Отклонения, лирически и прозаически
British Stereotypes

July 2007

Now, most of you should be aware of how impressions are made and how a singular one may easily turn into a generalization that will be later applied to most, if not all, representatives of the same kind. This is especially easy and popular among the less educated people who do not mind using stereotypes to label anyone who doesn’t belong to their own social group.

If a foreigner, or a British individual, as in the case that prompted me into writing, is the first, or among the few who the people living in a certain village encounter, then the impression(s) he has left will certainly be applied, to an extent, to all those to come after him or her. In future encounters, although with different individuals, this same impression will be related to them, in the form of prejudice.

Of course, as the people who you meet in your new home town (village), get to know you, the bad impression they have been left with by someone else may be replaced with a different more positive one.

What do you think will the average Bulgarian who lives in the village where you just bought a (holiday) home think of you, if they have (recently) had an encounter with Kate Miln and more so if they had met with Katy Gladwin before that?

“We don’t want to hear about the English! Our villages have been filled with this foreign scum! We had a hard time with a British woman who drank all day long and didn’t take care of her children! She disappeared a year ago, but recently she turned up again unexpectedly and again started to wreak havoc!” These are the angry words of the major of the Veliko Tarnovo village of Sushitsa, Mrs. Kaleva.

Kate Miln, a friend of Katy Gladwin (42) got drunk, as usual, and on the way back to their village of Draganovo she had a fight with her husband, equally drunk. She pushed him out of the car and drove off at high speed only to hit another car a few metres away, risking the lives of several passengers in the other car. Katy was so drunk, the policemen could not breathalyse her, and her husband they found in the middle of the road, stark naked.

Katy Gladwin had already been extradited from Bulgaria in 2006. In less than a year, she had managed to sell the bricks and the furniture of five houses that a kindly disposed friend had bought and had left to her to look after. While her children wondered like gypsies in the streets of Sushitsa, she drank all the money away in the local pub.

Unfortunately, this is not the only similar case when Brits – men and women – behave like pigs and drink as if they had been kept on a rope, to use a Bulgarian saying. Last year there was a gay couple that harassed the children in another village. In 2005, a man suffered badly after a drunk 19-year-old brat smashed his brains with a stone, ecstatic after Liverpool won the cup. Even though these are only a few incidents and as we all know most British people who live in Bulgaria are model citizens they have left a mark.