Sunday Report plus bonus picture of a dragon egg: The weirdest things happening in Slovenia (April 6-12)

Nothing particularly strange has happened while I’ve been busy foraging for dragon eggs. Just so that we’re clear, a whole lot of interesting stuff has been going on but most of it doesn’t qualify as weird. For example, several Slovenian state-owned companies are being privatised and the process is complete with all the mandatory drama, yet utterly devoid of unexpected phenomena. If you’re from a country where companies need privatizing, you should already be familiar with the usual mess this sort of affair entails, and if your country hasn’t gotten to this point yet, well, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, save for a small forewarning: when talks of selling off anything state-owned begin, the public figures form two camps and stop at nothing to rally the ordinary folks to their cause. The first, usually the more powerful and loud camp, is headed by distinguished individuals accustomed to sucking money from state-controlled companies with a large straw. The second camp is led by hopefuls who either think they may get to profit nicely from the sale or simply want to see the first camp cut off from its source of power and wealth. The people who genuinely believe that companies need to be privately owned to achieve any semblance of efficiency and profitability do exist but they end up where those thinking about the benefit of somebody other than themselves usually do: somewhere so far in the background you can barely make out what they’re saying. We’ve been witnessing all this in Slovenia for a while now but until an assassination or at least a super juicy sex scandal occurs, I shan’t consider anything weird enough to report on. Anyway, if you’re lucky enough to be from someplace where companies are already privately-owned, you should keep counting your blessings, at least until you realise that while company stock may be private its losses might not be.

Well there was one weird incident this week. A drunk driver from Maribor (not an unusual occurrence by far, it’s a party town) tried to knife a traffic cop to death, which luckily is still considered newsworthy where I live. The police officer was performing routine traffic checks in the evening alone, which in itself speaks volumes of the general docility of our populace, when things took a strange turn. He pulled over a guy driving a company vehicle with his lights off and gave him a breath test, upon which it became clear that the driver had been imbibing. When the officer started filling out the report, the driver informed him of his impending demise and lunged at him with a knife. The officer managed to wrestle his attacker under control despite suffering several cuts to his hands and arms. The driver kept threatening the officer and telling him where to stick it even after the backup had arrived. Now, you should know that our traffic police carry guns and know how to use them. You should also know that not so long ago a trouble army reservist pulled a gun on a traffic cop and shot him to death without warning. But our police know that they swore to protect and to serve and not to – I’m totally making up examples here – choke homeless people to death, shoot down unarmed teenagers, kick the daylight out of freshly-tasered horse thieves, things like that. My country is weird, just saying.

Another strange thing I’ve recently became aware of, thanks to my English-born fellow citizens who took me hiking, are dragon eggs lying around in our countryside. Here’s a couple of pictures of a nice specimen (my Nokia doesn’t take kindly to close-ups, sorry for that):

Dragon_Egg_Slovenia1

Dragon_Egg_Slovenia2

I’ve been told these conspicuous things were formed when cool sea mud suddenly met super-hot lava and then the iron-rich magma formed a shell around a droplet of the greenish sea sludge. People used to think these were dragon eggs and I can only hope they were wrong because I brought three of them home and I already have all the pets that I need.

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