Thursday, February 12, 2009

Global crisis as Russians see it

The corridors in office buildings have either pluses or minuses. Let’s not speak about minuses but about pluses. Everybody knows each other; you can hear helloes, greetings, goodmornings.

But the last few months silence dominates here.

Crowds of clients just disappeared, nobody enters and asks:”Sorry, where can I find?..” , there are no more strangers smoking in common rest rooms, girls from nearby offices don’t rush in asking to change money for a change. The director of real estate office drooped off, you can’t hear scissors and hairdryers from a hairdressing salon, and women from the office you never could spell its name frequently hang “Closed for today” card. People drink a lot in the offices and it’s impossible to breathe in smoking areas. Visits of Santa and parties had been cancelled this year.

But the worst thing is to see batches of papers dumped on the floor in the corridor near wide opened doors. And movers that bring the furniture out make you to shiver. Another one is shut down…

The horror invisibly creeps on street, crawls into apartments, scatters its wings over factories, lasts on market counters, invisibly, but persistently sweaps supermarket shelves. It horror eliminated glance colours from local newspapers, and has hanged out papers on columns and fences that read: « Will sell! Will sell!! Will sell!!!»

The silent horror cut out words "normally and"perfectly" from our everyday conversations and pasted cautious
"while" and “so far” instead.

The former schoolmate whom I hadn’t seen for 15 years asked me not about my family and our pals but shouted the foolish request to write about “this son of a bitch, my boss, who stopped paying four months ago”. He thought that would matter. Sorry, lad, I will not write, that doesn’t makes sence. And he told me in a back – “fat bustard”. I ran away with no offence, and not being insulted, but ashamed. For what, for whom?

The silent horror has crept in hospitals, the horror laps in the eyes of people near the drugstore; the horrorible article about reduction of salaries for state employees has pulled off a habitual smile from the face of the familiar doctor and “Crap...” rushed out from his mouth. The horror flies over factory checkpoints like some disgusting swallow causing workers either to grab and punch their director or turn around and just go away. The horror flows from the eyes of crowd that stands near the Employment Centre boards as they see vacancies constantly disappearing. And disgusting faces from the capital government – they know what they are doing, but still keep going on.


  1. How does the present crisis compare to the 1998 currency crisis in terms of its impact on the population? Is it worse do you think?

    And is the government still denying what is happening?

  2. The life is full of ups and downs. You cannot expect the economy to be forever up. Sometimes, there must be a recession, so that we can re-evaluate our needs and come up with better solutions.

    I guess things are going to get ugly everywhere on the world. Here, in Bulgaria, you still cannot feel the crisis, but that's mostly because very few people are actually producing something. Sure, there are fired people or companies going down, but they are only a few. But they say that the crisis will hit us soon. Let's see.