Tuesday, July 23, 2013


     Dreams, dreams, dreams. I mean, the dreams at night and not the wishes to wish. I had a dream last night that is still bothering me.
     My mother had a step-sister and a step-brother. Her step-brother was a big cheese in Russian sports in 1970s, 1980s. He was a coach for the Soviet basketball team at the Moscow Olympics. Anyway, he passed away already. Mom's step-sister is an ordinary person who lives in Moscow. Her son, my cousin, Pavel, or Pashka, was four years younger. We always went together to Grandma's summer house. I have quite a few funny stories about him as a child. As we grew up, the age difference kept us apart. I remember the all-night party to see him off to the Army, and then, a year later, going to see him at his posting near Moscow. It was winter, the wet snow fell the whole week before that. When I arrived at the Army base, loaded up with the bags of food that his mother and we gathered to treat him, Pashka and I met at the mess hall. The general atmosphere was a mixture of steam rising from the drying uniforms and boots, and the desperation. The soldiers, who had to work outside cleaning the snow, now were enjoying  the warmth, their relatives' visit, and all the grub they brought with them. Everywhere you looked, the red ears and stubbly jaws moved non-stop, chewing the home made food.
     When we left for the United States, I didn't hear about Pashka for many, many years. He married, had a daughter. After the Perestroika, he became, what was known then, a New Russian. I am not sure, what it means, The impression that I got was, that it's when a person uses any available means to make money.
     In 2004, after my Mom passed away, I met and began to work with Amway. They were wonderful people, I wouldn't mind having them for friends with or without working for the same company. At that time, Amway decided to expand into Russia. All of us were pressed into service to find the first contacts there. I and my colleagues were sitting at the table at my father's apartment, and I plied my parents' address book to call everyone they and I have known in Russia. I was glad to have this advantage and excited to to my job. So, I couldn't anticipate, what would happened when I called my aunt.

To continue

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