Diary


 

Note: I tried as hard as I could to exclude any references to anybody specific in the U.S. However, if I failed, I truly am sorry, and I ask you to point out such a reference for deletion.
However, if you truly want to know what I felt while being in Russia, such references actually might enhance the whole picture. See for yourself!


14 - 15.6.99

The plane ride (flight). We got to the plane very fast, for all we did was come 35 minutes before the plane took off, registered, gave our baggage, went through the metal detector, and then to the plane. No hustle. We could have carried illegal stuff and no one would have known. :) The plane was fun. I met a Russian girl who is 358 days older than me. In Oregon she goes to a Delphian School. The school is weird. There are 8 forms, and each form is ~2 years. But everyone has independent program, so you can finish a form in one year. It's an expensive private school that teaches not only academics but also discipline and leadership skills. It was fun talking to her. Then she slept, and I couldn't, for I was in the middle seat. I just rested with my eyes closed. I tried to lean on her shoulder (and I did), but I still could not fall asleep. Oh well. Before that we had a stop in Seattle, where I talked to a cool computer guy who told me some cool things about Microsoft and Apple. The food was cheaper (poorer quality), but still delicious. Then the plane arrived to Moscow, an hour late, and we went through passport control, got our baggage, filled a custody declaration, which no one looked at, and I met my grandparents. Since Kate lives in Ekatirinburg (spelling?), she needed a 15-minute ride to the airport that was just across the field. The walking would have taken three times less time. But who would walk when there are planes landing on your head? Since the computer guy was Armenian, he went on a special bus to the other airport. We gave a ride to Kate and then went home. I stayed up for a while -- 28 hours total. Meanwhile I fixed the sound on a newly-bought computer. It’s fast and nice. The Windows is a Russian version. It's a little easier to understand some things, but I don't read the messages for I know almost all of them. I installed all my music files and went to bed. Very late.

16.6.99

I woke up early. We had to go to the passport control place to find out what I need to get one. The new law requires me to get it before I turn 16. The place is weird. People in charge assume the power to yell, and they don't have much patience. We discovered what we need to do and went to take the pictures in my COOL silk shirt :). Then we came home. Before that my best friend Andrey came over, and in this manner we met, having been separated for 2 years. I wrote half a page of Fear II, and played the computer games, which I found on a floppy. They are cool but simple. I stayed up 'til 3 writing and exploring Amy’s character (creating is a better word). We (Amy and I) now depart from the computer--forever. Then I went to bed.

17.6.99

Today was awesome as well as horrible. I woke up-early, couldn't fall asleep after that. Then we went to give my foreign (?) passport to some place, to legalize it, came to pick the pictures (I turned out pretty handsome there :)), then we rushed to pay for the passport. The paying place was horrible. We researched how to fill in the application, where we unsuccessfully wasted 3 papers. Then I figured out what to do (America educated me on that), and I sat, copying the account numbers (horrible!). Finally, all tired, we were done, and as a reward my grandma bought a lottery ticked. I, using my psychic powers, picked a winning one and won twice the price of a ticket. Now I can buy 2 most delicious ice-creams for free! Then was the awesome part. I met my friends as well as some new people. This is how Russia is a much better place to be in terms of friends. Everyone lives close-by, and everybody is friends with everybody else. People actually asked me a big lot of questions about America. And they were all so friendly and it was so fun to talk to them. We played square (an interesting game) and soccer, then something untranslatable. It was so damn fun talking to everybody. When I said something they did not ignore me. And the bedtime--I went to Andrey's house at 11 and suppered (too late to say dined) there, then we looked at his pictures of European mountains, which he climbed. Tired and exhausted, I fell asleep dirty and happy.

18.6.99

Woke up too damn early, for I was tired (doesn’t make sense, does it?). I woke up thoroughly as the cool pure water, with less chlorine, washed away the sleep and the exhaustion. Then we rushed to the passport place to get it back, with the stamp, and rushed to fill in another application for the passport, and then we turned everything in. Now it's all over! I am so happy! Then I wrote a large part of Fear II. Now it has less references to real people. I funnily and foolishly described Amy's eyes as blue-green, and I changed the sadness scene to a pretty cool emotion fight scene, where I was fighting against grief. Then I added the deep passion to her, and the discovery of necessary equipment. Then we, 7 teens under 16, were playing soccer against them, 6 people about 20 years of age. It was quite funny, since they did not know how to play, and so they could barely score twice, only when two of us left and a girl (Olya’s the name) became a goalie. Then, thirsty, I came home.

19.6.99

I woke up so tired! It was horrible! And then I was dragged to the summer-house (well not dragged, just went). Three and a half hours' drive! And the mosquitoes there! And lack of water! And it was awful. I had to cut grass, then put it into a one big pile. Then the electricity was turned off! Well, at least it was at midnight. It was a short day.

20.6.99

I woke up at five because of the mosquitoes buzzing, then fell asleep again, then the sun was in my eyes so I woke up, then I was falling asleep and waking up, until it was quite late in the morning. How did I sense that the electricity would be turned exactly when I felt it would be? Then breakfast. Then I put a lot of grass in a big pile, dinner, then I did a bunch of other work. It was too hot, but if I had a choice, I’d go again. At least I was with my grandparents. Finally we left at nine-forty. Arrived home close to midnight, and then I listened to music until one-thirty.

21.6.99

Woke up okay, about eleven. Then my grandma left, leaving me in charge... It felt a little weird when she told me how to do everything as if I did not know... Then I played the computer, went to my friend Andrey, where I played the damn Sega, which gave me a damn headache lasting for six hours, then at six in the afternoon, as it the heat was getting lower (and they say it's snowy in here... It's so hot! And there is almost nothing to drink! Well, water, milk, juice... But I noticed that I consume all these in huge amounts), we went to play soccer. Before that, there was a doorbell, and I correctly predicted with my psychic powers that it was Tolya... The cool 12-year-old that treats me as if I were above them all. But he is good in soccer: even though he is short he can pass a bunch of big guys. We played, then we rested, then we played again, then everybody left (almost) and I watched a funny scene (local humor), then everybody came back and we played soccer, again. The game was VERY exhausting, for it was 8 vs. 6, they beat us, but they were good. We scored two or three goals... Then the something-below-stomach-ache, then I go to bed. No more of today, for you're all bored so much. :)

22.6.99

Today the hot water was turned off... It's better over there, for although you pay for electricity and the gas, the water is not turned off ever. That sounds like a better idea. I had a delicious breakfast of the rice something untranslatable (but yummy), with coffee (yum), sandwiches, and ice-cream (!). Then called a girl named Olya (full name's Olga), about the delivery of letters. We agreed that she would come today in an hour. She was a little late. I did worry a little, for I though she might forget the apartment number of go to the wrong one (I live with my grandparents). Well, she gave me the package of books for her mom's friends. Then I asked her to stay to chat, and we chatted, about everything, as usual. I learned a bunch from (and about) her. Her b-day is Jan 19, 1983. She, of course, is 16. She knows a lot, like Amy :). She sleeps in class and still get a lot of 5s. (It's 5, not A, here.) She was fun to talk to. She likes computers and knows more that average about them. (How many people know that in Defrag the square with a red spot means that the sector is unmoveable? Or how to use Norton Commander, or even what the Norton Commander is?) She's never been on the Internet though. Her eyes are greenish brown, no, brownish-green, as she calls them. Then we got fed up with ourselves and tried to strangle each other to death. Well, I honorably made more attempts. After a few time units (it actually was a while... No one likes to die in such a manner, so we both fought for our lives!) of unsuccessful death attempt we, both weakened, just talked about more stuff. She kept saying “uzhas”--horror. Since she says such exclamations in groups, I completed her thoughts with “mrak” and “zhut' “--also horror... Weird eh? Well, she may have stayed a little too long, I don't know, at least it was fun while it lasted (her stay). I walked her to the bus-stop. (Ain't I such a gentleman :)) Then I had to run, no, sprint home, but that was a good workout (“had” means that my grandma said she would worry for it was kinda late...). Then the dinner/supper. I don't eat much here. Breakfast, then soup with tasty kinda-like-doughnuts-thingies, then fried potatoes with tea and tomatoes... And later I explored the CD that came with the computer and discovered the Win 98 beta, and OS/2. It's a cool CD. It has lots of stuff in Russian, and it takes up 610 of 650 Mb.

23.6.99

Weird day. My grandma went to take an X-ray, so I had the whole house to myself until 3. At least that's what I thought. My grandpa game by twice, because something weird was happening at his job. Meanwhile I played a COOL game called simply “Zh”. It's a walk-find-kill kind of game, text only. I am pretty advanced now. Then we went to visit my great-grandma (I call her “baba Katya”), not direct but cousin-like (my vocab is degrading). It was nice meeting her after 2-years of separation. She is 95, and she has a daughter about 60 (Galya). I fixed her hearing aid (?), and then we talked. Came back at 10, then I went to play soccer and scored a beautiful goal. There is a cool guy Roma, who is the best player, and he was against us. Why did I just write that? Well, he never smiles. It's weird. It was fun to play. Then I talked to the guys and girls there (we all talk often), and RAN home (I do that every day, don't I?). Weird day.

24.6.99

Also a weird day. Woke up at noon, washed with warmed-up water. Frankly, I thought of everybody here who wanted to see Russia. I doubt that they would like it, for they are so used to the things they have. Being without hot water is tough. I took a cold shower in the evening. I can stand it, I even liked it, but I wonder whether they would. Would they hate being here? Would they understand how I love it? I called my friend from school, Pasha, for I correctly remembered his phone number, after all these years! Then I talked to the other people. Another person who can understand me is Olya. (NOT because her hot water was also turned off.) It's nice to talk to her... I'll visit her once more before we leave. (Me to Voronezh, she to Germany.) Then we played a little soccer-like games, talked to the three girls, who are always with us, then I screwed up my leg (that DAMN hamstring again!) by sprinting (have I gone insane?), then dined deliciously, then played soccer ‘til 11. The leg bothered me, but it was okay. The guy, Roma, and his friend, who is equally good, were split into separate teams. It was fun not letting him pass me. He smiled at last, only to that friend. Then some other guys joined. The best now was somebody who is training to be a soccer player. I stole a ball from him once. And also I scored once. If you are wondering why I am writing this stuff, Keejo asked me to tell her everything in details, and also the idea of having a diary was very appealing. I am so tired! Also, that game, ZH, it's not working properly, for nothing happens any more! I am supposed to find a spell of ultimate path, but it’s not in the place it’s supposed to be. I drink so much! 4 full cups of tea and I am still thirsty! Good night! And one more thing. I stayed up VERY late, till 3, then could not fall asleep till about 4. And that was caused by the new addition to Fear II, a pretty cool description of things and a moral about thresholds of life. It's cool but unusual. If I were the guy I made myself in Fear II, people would attempt to flee at the sight of me. :)

25.6.99

I woke up late, at noon. Today called my friend Kirill about the reunion. So I walked with my friends here until 1:40, then said goodbye, for one of them, Ksyushka (that's NOT the formal name), left for the whole summer. Then I ran a little, took a trolley bus, then walked. The school was pretty much the same, and so were the guys. One addition was Sergey, whom I don't know. No one changed much, physically and personally, only that Sasha's kicks are now awesome, and Kirill started smoking. The whole school seemed to be degrading. But somehow to me it did not look hopeless. Well, a couple of bad grades, but beside all the bizarre scenes it's so... Me. I grew up like this, and as I came back, it was not new and different but old and dear. I would not know so much of the stuff and people, but I would feel so much better. But I changed, so there is no place that's home. (A new proverb by me. :)) I wanna stay, and yet I wanna leave. Oh well. Let's just see how it goes. We played soccer (it was so damn hot!), we won, of course (frankly, I can pass all of them :)), then we talked about stuff. Everybody now is into computers. I thought later of a business, buy 'em here and sell 'em in USA. They go for $500. The new P3. And $200 for Voodoo 3 is expensive! Move and sell! Then I walked back home, most of the way chatting with Kirill, then rested peacefully. My legs were hurting so much! Then came Andrey and Roma and asked me to go hang (out with everybody else). By that time I was little rested, but still after talking for a while (my grandma is “offended” of we don't) I went. As we went out of the door we noticed the rain. We ran to my friend's house, played computer there, then went outside. Bought delicious ice-cream (it's SO much better here!), then went to people's houses. At first it was boring, then I was the dirty goalie. A guy only scored once 'cause the ball was slippery. My hands were brown. Then I stained other people, then we just talked about America. Somehow I got too much into it. I did not want to leave, because everybody is so nice to talk to. And just pretty :). (The girls.) We talked like that for about an hour. I realized that in school I feel less comfortable somehow. The guy, Tolik, has a sister, who's 13, who's also Olya. Weird, eh? Well, as she kicked me when I was the goalie, she stained my shorts and knees! Revenge! It was kinda satisfying running after her and throwing the dirty ball little above her shoes (Higher? No. The dirt on shirt is annoying). Then I recited 2nd and 5th paragraph of “Dear Kate.” I am not sure whether they were impressed of confused. The girl Angelica asked funny dumb questions, and it was funny and home-like. Some jokes were dirty, but in reasonable bounds. Her two brothers are quite annoying (staining my shorts and hands!), and intellectually they all are about the same. Olya is the prettiest in face, and Masha – in body. Andrey commented a funny observation “You have luck with Olyas” as she was kicking or throwing the ball at me. Then we talked a little more, and then I sprinted home. I taught my grandpa something about the computer, and ended the day with the thought of the summer-house. Damn, this was long. Well, I was in one of those moods that happen once every... midnight. (What did you think I was going to say? :)) And I still want to write something. It's just that I experience all these new things that I want someone to know and to care how I feel. And writing helps. If you feel that something is missing here, like a large part of a paragraph, then know this: I just killed it. It’s the public version of the diary. So, good night!

26.6.99

This is such a waste of time. As I am sitting here waiting to leave I know that these two days are going to be a waste. If I leave 30th and come back 8th, then it's gonna be NO fun! 28, 29, 30, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, part of 13, and then that's it. Well, there's Voronezh, but I do not know anyone but my relatives there. The time flies by so fast! It's not fair! I want to stay here so much longer. Well, that's my fate. I just hope that no one is going to leave before me. Like Ksenia. The day was actually horrible. It was soooo hot! I was sweating so badly in the car and in the house! The heat cooled down only by 9. Then it was okay. Then me and my grandma (okay, my grandma and I) talked till 2 as my grandpa expressed “started with the theme of love [a movie called 'Emanuelle'] and finished with the leaders of USSR.” We talked till 2 in the morning! It was so fun!

27.6.99

However, I did not get any sleep and I was all gloomy in the morning. It was so hot again, and so I did not do nothing this day. (As I am now revising this diary, it is pretty funny for me to read “did not do nothing.” It's supposed to be a slang, but I did not use the apostrophe. I am so used to writing formal grammar that I subconsciously formalize slang. :)) I woke up at 10, drank coffee, then slept, ate, slept, drank tea... Cut the grass. Oh, that was so bad! The flies surrounded me and attacked all at once! Then the water, sleep, sleep outside in the shade, dinner, water the plants (it was a pretty weird job), then something (memory loss), then we went home. I am now tired and need a shower. What a day.

28.6.99

Today was the weirdest day. I saw a weird dream. I know why though, it's because I wrote that paragraph where I kissed Amy... That was so sweet to write... Anyway, there were soccer try-outs, and so I sat on some weird bench. Then some people joined me, and among them was my friend Kirill. So we were going somewhere to our school. The dusty path was weird to walk on. Among all the people there was Sharon (she also wanted to be on the soccer team). Then we arrived at some weird place in the forest and stopped there for a rest. There was a ticket booth, and everybody was buying tickets to some new cool movie. I wanted to go but as I was buying the ticked I found out that they were all sold out. Then there was some weird trench. I jumped down and tried to climb up (another image from the story). Then I was jumping and running (why?), and I met Chris Rast. When I woke up it was past noon so I decided not to sleep any more (wise decision). Then I was invited--I was invited earlier, I just had to pick the day--to Olya's house. I walked about a mile to the subway, where I bought her chocolate (of course I had to bring a delicious present!), then luckily the bus came in about a minute. Then I was trying to find her house, for her directions sucked (“go past the store, turn right, go straight and you will face the door...” Yeah right! Past the store there is another building, and the road past that leads far away). Somehow I found the right place. Then her apartment. Her mom instantly labeled me as having an “foreign shine”--she could see me come from another country. Then I played Aladdin on Sega. I remember that she looks a little like Betsy. We talked about stuff, then dined. Then talked again. She lives on 13th floor by the way, and that was a clean way to die–jump from the window. (What the hell?) She stopped me a bunch of times, though. (What the hell?) I was thinking about her. Perhaps she is half my type. I tickled her sometimes (for phun). Then I suddenly remembered an ever weirder dream, where her MOM told me that she was ticklish. (What the heck is wrong with me? If I see such dreams, I need a shrink.) I stayed rather late, 21:30 (9:30 p.m.). Something compelled me to stay. Maybe I liked (why past tense?) her a little... She walked me to the bus stop too. As I was walking, that will to stay wasn't there any more. (What a stupid sentence!) I came home and went out to walk and talk with my friends. It turned out to be that there was a storm back in this area. Andrey made “fun,” not fun but something else, of me, since there is another Olya (popular name). We did something, then they all went home. On the way back with Andrey I met Nikita (it's a GUY'S name) with his g/f Lucia and dog Tosha... They are a sweet couple. Then in the elevator I met another Masha (what a world), then listened to “Pretty fly for a nice guy” by Offspring (awesome), went home, saw something I think is “Starfleet Troopers” (was it?) about bugs, and then I thought about the whole day.

29.6.99

Since it took me a long time to write about yesterday, I went to bed late and woke up all tired. And I was tired all day. I didn't do much, breakfasted a little (my main meal was ruined by that damned rotten egg!), then played, went to Andrey's house. There I listened to “Offspring.” Then was the “reading session,” we read magazines. (That was excellent!) Then we went to get some kvas. Kvas is a traditional Russian drink, it goes back very far. It's brewed like beer only with different ingredients. It's sweet, carbonated drink that is best for such heat. And it's 6 rub. per liter, which converted is a buck per gallon. It's so good! Then we went to buy ice cream, played soccer, bought more ice cream, played more soccer (we won this time), then drank some honey drink. Olya wore a dress! What the heck? Then did some PKs (not person killings but penalty kicks) and I was, of course the best goalie. (It’s fun praising self! Don’t blame me for it!) Then some one on ones, where only rarely someone scored against me, and where I easily scored twice... Sprinted home like mad, then sprinted some more, then I typed this thingy. Tomorrow I am going to Voronezh, so I better go to bed early. This trip is so fun! And I thought I would want to go back all the time. I want to stay here!!! Of the second CD I now like “Little man,” “Line Of Force,” “Steadfast,” and “Music Scapes” so much! And also I wrote a short paragraph... My inspiration is fleeing!

30.6.99

I am supposed to leave today. I woke up really late, at 1, took a cold shower (helps wake up so well!), then breakfasted (lunched?). Went out, stupidly played soccer (got all wet right before the train!), then left. As food I bought cookies and coke--bad choice. In the train because of caffeine I could not fall asleep until 3! That was stupid, I admit. In the “room” with me were 2 people who were always outside (not during the night, of course :)), and a nice lady. About trains, they are very popular and relatively cheap. In a room there are 4 beds, two below, two above. Sometimes elderly people asked for the beds below. The room is small. Nothing else to say. That lady and I solved a crossword puzzle (she was good!), then talked a little. She looked young, but was actually 40. Her daughter, who had tough classes in a university, was 20. It was terribly hot to sleep, one more reason I could not fall asleep. Finally I did.

Note: the shortage (?) of the following paragraphs is explained by the fact that all the events were stored in a small pocket organizer.

1.7.99

I was waken up very early because the lady was an early bird. Then she made me take a silly test “Should you worry about your husband.” I should be worried about, but not too much, I am only 53 %. She was all 80 :). Then she told me the reason: She was from Siberia where in her youth she used to go white-water-rafting (?), sit by the campfire, sleep in a hot tent, go down into caves... All the wonderful stuff. That's why she is “wild.” The test included these questions: the favorite geometric figure: square-5%, circle-1%, triangle-10%, trapezoid-15%; musical instrument: violin or guitar-15%, drum-10%, piano-1%; vacation place: campfire-15%, home-1%, exotic place-10%; sweat shirt design: geometric figures-15%, both-10%, nature (trees etc.)-5%; main dish in a restaurant: exotic-15%, what you know-5%, whatever-10% (why?). Then the fun was over and the train stopped. My Aunt Lyuda met me and we went home. I remember buying a trolley ticket. Then we came home, I met my grandma, showed everybody the pictures, ate, gave grandma the money (don't ask, they are poorer then us in America :( ), then did nothing. I somehow did not feel emotions towards me as a person. It's weird to describe, but I felt as if everybody was only happy with the fact that I arrived, and did not care about me. Grandma asked me a lot (that's her habit now with such big family) whether I was hungry, but every time I was I made myself a dinner (well not made but ate without external help). Then Vitya, my cousin, came, and then left. I was alone much of the time, until I found “Enigma” and then “Dreamland.” Ever heard “Children,” “Fable,” or the theme from the “X-Files?” Robert Miles made these songs. That tape is great! Then Grisha came and took me to his apartment to spend the night. He and his girlfriend (almost wife) Ira live in a nice little apartment. They were the first who were actually happy (well Vitya was) that I came. Before that I remember everybody looking at the clothes I brought for I was too big (tall :)) for them. At the apartment there also was Natasha, Ira's sister, who is EXACTLY as old as Keejo (hmm), and in addition is pretty, but I did not get a chance to talk to her, only a couple of sentences. :( We drank wine (yum!) after which I was a little dizzy, then I took a long bath. They asked me some questions about America (after the bath, of course, NOT while :)). Then sleep.

2.7.99

Woke up at 1, breakfasted, then Ira “sent” me home--placed me on the bus and left. Then the bus broke and I had to ride with 2 (actually only one was) pretty girls (women? They were about 18...), who asked me a few questions about Moscow and my tan :). Then I came home, listened to *Dreamland* once more. Then I went to see the greatness of Voronezh--just a few place better then the average--with Aunt Lyuda and her daughter Olya! (What a small world!) But she is 18 if not 19. She still is shy as years before, so we talked little. She is very smart for she has HARD courses in college and she has 4s. (4 here is like an A because we are smarter and our standards are higher. No offense :)) We bought ice-cream, went to see a statue (exciting), then went to a coast, then to their house, then ate pancakes, then home. I tried to fall asleep.

3.7.99

Technically, I fell asleep only this morning. Well, the mosquitoes got me. I hate them. They were buzzing, plus I have good hearing. I would be happy if they bit me and went home, but they had to fly all around me and buzz, and only bite twice in those 4 hours. Yes, I tried, but they kept me up. Then I watched the pre-sunrise (the skies became lighter). Then I could not sleep because Aunt Tanya had to wake up at 5:30 for her early job, and at about 4:30 I decided not to sleep any more. So I waited, woke her up (ME and NOT the alarm clock!), then got into HER bed, and fell asleep about half past 6. Slept until 1... Bad decision. In sleep I cannot keep track of time (duh!), so until 1 p.m. I did not know anything that was going on. And there was the following: we were supposed to go to the summer-house, and I did not remembers the place, so we waited (yes, I waited real hard, hehehe... in bed that is!) for Igor to return, and then we would go with Aunt Lyuda, and then Aunt Tanya came, and they (she, Lyuda) started screaming, then Igor came and also got yelled at, and then my Uncle Sergey... Yuck. At last 4 of us went to the place in silence... Igor used my pocket diary to leave a memorable message... We played cards, then swam in the cool river Usmanka. Our food included soup and bread and... It was not inclusive at all. Then we sleep.

4.7.99

As always in that house, I saw a great dream. We (I) were in some weird place with about 7 people. Sharon was there also. She heard some noise and asked me to go with her to see what is was. There was nothing but a dark stair I saw in a dream few months ago. Then, when we returned to the people, we saw a shadow of a soldier, who went to check out the noise. Then there were two more shadows killing the soldier. Then we were attacked and four people survived, of them was I, Sharon, and a man who told me to stay down (in a dream long ago a man said same thing). I remember the grenade... Then it was all over and we were going to my house in Moscow on a trolley. Then Sharon disappeared! I looked for her, but she wasn’t there. Then I was at home with Masha and Olya. Weird dream. Then Igor wrote down his dream. He dreamt that he was playing Starcraft. He was Zerg playing against Terrans. He was a commander and I (literally “Loner”--sweet, eh?) was the king. The dream was preceded by a card game we played yesterday. In the card game there is King, Prince, Officer, Soldier, Worker, and... something like “Crapper”--the worst title, obviously. I was the king most of the time, in the beginning and in the end rounds. The game is fun and it's easy to play. In Starcraft the war was between Igor and me, for he was Prince and I was King. Prince in the game got to sit on the bed, and King on a throne; other people got uncomfortable chairs (in the card game and not in Starcraft). We have weird dreams eh? Well, we woke up, ate the yummy (it actually was delicious, still we didn't have any choice) soup. Then we go a-swimming. That was so damn fun! When we came home we discovered that someone has magically left the groceries... Aunt Tanya! All the weird plan changes... I managed to make it the way I wanted it, almost. Then we started making kabob. Before it was ready we went to the river and met Uncle Sergey. We swam (I love swimming!), came back, dined like kings (at last!), then Uncle Sergey talked to us about bioenergetics. And it was so fun to listen. I do not know how much of that is true, like do we really have souls? He said that my energy field is great (large), except for my legs, and so I trip a lot. And I do, but someone else could say that I am just growing and I am not accustomed to my limbs and I am clumsy like all teenagers... But bioenergetics is the best explanation for cells: how else do the cells know when to divide? And all the supernatural and other stuff is true... I don't know, but he told me of a book that I intend to read. If it is true... :)

5.7.99


We slept 'til 11, then Uncle Sergey talked about more bioenergetics, then he left. After going to the river we went to our secret hideout place where we go every year. (Me and Igor, whose nickname is Toxic.) The place is like a giant sandpit. We dug caverns and had lots of fun. Talked about girls, like we always do. Then I wrote “Amy” and Igor--”Toxic” in sand. Is there something wrong with me? She is not even real! I just wish she were... I suddenly remembered a mistake in “The Two Towers,” Tolkien wrote “if her was” and not “if he were”. Anyway, when we came back we met Vitya and his future (I think distant future) wife (now g/f) Katya. She is pretty, and they fit together better that Grisha + Ira. She lost her key at the beach, and so after she left we went to look for it. Guess what! I asked exactly the people who knew where it was (on the tree, I think they put it there). The river was warm but my shoulders were so damn tired of all the speedy swimming. And also I burned them and my stomach, I have a tan now, but it was not without pain. In the night we talked with Vitya about Katya (I asked him dumb detailed questions about her) and about politics. Note: I did not give him the key just yet. Then I thought about Amy. What hair does she have? I think curly is a little better, but I do not know! Damn! She is so hard to make! Then sleep.

6.7.99

Woke up at 9 and then at noon (weird, eh?). Gathered berries, went to the river, where the first time I dived hands first without pain cause by insufficient angle at which I entered the water which lead to painful hitting the water with..., leaving unhappy memories. :) Then we went home, bought a tape for *Dreamland*, I read “The Two Towers,” then cooked the belyashi. Every time I go to that city they make (again, not *make*, I want to cook them) me cook something. The belyashi are: dough with meat and onions, baked both sides, which are Yummy! I made a lot, and then I ate almost all I made. Then we copied the tape, then I went to sleep. Toxic got to sleep on the floor.

7.7.99

Woke up looking into the busy day. I assembled stuff. Then we breakfasted, went shopping for: 2 liters of milk, 1 bread, 300 grams of sausage, and mayonnaise. Then I read. They have a cool book by DI Snider. He wrote “Practical Psychology for Teenagers, or how to find your place in life.” It's a cool book mostly about his life and about how not to go into depression and all that stuff. He is now the singer in “Twisted Sister.” His parents tried to talk him out, but failed. I should listen to one of his albums. I remember the stuff about divorces, how it is NOT the child's fault that his parents divorce (and how this idea applies to “Ordinary People”--great book). I also remember that at the age 9-13 girls' bodies start to change, the breasts may grow at different speeds, and half a year after that menstruation starts. Sick me! :) The translation was pretty cool, though, but not for Russia, for everything here is so different. Less people are lonely here. Then I listened to the tape labeled Vanessa May (actually it was not her for she is a singer), it was the remake of classical music with different instruments and drums. I especially liked Bach. It was awesome, and now I want it too. I noticed that in *Dreamland* there is little melody, and something seems to be missing, making everything sad and lonely. And that is how I can easily understand it. Then the dinner table. Before that I tried really hard to tell Grisha what I was supposed to but failed (about colleges). Then was the ice-cream part. The night before I made Aunt Tanya sign the papers, stating that she would buy us ice-cream in return for the key: ransom. So everybody was happy: Vitya and Katya were happy that they got the key, and I was happy because I ate a little ice-cream. Actually it was pretty sad: Katya did not even say thank you! :( Then we went to the train. I said my last good-byes. Before I met another daughter of Aunt Lyuda, Sveta, with her husband Tolik. She is pregnant but is only 100 pounds so now she is sick: throwing up, headaches, dizziness. Grisha said that Ira would not wait for him for 3 years if he went to a college here, and Vitya said before that he fell in love with Katya at first sight forever. Another point that Vitya + Katya>Grisha + Ira. Then the train ride. I was sad for some time but I cheered myself up with the thought that I would come back. In the train with me was a woman and 2 men. In the evening (late evening, about 10:30) we started feasting. They had a lot of food and not as much drinks. They drank some weird thing, 45 % alcohol, very bitter. I drank with them too. I ate more that drank, obviously. We (they mostly) talked about Russia and Moscow and Voronezh. It was very interesting to listen to them. This is another quality of Russians, as one of them said. We always drink. No, we are not addicted, it's just a part of the tradition. And we share. I ate much of their tomatoes and a cucumber, and it's OKAY! Everyone's friendly. And here is a moment from the old movie, although it's not realistic: A guy loved a girl, but did not know whether she loved or hated him more. So the other guys decided that he should buy her a gold watch. So they all put some money on the table. When one of them said that they should keep a record of all the money, he was unheard and left. Although I know that it's a quality of communism, that people do not own anything, it's nice to know that there are still people like that: they value friendship over money. The world now is more corrupted than that. Anyway (I copied that word from all who use it :)), the lady (who did not drink a drop, that wimp, and who also said she needed to watch her fat consumption to remain “thin,” while she didn't have any hope) and I drank coffee also given to us by these men... It was a friendly company, and, once again, it was really cool that they are such nice people. I wonder if there are any people like that in America.

8.7.99

Woke up early. There were 3 reasons: heat 86 degrees F., alcohol, and lack of sleep. I was a little dizzy. Met my grandparents, went home, breakfasted, slept till 1, cleaned (it was VERY dusty) the sound system (the radio + cassette player), went to the store and then the club. The computer clubs are awesome. Although they cost big money (50 cents per hour :)), you play illegally copied games, such as half-life, Quake II, Unreal, Starcraft, Heroes III, Warcraft, etc. I played Half Life, it was awesome with all the graphics and Intel Celeron 300 and some 3Dfx, and then Starcraft, where I was beating the comp but we had to leave. It was free, by the way. I was very dizzy. Then I went home, dined, taught my grandpa a few things about computer, and wrote all the account for the past 8 days. Phew!

9.7.99

I woke up early to get my passport. After the delicious breakfast I went to my friend's apartment, from where we headed over to the passport place. We walked all the way, which was rather far. At the gates when he was asked his name he was “Vlad... no, Roman Vladimirovich.” It was pretty funny as he forgot his name. And I... I said all the Rs in English fashion, and so it sounded pretty weird. After arriving to the waiting room we waited (duh!) for about 15 minutes. Then the door opened and we were invited in. Then we had to sign the paper and the passport itself. He was first, and when the pen (ink pen!) did not work, the officer (?) joked, “Hold it at an angle. Don't you know how to use the pen? Dip it.” After dipping it was as thick as a small sharpie. It was pretty funny. And I... I have a dumb signature (my last name), and it's the handwriting that makes it so unique (no comment :)). But it's gonna change, and so I'm screwed. And since the pen was ink, it did not come out very nice. But we were happy after receiving the most important document. Then we went shopping, um... no, looking at cool stuff. There was a neat store, that was very cheap, and had a lot of stuff. Well, the ink cartridges for Epson Stylus 600 were still about $40, but the other things were cheap. I saw Voodoo 3! It was so neat! And I saw iMac! The first Apple product I see in Russia. So it was cool. Then we came back, went out with Andrey this time, played some basketball, I went home, rested, played again. Then we played in teams, and we (Andrey and I) lost twice. :( Well I couldn't shoot, but I made most of the baskets. Then I came home and happily (sarcasm) watched my grandpa play and lose to a computer over and over. Then we dined, no, suppered. The main course was pizza with yummies. It was the celebration, and I loved it and the event and everything. :)

10.7.99

Woke up at 1, as usual. Then I watched a depressing movie, ate breakfast, went to play some b-ball, but no one was there, so I went to Andrey's house. There we played Donkey Kong, an awesome game, then played some b-ball, finally, and we won 10-9, a close battle. I was better :). Then we again went to Andrey's house, he dined and I went to play, again. I got very far. Then we went to my house, and went out thinking about Fear II. He helped me with the whole next theme! It was funny when I said, “The sun set and Amy fell asleep” and he joked, “Okay, let's think.” (What would happen next, that is.) Then we thought and laughed and thought more... We decided that she would fall into a tunnel and after the tunnel we would end up in the forest itself, with no provision. Also I am going to acquire a flashlight in the lab. (Means edit the previous paragraphs.) Then we went to the place under the house, where is was so neat, then I explored the electromagnet on our door and discovered a way to crack a door, then we went to play soccer. We won, even thought it was 3 on 3 and the other team had Roma, the cool guy. Yay! 5-1! But the guy in the red, “Giraffe,” (we have the bestest nicknames) had too much sugar. He was running back and forth. Then the other people were playing “33”--a b-ball throwing game, then we separated and the six of us went to chat like we always do. Meanwhile everybody was looking at my magnet. I made an acrobatics thingy. I am too weak. :( Then I said goodbye to everybody. (Olya is really pretty. :)) Me and Andrey sprinted home, and then--the usual stuff.

11.7.99

I was waken up REALLY early, like at 7. Then we went to the summer house, worked there (gathered berries :)), then went home, I went out, played b-ball, learned how to throw, then went back. A short day. Meanwhile I was thinking about the details of Amy's downfall. :) Grandpa advised me a lot. I am very thankful to him for that.

12.7.99

Woke up at 8 to go to the club. We went there, 2 people beat 1 (me) in Starcraft, then we killed each other in half-life. It was so damn fun! Then went home, and then Andrey’s house to play more Donkey Kong. I love that game. Meanwhile we bought a delicious drink Spark. Then I went home and listened to music. I was supposed to go to Baba Katya again, but that didn’t happen. So I was listening to the radio and then MTV for a long while.

13.7.99

Today we went to the Red Square and Kremlin. Everything was so awesome. The views were great and being in the places of my childhood was even greater. Then we went to Baba Katya, where she and her daughter were surprised to see us. Then I went home and rejoined with my friends for a short time. Then we played b-ball, then my grandma arrived and it was time for pictures. That was sure fun, messing around and making faces and hugging Olya... :) Then came Masha and gave me a present, tenechko! I was so happy! It’s the coolest thing, a home-made bracelet. Then we played soccer, talked, told jokes, and then I had to go home. Aah, the last good-byes. We walked with Tolik and Olya, and then to Andrey’s house. There he wanted to give me his Nintendo, but we decided that he would wait for me and then we would play it again next year. Then I went home. Walked around the house, parting with everything dear to me. Then followed the time of doing nothing, just using floppies, walking, talking, eating... At last at 2 I went to sleep.

14.7.99

Woke up at 8. Then I breakfasted, then began to carry bags. On the way met Andrey (we agreed to meet for the last time). So we talked, then grandma took the pictures of the two of us. Then we talked a little more, and then... It was time to go. I was sad on the way to Sheremetyevo 2, the international airport in Moscow. We got there pretty early, bought mineral water for me. Then was the custody control, where I last kissed my grandparents, then the baggage place. Then the scary passport control, where I feared to have something wrong, then the metal detector, and then the Boeing 767, which was cool (both meanings) and soft and pleasant to be at. The food was a little better then the last time, and the flight attendant was at last pretty. Then, after a while of sleeping alone, for no one set next to me :(, and frustrating waiting, we had to fill the custody declarations. I screwed up once, but then the second time everything was perfect. I was afraid that I had to declare the honey I brought, but I didn’t and no one cared. (Let’s, just in case, keep it a secret, please! :)) I read a lot of The Two Towers, like 80 pages. Between readings I slept. Kinda. Then we landed, went through the passport control, I received my luggage, went through the green way (nothing to declare, for honey ain’t no meat nor plant :)), then met my dad! The traffic jams were annoying, and I was hungry much of the way, because my mom said that the dinner was waiting at home. And it waited for a while, because of all the traffic jams. On the way I was feeling the same way I felt the first time I arrived to America. As I stepped into the house the walls became to wide, the smell was faint but noticeable, everything was wide and unusual. However, rather soon it became more familiar to me. But I never forgot the trip.

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