 1.30 bus left half empty? But.. No but! We have a system here! We have rules!