A few days ago my mother received an email from a Bulgarian acquaintance in Texas—Emil—with whom she has for years been attempting to become unacquainted and whose world view appears to rest on the principle that Bulgarian immigrants to Texas should be afforded more rights than other kinds of immigrants to Texas.
Correspondence with Emil diminished following my parents’ relocation from the U.S. to Argentina, and he now only emails in times of natural disaster to ensure that they are all right; his latest concerned dispatch consisted of the following CNN report of 17 January:
“A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coast of Argentina on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
There were no immediate reports of damages and injuries.
The 6.2 mile-deep quake hit 220 miles off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina, at 7 a.m. ET, the geological survey said.”
My mother’s reply suggesting that “220 miles off the coast of Ushuaia” was inherently less populated than Haiti was met with Emil’s announcement that he was “glad no one is in pain”—a misdiagnosis for which he at least refrained from prescribing a deployment of U.S. private security firms to the middle of the ocean.