Angel at war with Napoleon

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Academic Composition

In the quaint town of Villa Perdida, nestled in the heart of Andalusia, there lived a man named Angel. With his rotund figure, glasses perched on his nose, and a voice that carried the weight of centuries, Angel was a peculiar figure. He was, in fact, an immortal bureaucrat, forever bound to the labyrinthine corridors of the Spanish bureaucracy.

Angel’s journey through the annals of bureaucracy began in the 19th century, a tumultuous era for Spain. The empire was facing the challenges of Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquest, and the loss of its colonies in South America dealt a heavy blow to its power and wealth. As the nation struggled to adapt to changing times, Angel found himself at the local town hall, entangled in the web of paperwork and stifling traditions.
While the English-speaking colonies thrived with their adaptable systems and innovative spirit, Spain clung to its rigid, highly bureaucratized way of life. This deeply entrenched national character hindered progress, stifled economic growth, and impeded the nation’s ability to embrace change. And Angel personified all these tragic flaws.

As the Spanish Empire waned, Angel immersed himself in his bureaucratic duties with unwavering commitment. The corridors of the town hall echoed with the shuffling of papers, the scratching of pens, and the faint murmurs of exasperation. In the midst of it all, Angel’s strident Andalusian accent could be heard, uttering phrases like “¡Qué barbaridad!” and “¡Esto es una locura!”

The 19th century brought a series of political upheavals, and Angel found himself caught in the crosscurrents. Governments rose and fell, ideologies clashed, and the bureaucracy remained a constant force. Angel witnessed the ebb and flow of power, yet the paperwork continued unabated. He leaned back in his wooden chair, gazed down on the English dictionary and grumbled: “What are you doing to me now?! ¿De qué se tratan estos cambios increíblemente rápidos? ¡¿Por qué, por qué, por qué tengo que lidiar con esto ahora?!”

While the world outside transformed, Angel remained tethered to the endless stacks of forms and regulations. Birth certificates, land permits, tax declarations—his desk overflowed with paperwork that seemed to multiply as quickly as his years. With each passing decade, Angel became more disconnected from the vibrant world beyond the town hall’s walls.

Despite witnessing the consequences of the Spanish Empire’s decline and the need for adaptation, Angel clung tightly to the old-fashioned traditions of bureaucracy. He resisted change and innovation, finding comfort in the familiarity of endless signatures, official seals, and incomprehensible regulations.
As the years turned into centuries, Angel’s immortal life mirrored the unchanging nature of Spanish bureaucracy. He became a relic of an era long gone, a living testament to the enduring spirit of bureaucratic entanglements. The world around him transformed, yet the paperwork persisted.

But amidst the absurdity, Angel found a peculiar solace in his immortality. For as long as there was paperwork to be done, he would have a purpose. The Spanish way of life remained enmeshed in the intricate web of bureaucracy, and Angel, with his strident Andalusian accent, continued to navigate the convoluted maze of forms and procedures.

And so, the immortal bureaucrat trudged on, drowning in an ocean of paperwork, forever longing for a simpler time. The Spanish nation remained ensnared in the tendrils of bureaucracy, its citizens grappling with the weight of tradition and the struggle to adapt. Angel, a living paradox, embodied the paradoxical nature of Spanish bureaucracy—a system that both sustained and stifled, preserved and hindered, all at once.

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