Sensation and Media Hype in Sofia: Shopkeeper Actually has Change

It was a day like any other at Sofia’s Medizinska Akademia quarter. The Diesel clouds at the intersection of Boulevard Pencho Slavejkov and Boulevard Praga spread the smell of freedom and adventure. Pedestrian Ivan Kolev was almost run over by the aggressive driver of a 1992 Opel Vectra while crossing the street, on green. A stray dog did his business right at the bus stop for trolleys 2, 8 and 9. And the construction site for Metro line no. 3 produced hammering noises, which completed the creative atmosphere in this part of town.

Ivanov just wanted to purchase a glass of Ljutenitsa, a loaf of bread and a pack of what the “BBB” brand calls juice. At Baba Ivanka’s tiny store around the corner, he found everything he wanted. He engaged in some polite small talk with the 64-year-old shopkeeper, while trying to get his 5 Leva bill out of his right back pocket. The total price was 4.65 Leva, but Ivanov already knew she would not have change. Because she never did. Because nobody in this country ever did. On his mind, he had already depreciated those 35 Stutinki, while getting ready to leave the shop.

This was the moment when it happened. “Wait! Your change”, Baba Ivanka said, while Ivanov had already taken a step towards the door. He turned around, in slow-motion. The world stood still. Everything around him just seemed to be an illusion of what reality was. Or the other way around. “Your change.” There she was, in living colour, with a big smile, holding 35 Stutinki in her hand. That was when he suffered a sudden feeling of faintness. It had happened. Someone in this country actually had change, for the first time since the Thracians changed the first coins ever, at the same location, some 5,000 year earlier.

It took about 7 minutes until BNT, bTV and Nova TV reporters arrived on the scene, with huge SNG trucks, carrying satellite dishes on top. Only seconds later, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour arrived in a bulletproof vest, wearing a blue U.N. helmet. All of them spread the news into all parts of the world.

The next day, virtually all newspapers on the planet were published with headlines saying “The Concept of Change Hit Bulgaria”, “Change! Change! Change!”, “Holy Cow! Change in Sofia!” and “Baba Ivanka: The New National Hero” were only some of them. Nothing was the same, ever again, since this “Day of Change”, which might even become a national holiday.

The German band The Change even composed a song, commemorating this Day of Change in Sofia, entitled “Wind of Scorpions”.

By Imanuel Marcus

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Baba Ivanka in her little shop at Medizinska Akademia. She is now a national hero.
Baba Ivanka in her little shop at Medizinska Akademia. She is now a national hero.
Shit! Boulevard Praga looked very different, on the "Day of Change".
Shit! Boulevard Praga looked very different, on the “Day of Change”.

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No Comments on "Sensation and Media Hype in Sofia: Shopkeeper Actually has Change"

  1. Juliane Pereira August 25, 2016 at 11:03 AM · Reply

    Seriously?! Never had such a problem here in Varna, or anywhere in Bulgaria for that matter!

    • Admin August 25, 2016 at 11:06 AM · Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Juliane! I do, all the time. Sofia.

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