What We Learned This Week: And Death Exaggerates!

Zharko Jordanoski
Zharko Jordanoski. / Photo: Free Press

What is the meaning of this act? Is there a God or Allah? And if so, why does he allow this and how is he not sorry? Or is everything part of some of his grandiose plans that we mortals, even in moments of greatest inspiration, cannot grasp?

This past week has broken our hearts and taught us many lessons. At least 44 people, mostly young, on the verge of death, suffered a horrific death on a Bulgarian highway, returning from a long weekend in Istanbul, full of impressions and experiences of that beautiful ancient city. One day happy, with their fiancés or boyfriends, with their children, grandchildren, daughters-in-law or aunts, the other day in the arms of death. One day, delighted with the Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque, they soak up the salty air of the blue Bosphorus, saturated with the scents of the Orient, recover with a delicious doner or salty bagel, and the next moment - an unexpected cut! One day they greet their loved ones with pictures on Facebook that radiate joy at the rare moments to break the monotony of daily routine, at least briefly, the next day - the end of the movie! Death.

They burned like a torch in the bus that somewhere in front of Dupnica, on the road Sofia-Blagoevgrad, hit a sidewalk and caught fire in an instant! So many young lives interrupted in flight, so many unfulfilled dreams, unrealized plans, unfinished loves… People, like each of us, stopped in the middle of life, without any warning, without any announcement. No old age, no disease, abruptly, irreversibly…

What is the meaning of this act? Is consolation possible for their loved ones, who were left behind to coal from the inside for the rest of their lives? Is there a God or Allah? And if so, why does he allow it, and how does he not feel sorry for it? Or is everything part of some of his grandiose plans to which we mortals, even in moments of greatest inspiration, cannot grasp the strings?

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This tragedy reminded us of how vulnerable, mortal, temporary we are. He reminded us that in sorrow and tragedy we are all the same and that death erases and relativizes all our imagined differences. It equalizes us and unites us in pain. That we divide in vain into rich and poor, successful and unsuccessful, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Serbs, liberals and conservatives, VMRO and Esdees, when the only and most important division that can be divided is those who are alive and those who they are no more!
Sincere pain echoed throughout the Balkans, trembling even in the most hardened heart. Twins, like apples, killed in their mother's arms in front of a door that does not open. A teenager, like a grape, was not welcomed by her friends in Studenichani to celebrate her birthday. A municipal official did not return to Kicevo to marry his fiancée, after they decided to spend a romantic weekend in Turkey together.
Is a happy ending not allowed here?

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This tragedy added too much fire and too much death to our lives. Was there a small fire in the Tetovo hospital in which 15 coyote patients were burned, a shock from which we still can not recover? And a day earlier came the news that in the same Bulgaria burned a dozen elderly citizens, someone's beloved grandparents, left in care in a nursing home. Are all those dozens of dead coyotes we hear about every day, powerless to mourn them anymore, because they have turned into numbers?

And death exaggerates! We understand wars and epidemics, and traffic accidents, but can death be distributed a little, in a longer period and in a wider area, to be thinner, because this way we all get the feeling that we live in a cursed time on a cursed piece of land.

The tragedy that happened two hours after midnight near the village of Bosnek, unknown to us, reminded us of what is important and what is secondary in our lives. And how much energy we invest in less important things. How important is it whether Zaev will stay, and SDSM will make a parliamentary majority, or whether Bulgaria will lift the veto, and we will step towards the EU, if by chance we or someone close to us met on Tuesday morning in the bus station on the Bulgarian highway "Struma" “? How much?
Before death, all our earthly worries and problems fade away.

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In the end, this tragedy reminded us how much we are a fusser as a state - that we do not do any work by "pe-es", we manage to play everything, to bypass, we do not control anything. We endanger ourselves by violating the rules, which we have supposedly brought in our interest. The bus was not registered for international traffic. The company carrier and tour operator registered in a hundred places, with its own clones, certainly not with honest intentions. The customs officers missed the buses without a transport license, you wonder if it was due to lack of money or bribes. You wonder if something flammable was smuggled into the bus, which ignited like a match.

The events related to this tragic accident showed us how a neighboring country, which is now European, and was like us, if not worse, now functions very differently from us. That we can learn a lot from her, but only if we are ready to learn and if we manage to get out of this current political confrontation. As a rule, we know little about our neighbors, how they think, how they speak, how they function. This tragic event allowed us to take a closer look at their "habitus" and make a comparison. Their journalists do not leave "a single stone unturned", their officials make statements without hesitation, with many details. Even doctors and ambulance drivers report the incident live, without referring reporters "to a higher level". Their prosecutors speak openly, professionally and without brakes about what they know and what they do not yet know.

And this is in dramatic contrast with the statements of our prosecutors, to whom we are accustomed, who only know how to make empty statements that "the investigation is ongoing", "the investigation will show", as if they have an obligation not to reveal anything, but only to buy time while public interest wanes. Were it not for this investigation entirely in the hands of the Bulgarians, in which our "authorities" are only assisting, I am convinced that we would never have found out that the carrier did not have a license for the bus, nor that the customs never registered it, nor would they be responsible for it. Besa Trans would not have had its work permit revoked either. Everything would have been nicely diluted, covered and smeared with impersonal and empty statements that "the case is being worked on" and "the investigation will show"…
As he showed for the Tetovo hospital, for "Laskarci", for "Ilinden" and for many similar tragedies.

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