Tanya is a short form of the name that the world is more familiar with: Tatiana. One of my best friends since the elementary school was Lena U. When we entered the High School, Lena became more distant and secretive. I never found out why, but she shared one thing with me: she met someone new, a girl named Tanya, and her interests were more in tune with mine. She introduced us. Tanya was a very unusual person. She was disabled: had a genetic sickness that made her hips immobile. At first, she couldn't even walk. Fortunately. her father was in the diplomatic Corps, and stationed in the United States. There the parents found a man who was a healer. I don't know, how they got away with such an anti-Soviet activity as visiting a faith-healer. I think, they explained it as him healing with the power of the body electricity. Anyway, Tanya still didn't walk properly, but she did walk. They brought some things from the U.S., like rubber candy and gum, looking like cigarettes. I gaped at those items as a fool; they seemed totally unnecessary, but interesting. We spent countless hours at her place, talking about the books that we read, the art and the theater. Lena was not as much into the stuff, or maybe there another reason. She soon began to see us less often. Tanya's parents were well to do, they bought her an apartment after she finished the High School. We spent even more time there. She and I didn't have almost any money, so, at times, all we had to eat were things like-cream and sauerkraut. When I asked Tanya about America, the liked to tell me about the food she liked best there: the hot dogs!