Thankfully, there was a mineral water machine on each floor of the hotel. My water is provided. Depressed and discouraged, I decided to go outside, because I would be distracted and wouldn’t think of the hunger. I went out, but it didn’t happen. I wanted to eat every food I saw on the street. Dry Fish stall. My imagination didn’t wait and immediately started working at maximum speed. Dry fish, roasted on a hot-plate with garlic and dill, vinegar and little olive oil. The seller saw that I was fixed on the fish and invited me to try it. I didn’t wait for a second call. I asked him if I could try another fish, since I doubted exactly which “to buy”. I tried 5-6 types. I thanked him and left. A brilliant idea struck me. I’ll drag myself to the nearby market and will try nuts, fruits, vegetables, whatever they have on the stands. And so it happened. At the market even the sellers themselves offered me to try. I felt like a hamster. But how much can you feed on this? Well, you can’t!!! Not at all. I was already out of ideas. It was noon and the hunger was getting stronger. I felt that when I walked in the heat I was getting hungrier. I’ll go back to the room and sleep. I hoped I would sleep so long that I would wake up straight for the plane.
I went back to the hotel and straight to bed. It didn’t work. You can’t fall asleep so easily when you’re so hungry. A man in this state is thinking a lot about life and values. I was thinking, how good it was, though, that I had a job, and it was what I dreamed of doing, and that I had accomplished everything myself, and that it could never happen in my life to have nothing to eat … Then I thought about the theatre and how much I wished I was rehearsing. I had to think of something positive. What is positive? The animated movie “Beauty and the Beast” is something positive for me. I associate it with my childhood and fortunately I bought it on DVD from my already detested street of fakes. I played it. Yes, the animation and the colours really calmed me, and for an hour or two I forgot about the hunger. It ended! I played it again, and again, and again. I realized that I’ll spend the next days with “Beauty and the Beast”. The night was a complete nightmare. I couldn’t fall asleep. I was already thinking how I was going to die and there was no way to transport me to Bulgaria. I will see neither my parents nor my friends anymore. I wondered if they will cry for me, but hearing the story of my ridiculous and stupid death they might laugh. Clearly, they will cry and laugh at the same time. But I too felt sad for myself, and I cried, a real good cry. Good that I did it, because it lifted some load off my mind, I got tired and I fell asleep.
On this day, woke up not a man but a werewolf ready for anything to feed himself. I sat on the bed and, without any hesitation, with a slightly dizzy head from the hunger, took the firm decision to steal. In cold blood and calmly, but purposefully, I got ready and walked out. There was a grocery store in front of me. I got in, looked around and saw many cameras. I figured the risk, and I realized the chance to be caught was great. I walked down the street. There was a large fruit and vegetable shop that caught my eye. It was full of products, and fresh water was scattered to keep fruits fresh. I stood there and started to observe. I saw that, after every client has done shopping, the seller goes into a room in the back of the stall. I looked around for cameras too, there were none. There was no way to have cameras because it was a stall and it was open-aired. Okay, that’s my prey. Like a hungry lion I waited for the moment, quiet down. I also marked the victim.A huge bunch of green bananas hanging on a rope. I went for them because I had heard that these green small bananas are very nutritious. Another customer pays, my guy goes into the back room, I feel with all my body the time is now, I look for cars on the street, it’s clean, sprint to the stall, catch the bananas and sprint to the hotel. I took the distance to the hotel in minutes, and it was not that close. At this point I wasn’t thinking about the consequences, for example that I could get in prison. By the way, in Malaysia, theft is a big crime, even if you steal bananas. But I just did it to survive. I didn’t turn back, not once.
On the stairs of the hotel and right into my room. I get a banana and try to peel it. But it’s like a stone. Horrible, these are bananas for cooking. It’s not possible to peel something that is absolutely unripe. I start dislodging pieces of it. I will break my teeth. The despair was enormous. I started thinking about the fact that I just stole something. I got scared and told myself that I would not go out anymore so they wouldn’t recognize me and throw me in jail. And the bananas, what to do with these stones. I’ll wait for them to ripen. But by then I’ll be dead and I won’t care at all if they are ripe or not. Wait, it’s very hot and humid outside, and the air conditioner on the balcony spreads heat like hell. I’ll tie them up to the air conditioner, from it and the heat by tomorrow morning they should be somewhat ripe. The hunger was already unbearable, I was exhausted, and I had no strength to get out of bed. I watched several more times “Beauty and the Beast”. I felt really sick. To this day I haven’t felt such a feeling. Years later, when we shot Survivor and when the participants were starving in front of my eyes, I really sympathized with them. When I signed the contracts for the reality show, I didn’t realize at all that I’ll face this. I just didn’t think that I would watch people starving with hunger, and I can’t do anything. It was the hardest thing for me during the shooting. In the morning, the bananas were almost ripe and it was the day I was leaving for Bangkok – to the money, the food and the friends.
I ate all the bananas and came a little to myself. I packed my luggage and wanted to head for the airport as soon as possible. So I did. I took the train with the last 16 ringgits. In the train I thought about the whole story. At that moment for the first time I thought I wanted to write a book about my adventures. It’s been years since then and just now I dared to start telling these experiences. I felt very good when I remembered that there will be food on the plane. Perhaps a chicken or a little fish, with some bread and little butter, maybe even a dessert. I got on the plane and took off. They gave me nothing but water. The plane was of a low-budget company. Cheap tickets, you might say. I had forgotten it, but it didn’t spoil my mood. I was so glad that it was over, that this nightmare had ended. It’s really so in life, and maybe even the best thing in it – everything, even the worst thing, goes away and is forgotten. This is what keeps me to this day and I think of it in difficult moments. Everything goes away.
“It’s nice to have a place to return to and someone to wait for you.”
22.03.2018 Vladimir Karamazov ®