Here’s what I mean by history in the making. I was taking my group this morning to the former bathhouse of Sofia to show them the famous five-point star in the yard behind the fence. Started talking about the mineral waters, the people that go there to fill up their bottles and other stuff with the intention to distract my guests completely and build up to the moment I will rock their worlds with the red star. When the time came I turned around and said something like:
“And now I would like to show you something… Although I am not sure if I will be able to…”
That’s right, where the star usually stood we saw big open truck with a crane, blocking our view. Quite disappointing. It’s a bit hard to make your point about “this world famous symbol of communism” without people being able to see the world famous symbol of communism, isn’t it?
I tried to do the best of a bad situation. I explained that they happened to be the unluckiest people to ever join Free Sofia Tour and the only ones that will not see the star. As I was preparing for my miserable retreat the truck slowly moved away. A mighty cheer from my guests accompanied all that but surprise, surprise… the star was not there. At that point it struck me. They were removing the star and it was in the truck…
These revelations just happened to slip out of my mouth and the next thing I remember was us chasing the truck. Luckily it stopped just around the corner of the Bathhouse. Excitement in the air, grins on people’s faces and the star in the truck indeed. Everybody climbed to have a look at it and take photos, all laughing and joking. A helpful lady appeared out of the blue to explain that they were taking the star to the new museum of totalitarian art that should be open here in Sofia in September.
After we saw the history in the making and had enough of it we moved to the front door of the Bathhouse. Then for some unknown reason the truck moved and stopped right between my group and the building, blocking the view again. The driver got off and went away and, of course, left the engine working so nobody could hear what I had to say. Strange thing, first you cannot even find the star and the next moment you can’t get away from it. After a new bunch of jokes the crane started to move again, preparing to lift something.
I can hardly find words to describe the euphoria and excitement that filled up the air once again. The crane was moving very slowly, almost as if on slow motion. It hooked something in the truck and all of us were sure it was the star. I am sure all people had the feeling they are going to lift it up and put it on top of the bathhouse or something. We were holding our breaths for these few tense seconds that felt like ages and we observed how the crane lifted… a small, ugly and broken piece of statue or ornament that was probably just chilling next to the star behind the fence as well, for no apparent reason. Another wave of laughter followed from my crowd.
Sofia probably lost small part of its charm, even though putting the star in a museum is the reasonable thing to do. And this story could serve to remind us of days long gone. After all, isn’t that the point of telling stories in the first place?