Today I’ve had the strangest epiphany which made me want to join the herald angels and sing glory to the newborn king.
I’ve realised the secret of J.S. Bach’s mind-blowingly complicated contrapuntal compositions, and it’s, belive it or not, coffee.
Here, take a look:
I bought this remarkable RTD coffee, a 3-in-1 mind you, at a traditional Christmas charity bazaar organised by the various embassies in Sofia, which I visited on Sunday.
Out of professional sentiment, I paid special attention to the stalls of the Southeast Asian countries, and thus ended up buying this most interestingly packaged coffee from the Vietnamese stall. I tried addressing the salespeople in English, but we eventually understood each other in Bulgarian.
G7 coffee. I realised that was a mixture containing milk powder, hopefully with no trans fat, and sugar, only after I had got home. Otherwise I would probably not have bought it, as mixing coffee with milk and sugar is treated as high treason in the code of Serious Coffee Drinkers Anonymous.
But the harm has already been done, so I thought to play the glad game and see what I could amuse myself with. Packaged, convenient, ready-to-drink stuff equals high social status, as symbolised by corporate attire, document briefcase and a private helicopter. Rings a bell.
Conspicuous consumption and infatuation with attractively packaged food, after years of abstinence and isolation, sustained by a fare of wet market staples and crudely packaged consumer goods. Also rings a bell. And dates me, but that’s unimportant now.
I was in a sufficiently self-sacrificing mood to taste the beverage and found that it was developed to the exactly same bliss point as its counterparts Nescafe, Jacobs and their Bulgarian equivalents. May be a selling point in Vietnam, but was disappointing for me.
Despite the claims on the package, I failed to observe a Bach-like boost of intelligence after having administered the beverage into my digestive system and bloodstream. Still, the cool Bach quote has to be shared, so I am taking this to the office on Monday.
Other Charity bazaar spoils included a great green jasmine-scented tea from the Vietnamese stall,
a 100g packet of Turkish coffee and deluxe Turkish chocolate truffles,
and, best of all, at the price of just BGN 1, or EUR 0.50:
Back cover now:
Originally published in 1958, this book by the first director of the US FBI, is about how to fight the imminent threat of communism taking over the US democracy during the Cold War. Such a scenario may sound like bad science fiction now, but I think the book may have valuable points, in addition to being a masterpiece of propaganda writing, which is always an interesting thing to explore. I understand obsessive ideas about ideology, as communism was very much obsessed with visions of imaginary infiltrating enemies. This fear was the reason behind the constant ideological mobilisation of the population, from the kindergarten to ripe old age.
In fact, on Sunday I read an article exploring the changes in theatrical repertoire after the advent of communism and its evolution until the regime’s collapse in 1989. It was very interesting, but I will leave this subject for some other time.
For now, I’ll share just two intriguing facts. 1. It took the regime 10 years to allow the staging of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 1954, as the love between the two main protagonists was perceived as platonic and thus falling within the range of permissible “ideal” emotions of the New Man advancing on the way to the Inevitable (Bright Future). 2. Moliere’s Don Juan, on the other hand, was staged for the first time in 1986, reflecting the regime’s inability to fit sensuality and eroticism into its ideological paradigm.
Now this is fertile ground for a long discussion but it’s getting really late, so I’ll cut the talk at the most interesting, for the sake of prolonging the pleasure.
For goodbye, the rough translation of a Schweppes ad, which can currently be seen on billboards across Sofia and which it would have been impossible to see during communism.
Boys love fireworks. Men love playing with fire.
I’d like to inform those copy authors that women love playing with fire too, as shown by this great performance, my musical gift for you tonight.
Look who’s got the matches now,