a woman and her dog

August 20, 178 is the day of the war.

The woman and her dog went outside, crossed the road, turned left and merged with traffic.

The intersection, the traffic light, the commands “wait”, then “let’s go”. I hope that the dog already understands the meaning of these words.

The next intersection, without a traffic light. And again the commands “wait!” and “let’s go!”.

Twilight is gathering fast. The streets are poorly lit. Drivers practically do not see either a woman or a dog. And those who see, do not pay attention to them. In loose trousers and her husband’s plaid shirt, the woman looks very “local”.  

The woman has already stopped being surprised at her own simplicity in clothes. In Russia, she would not have left the house in this outfit. And now, in a plaid shirt and with a dog, she looks like a typical American.  at least, she feels like one. 

Another intersection, the commands “wait!”and “let’s go!”.

The smell of tires, hot asphalt, sometimes cigarette smoke from the windows of passing cars, headlights, and sounds – the noise of the city.

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Женщина и ее собака

20 августа, 178 день войны

Женщина и ее собака вышли на улицу, перешли через дорогу, повернули налево и слились с трафиком.

Перекресток, светофор, команда wait, потом lets go. Надеюсь, что собака уже понимает значение этих слов.

Следующий перекресток, без светофора. И опять команда “wait!” и “let’s go!”.

Сумерки сгущаются быстро. Улицы освещены по русским меркам слабо. Водители практически не видят ни женщину, ни собаку. А те кто видят, не обращают на них внимание. В бесформенных штанах и мужниной клетчатой рубашки женщина выглядит очень “local” (местный, здешний).  

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Evening notes, 5

The best is yet to come

-I don’t like to tell people that I am from Russia – I. 

-Tell them that you’re from Moldova  – said Elena – Hardly anybody knows where it is.

There are three categories of reaction to the answer: Moldova – she continued:

  1. Moldova? – they honestly don’t know where it is. 🤷‍♀️
  2. A-a, Moldova – they pretend that they DO know.
  3. Oh, yes, yes – Maldivi! 

The world is made of paradoxes*.

At the time when I don’t even want to sound Russian, Steven Seagal says he is Russian, Russia is his home. He got Russian citizenship in 2016. The same year when Serbia too granted its citizenship to him. 

Well, to each his own.

The Moscow Times reports that more than 3.8 million Russians have left the country in the first three months of 2022, according to data from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

4184 people left the Tomsk region – Tomsk telegram channel “Tomsk 1604” says. 

Unfortunately all my family is still there. They are not as rich and popular as Steven Seagal. And  I worry about them every day. 

I just hope everything will be fine and soon. 

* Paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/jan/11/steven-seagal-serbian-citizenship-martial-arts-school

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/23/many-leave-russia-as-ukraine-war-drags-on

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/05/06/nearly-4m-russians-left-russia-in-early-2022-fsb-a77603

Hot Summer 2022

August 1, 159th day of the war

Gasoline has become cheaper, water (water bill) has become more expensive, creative projects hardly help not to get bogged down in the swamp of everyday life and not to go crazy from the horror of the news.

I’ll start with a pleasant one: gasoline has become cheaper. On Sunday, I paid $4.19 for a gallon (at BJ’s). Sweet. 

But the water bill went up a lot. It’s all about the long heat and lack of precipitation. We have to water everything: vegetable’s gardens, lawn, trees.  Daniel bought a sprinkler. He moves it around the garden every 15-20 minutes. This way we save time but spend money. I do not know how these water bills are compiled. But for some reason, sewage in the bill costs twice as much as water supply. Hopefully it will rain soon. 

While we have a drought in New Bedford for how long… last two-three weeks?.. There is a lot of rain in Tomsk. My friend complained that she could not (or did not want to) walk through the rainy forest to her dacha. My sister complained about huge water paddles everywhere in the city. This made her journey to work long and unpleasant. Here in the USA, we often complain about the roads. Well, Russian roads and sidewalks are often much worse.

By now, the rain has stopped in Tomsk. But another regan is under  Emergency mode due to floods. 

Flood waters flooded 1,747 residential and country houses in Chita and five districts of the Trans-Baikal Territory, rescuers evacuated 285 adults and 38 children. This was reported on August 1 in the press service of the regional Department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Chita is a city in the south of Eastern Siberia, located on the Trans-Siberian Railway route.

I will leave a link to the article under the post. The article is in Russian but there are a couple of photos. 

I am glad that there are no such big and serious problems in Tomsk. It’s a little different there. In some areas of the city, there is no hot water in apartment buildings. In some (about 500 buildings) there will not even be cold water during the day in mid-August. But who knows… this one day can turn into two days or longer.

The infrastructure in Russia is very old. Tomskvodokanal* repairs it every year, but it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

COVID-19 is still with us, although people talk less about it.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the city of New Bedford is growing, and in the week from July 21 to 27, the state Health Department reported 267 cases.

In the Tomsk region, 52 residents contracted the infection during the day on August 1.

Russians have stopped wearing masks almost everywhere.. Rospotrebnadzor** recommended that citizens from risk groups wear masks in crowded places and on public transport. 

And The New Bedford Light published a promising article about Dartmouth’s Toxic facility. The link is here. 

Briefly, The Tonix Dartmouth plant is developing live viral vaccines against COVID-19 and monkeypox and is increasing its production. A human trial is scheduled for 2023. It will probably be convenient to have such a plant locally.

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Monday’s word of the day is nostalgia

On Monday, I worked nostalgically at the Lawler branch, chatted nostalgically with a former colleague and regular patrons, even the rain on the roof sounded nostalgic...

Nostalgia can be different: for work, for  young age, for the motherland, for … simple life (does anyone else have such a thing?).

Nostalgia for the motherland, youth and simple life I treat with old Soviet detective films, thanks to YouTube.

Recently, once again, I watched the Village Detective based on the works of Vil’ Lipatov.

The main character of the books /films is an elderly village policeman who knows the life and customs of the people of his village.

Here is a link to the movie. I doubt there are English subtitles. But you can see the Siberian Soviet village, houses, roads, and how people dressed.

My grandmother, aunt and uncle lived in a very similar village, only on a small river, so they didn’t have a pier like in the movie.

One day, when I was visiting my uncle, his cow came home from the pasture. And that’s good, right? But she started chewing on my almost new white T-shirt drying on a rope. We took the t-shirt away (or out of her mouth). But there were green grass stains on it (the cow chewed the T-shirt along with the grass, it probably tasted better that way) and holes from teeth (she used to chew thoroughly). 😂

As a city girl, I’m afraid of cows, I don’t miss them at all. 

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June 21, the 118th day of the war, the day of the summer equinox

The longest day and the shortest night. The beginning of summer.

Tomsk

Daniel says that if we lived in Fairhaven, we would celebrate with a bonfire by the ocean.

But we live in New Bedford, our house is in a relatively good neighborhood, but not on the ocean. There will be no bonfire tonight, and tomorrow is work.

Anyway, I don’t like summer.

Siberians can “throw slippers at me”*, and they will be right. Just like me. To each his own.

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When age doesn’t mean wisdom

Crackle was barking as he watched me leaving a car. He always does it when he sees me leaving the car or coming back. 

I ran into the store to grab a couple of things that they didn’t have on the shelves earlier this morning. 

I knew Crackle was going to be fine. I left the car windows slightly open for him. And  it was unusually cold for summer. But anyway, I was fast. I had only two items in my basket when I approached the cashier. All of the sudden, the woman behind me asked: “Let me pay for your groceries”. 

-What? Why?

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Грустные мысли о Техасе

Мое утро четверга началось с эмоциональной речи баскетбольного тренера по TV. Главный тренер “Голден Стэйт Уорриорз” Стив Керр говорил: enough is enough (хватит, этого достаточно), он устал начинать матчи с минуты молчания. Керр имел в виду стрельбу в техасской средней школе в городе Увадле.  Об этом говорили в российских новостях. Погибли 19 детей (8-10 лет) и двое взрослых. 

“Есть 50 сенаторов, которые отказываются голосовать прямо сейчас по H.R. 8, что является правилом проверки биографических данных, которое Палата приняла пару лет назад. Он пролежал там уже два года. И есть причина, по которой они не будут голосовать за это: чтобы удержать власть”, – сказал Керр.

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Sad thoughts about Texas

My Thursday morning started with an emotional speech by a basketball coach on TV. The head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, said: enough is enough, he was tired of starting games with a minute of silence. Kerr was referring to the shooting at a Texas school in Uvalde. Where 19 children (8-10 years old) and two adults were killed.

“There’s 50 senators who refuse to vote right now on H.R. 8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago. It’s been sitting there for two years. And there’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold on to power,” Kerr said. 

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Вечерние заметки, 4, Бостон

Бостон

Как провести отпуск, чтобы не было мучительно больно? 

Составить список дел, выполнить почти все, устать.

Одним из пунктов была поездка в Бостон. Прекрасный Бостон…всегда прекрасный Бостон. 

Решение о поездке было спонтанным, как всегда. Но был и план –  съездить в русский магазин и встретиться с сестрой Дэна и ее мужем. Но они в последний момент не смогли поехать. Так что я провела весь день наедине с Бостоном и рюкзаком с трофеями. 

Утро пятницы в Бостоне было пасмурным. Днем была переменная облачность. Температура – не знаю. На солнце тепло, но в тени даже маленького дерева неуютно прохладно. Весна. Все еще весна. А весной часто дуют холодные ветра в солнечные дни.

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