Saturday, August 18, 2007

I've been catching my breath this past week. Part of me is numb, but that feels almost good. I avoid thinking of papa's death as much as I can.


All the little things are going wrong here again.

Mishah has managed to catch a cold again. His mother isn't feeling well, either. His vacation is almost over.

My cell phone got stolen while we were at a bookstore, looking at books in English.

The sanatorium in Pushcha is full until Sept. 6 - but even after that, we aren't likely to get a room there because of the fucked-up way things work here: they don't accept children under 4.

This rule is breakable, of course - last year, we spent four months taking really long walks there, and we befriended quite a few people with kids Marta's age, people who lived there full-time - and most live there this year, too, with their kids and all. But to get in like this, you need connections, someone from up high to make that phone call. Money's not enough. Or - what we think is enough money isn't enough to get a lousy room at a relatively well-maintained sanatorium here.

This country is such a pain in the ass. Or - Mishah and I are two naive idiots.

We tried to rent a house in Pushcha, went to look at one: $800 a month, not a single plant in the backyard, all died during remont. A rusty-brown metal fence, really depressing. They probably think that plastic windows is all anyone needs.


I don't even feel stuck anymore. I feel as if I've slipped and am sliding down an endless slope on my ass.


Of the good things, I've swallowed Ludmila Ulitskaya's latest novel, Daniel Stein, Interpreter. An amazing, very moving book, about all kinds of people and their faith. About a real-life person - Brother Daniel Rufeisen. I hope they'll translate it into English one day.

Also, I'm addicted to Facebook now. Haven't done much on my page yet, but am delighted to have 47 friends already - and to see a few old dear friends there among them.


Of the bad things, here're a few more:

- At the Mandarin supermarket tonight, a young male employee got mad at two young female customers, after they left their cart about half a meter away from the rest of the carts (nothing too outrageous) and walked out carelessly. The guy seemed to have gathered all his hatred, kicked the cart, and called the girls "korovy" (cows) - not loud enough for them to hear it.

But I did hear it - and got really upset, because Mandarin is this fancy-schmancy place where you aren't really prepared for lousy service, and I'm so so so sick of rude people.

- Two nights ago, our neighbor Roza Lvovna, a recently widowed Jewish woman in her early 80s, had two plumbers over at her place around 11 pm. We heard some noise, went to the door to check what was going on - right when one asshole said this to the other outside Roza Lvovna's apartment: "Zhydyara".

A kike. Just like that.

Roza Lvovna's son is (or was) a violinist with the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra, her two-room apartment is full of portraits of him and other musicians, and she lives there all by herself now.

Reminded me of Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog.

- Yesterday, by the presidential administration on Bankova, I saw a nice fat black Lexus, parked in some backasswards way that drew my attention. On the dashboard, there was a flag of Narodnyi Rukh Ukrayiny (People's Movement of Ukraine): it is mostly blue, so at first I thought it was a flag of the Rukh's nemesis, Party of the Regions.

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